Reason for writing and research problem(s): Punitivity is a concept that has been explored within criminology over the last few decades. Given the insufficient theoretical clarity, punitivity is mainly perceived as the tendency of preferring retributive sanctions in the crime policy. Researches of the punitivity are mainly conducted with general and student population. Studies conducted among students often reveal differences between criminal justice students and other students in a way that criminal justice students are more punitive. Small number of studies expolore punitiveness of the criminal justice students alone and the idea of this paper is to fill that gap.
Aims of the paper (scientific and/ or social): Aim of this paper is to get an insight into the punitiveness of Police College students in Zagreb (police officers) as criminal justice students and to test differences regarding their gender, age, political orientation and an importance of the religion.
Methodology/Design: Students filled out the questionnaire during their classes in academic year 2014/15 (N=141). We used three measures of punitivity: (1) attitude about appropriate sanction for several criminal offences, (2) attitude toward death penalty and (3) support of the harsher sanctions as effective crime prevention measures.
Research/Paper limitation: Limitation of this research reffers to possible generalization of results.
Results/General Conclusion: For the first measure of the punitivity, we found gender differences in 3 out of 15 items. Correlations of the harsher sanctions with the participants’ age were found in 8 items, with political orientation in 2 items and with the importance of the religion in 6 items. Half of the participants support death penalty. We found no differences regarding their gender, age, political orientation and the importance of the religion. Half of the participants mostly agree with the idea that harsher sentences are appropriate and effective measure for crime prevention. We found no differences regarding their gender, age, political orientation and the importance of the religion
Research/ Paper Validity: Results demonstrate differences in certain measures of punitivity. Paper contribute to the existing discussion about operationalization of punitivity.
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