Punishing processes in youth court: Procedural justice, court atmosphere and youths' views of the legitimacy of the justice system

Carolyn Greene, Jane B. Sprott, Natasha S. Madon, Maria Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For those who are negotiating their way through court, there are potentially many aspects of the court-room atmosphere that can be perceived as unpleasant. Moreover, issues arising from general delays, confusion, and unprofessional conduct may be related to broader evaluations of the entire justice system, independently of how fairly people feel that they, personally, were treated by specific court actors. We explored this by interviewing youths after their first court appearance and by independently coding the overall atmosphere of the court-room. We found that, independently of how fairly youths felt they themselves had been treated, the atmosphere of the courtroom was significantly related to their overall assessments of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Those who experienced an atmosphere of confusion and unprofessionalism tended to view the entire justice system as less legitimate than did those who experienced better days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-544
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Volume52
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct. 2010

Keywords

  • Court atmosphere
  • Procedural justice
  • Young offenders' perceptions
  • Youth court

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