Criminal Justice Policy Review

Mears, Daniel P., and Justin T. Pickett*



This article seeks to contribute to theory and research on factors that shape public preferences for juvenile justice policy. To this end, it tests the argument that perceptions about juvenile crime, an instrumental concern, will influence individuals’ willingness to vote for policymakers who support transfer of youth to adult court and, separately, for policymakers who support rehabilitation. It also tests the hypothesis that the identified effect will be greater among Whites, political conservatives, and, in particular, White political conservatives. The study employs multivariate regression analyses using survey data that are unique in including information about voter preferences. Results of the analyses suggest partial support for the hypotheses. The findings underscore the salience of examining voter preferences, and of taking into account the intersection of race and political orientations, in seeking to understand public views about crime and justice policy.

The full article

* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff