Browsing by Author "Allison, Meredith"
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- ItemA comparison of Canadian and American offender stereotypes(2013) Allison, Meredith; Sweeney, Laura; Jung, SandyOffender stereotypes of Canadians and Americans were compared via an inductive, open-ended method. Participants were asked to write down the race, gender, and age for eleven types of offenders. There was agreement between the two countries in terms of race (White for eight offender types), gender (male for eight offenders), and age (similar estimation of age for six offenders). However, Americans were more likely to state that the Armed Robber was Black. Participants in both countries indicated that the Drug Trafficker was Black, although, a third of Americans also indicated this offender type was Hispanic. The findings are discussed in relation to the demographic makeup of the general, and offender populations of each country.
- ItemCrimes and punishment: understanding of the criminal code(2014) Jung, Sandy; Ahn-Redding, Heather; Allison, MeredithKnowledge about criminal laws is expected in our society. There are many important reasons why accurate knowledge should be expected, such as the deterrence of citizens from engaging in illegal conduct and the assurance that people are making sound decisions about supporting or not supporting changes in the criminal justice system. This study surveyed 301 undergraduate students about their knowledge of criminal laws and their associated sentences. Our results indicate that participants were accurate in defining theft and the ages for legal use of substances and identifying whether specific scenarios are considered sexual offences, but less able to define the blood alcohol level for impaired driving, dangerous driving, sexual interference, and aggravated sexual assault. With regards to sentencing dispositions, participants were not consistently accurate. They also tended to inflate the likelihood of reoffending in general, particularly violent and sexual offending. Prior exposure to the criminal justice system did not seem to be associated with crime and sentencing knowledge or recidivism estimations. Our findings identify areas where young adults are unaware of legal definitions of crimes and their punishments and solicit the need to find innovative ways to educate young adults on the Criminal Code.
- ItemLegal decision-making on crimes involving an alibi(2013) Jung, Sandy; Allison, Meredith; Bohn, Linzy; Jung, SandyThe present study examined the influence of physical evidence in support of an alibi, type of crime, and alibi salaciousness on the verdict, sentencing, and credibility perceptions of 317 undergraduate mock jurors who read fabricated police and court summaries. Alibis substantiated by physical evidence were accompanied by fewer guilty verdicts, higher believability, and more positive character ratings. Although salaciousness did not influence trial outcomes and alibi believability, it interacted with physical evidence to produce less positive character ratings. The results also revealed that the crime type had a main effect on assigning prison sentences with sexual offenses leading to a greater likelihood of assigning a prison sentence. When participants espoused more conservative views, they were more likely to give guilty verdicts and negatively evaluate the defendant. The finding further indicated that those who gave guilty verdict decisions (over not guilty) saw alibis as less believable and perceived the defendant and corroborator more negatively.
- ItemPerceptions of older adult eyewitnesses: will you believe me when I'm 64?(2003) Brimacombe, Elizabeth; Jung, Sandy; Garrioch, Lynn; Allison, MeredithParticipant-witnesses (young adults/young seniors/older seniors) viewed one of two versions of a simulated videotaped crime (crime context either familiar to young or older adults). The witnesses were videotaped responding to direct and cross-examination questions about the video. The older seniors were significantly less accurate than the young adults and young seniors. Familiarity of the crime context did not affect testimony accuracy. However, the older seniors were more verbose when describing a familiar context. Participant-jurors viewed the testimony videotapes and evaluated the witnesses' credibility. All witnesses were regarded as equally credible in testifying and less accurate in response to cross-examination questioning.
- ItemSex offender registries: exploring the attitudes and knowledge of political decision-makers(2020) Jung, Sandy; Allison, Meredith; Toop, Carissa; Martin, ErinSex offender registries (SORs) were established due to policies and practices intended to protect the public from individuals who commit sexually violent acts, and yet the empirical literature does not show that public SORs reduce or prevent sexual crimes. Given that politicians prominently influence SOR policies, the current study explores the views of SORs by 26 political decision-makers from Canada and the U.S. Participants completed a survey on their opinions regarding SORs and their knowledge of SOR eligibility. Attitudes and political perspectives were assessed to examine their association with SOR opinions. Almost two thirds of those surveyed believed SORs should be publicly available and a third believed SORs helped to protect the public. These beliefs were associated with those with conservative-leaning political views. These findings help us to explore the perspectives of political decision-makers and gain insight into attitudinal factors that may play a role in influencing opinions regarding SORs.
- ItemThe impact of illegal alibi activities, corroborator involvement and corroborator certainty on mock juror perceptions(2014) Allison, Meredith; Jung, Sandy; Sweeney, Laura; Culhane, ScottUndergraduate mock jurors (N= 360) received a mock police report and trial in which a suspect was accused of rape. The suspect offered one of three alibis: a sexually salacious and illegal alibi, a non-sexually salacious and illegal alibi, and a control condition. The corroborator either helped or observed him in his illegal alibi activities and was either 100 or 80% sure she was with him that night. Alibi salaciousness did not significantly affect alibi believability although it had a significant impact on views of the defendant's and corroborator's characters, corroborator believability, and verdict certainty. The non-sexually salacious alibi generally led to higher ratings on these measures in comparison with the control condition. Corroborator certainty had significant effects on perceptions of the corroborator.
- ItemWhat do students really know about criminal justice?(2013) Ahn-Redding, Heather; Allison, Meredith; Semon, Marissa; Jung, SandyThis survey of three hundred and twenty undergraduate students attempted to determine their knowledge of crime and punishment in North Carolina. Respondents answered a series of open- and closed-ended questions regarding various legal topics, such as statutory rape and the legal ages for tobacco and alcohol use. The participants were also asked to list punishments for various offenses, such as possession of marijuana, driving while intoxicated, and rape. They were then asked to define certain legal terms such as larceny. The results indicated that most students were unable to provide correct corresponding punishments for many offenses. They were also unable to accurately define various legal terms, such as robbery or rape. The implications for stronger education in the area of criminal justice are discussed.