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ERIC Number: ED186829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Attitudes of the Elderly toward the American Legal System.
Sengstock, Mary C.; Liang, Jersey
Courts have been set up primarily to deal with offenders and may not be responsive to the needs of victims of crime. Most research on the relationship of crime victims and courts focuses on the effects of victim characteristics upon the disposition of cases by the courts, the reactions which victims have had to their experiences with the law and courts, and proposed programs of assistance for victims. In order for advocacy programs for elderly victims to be effective, more information about the court problems of the elderly is needed. Three measures of attitudes toward the legal system appeared in the General Social Surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (1972-1977): (1) belief that court sentences are not harsh enough; (2) belief that national expenditures to halt crime are insufficient; and (3) attitudes toward capital punishment. In general, older respondents favored harsher courts and capital punishment. Data on elderly attitudes toward expenditures was inconclusive. Factors other than age affecting respondents' attitudes are race, sex, marital status, family income, education, and size of city in which respondents lived. A study of the attitudes of elderly victims and non-victims showed no significant differences in their approval of defendants' rights. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Retired Teachers Association, Washington, DC.; American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Gerontological Association 32nd, Washington, DC, November 25-29, 1979).