Factors Influencing the Attitudes of College Students Toward Rehabilitation or Punishment of Criminal Offenders
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing the attitudes of college students toward rehabilitation or punishment for criminal offenders. More specifically, the study will examine attitudes toward the six common crimes listed below. Method: Survey analysis was used to asses college students' attitudes toward the six common crimes (robbery, rape, molestation, burglary, drug sale, and drug possession) and potential factors that influence punitiveness. An individual's attitude toward each crime was measured on a punishment-rehabilitation continuum. A survey was given to 1,427, randomly-chosen Texas State University undergraduate and graduate students. Findings: The study found that a student's level of conservatism is one of the most influential factors influencing attitude to rehabilitate or punish criminal offenders. Also, the study found that attitudes vary by the type of crime committed.