What do students really know about criminal justice?
North Carolina, crime knowledge, criminal justice education, media
This 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.
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