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Public Preferences for Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration of Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 38 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2010 Pages: 1-6
Alex R. Piquero; Laurence Steinberg
Date Published
January 2010
6 pages
This study examines the public preferences for rehabilitation versus incarceration of juvenile offenders.
While juvenile justice policy in the United States has become more punitive in recent years, it remains unclear whether the public actually favors this response in lieu of more rehabilitation-oriented services. Public opinion polling generally shows that the public favors less punitive responses than policymakers often suppose, but significant questions remain about the accuracy of these perceptions generally, and in how they have been assessed in particular. Data from four States ( Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington) aimed at assessing public preferences for rehabilitation and incarceration as a response to serious juvenile crime indicated that, for the most part, the public was willing to pay more in taxes for rehabilitation than incarceration. Figures, tables, notes, and references (Published Abstract)