What is it about?

This manuscript examines the factors that may influence practitioners and public attitudes toward community correction. Due to the significance of public opinion to the success of the community correction programs, we decided to identify the factors that contribute to the prediction of perception of community correction as appropriate punishment. The research variables included crime type, as well as offender, victim, and bystander characteristics. This study's methodology represents a factorial survey that combines the advantages of controlled, randomized quasi-experimental designs with those of a representative sampling of a conventional survey. Participants addressed crime scenarios in which we manipulated crime type and offender and victim characteristics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, employment, legal status, etc.). The findings show that a model, which includes respondents' religiosity and their perceptions of crime severity (individual factors) as well as crime type and offender age (contextual factors) predicts 36% of the variance in the selection of community correction as an appropriate punishment. The analysis of this study's results indicates that there is a common pattern to our findings: the support for community correction was related to respondents' focus on offender dangerousness and a tendency to prevent the most dangerous offenders (in the perception of respondents) from remaining within the community

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Why is it important?

From the theoretical point of view, this research supports the ecological framework's assumptions and indicates that the support for community correction stems from the interaction between individual and contextual factors. Because findings of prior studies on attitudes toward criminals conducted in Israel are consistent with those found in the literature, our findings are relevant not just for the Israeli criminal justice system. Thus, the results of this research have practical implications for the training of practitioners working within the criminal justice system


This research is significant because it addresses the under-researched issue of community correction. It also underlines the key role of vengeance attitudes toward offenders and their rehabilitation.

Dr Inna Levy
Ariel University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Predicting support for community corrections: Crime type and severity, and offender, observer, and victim characteristics, Punishment & Society, February 2021, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1462474521989805.
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