The Influence of Causal Attribution, Fear of Crime, and Personal Victimization on Attitudes Toward Punishment: Results of the 2002 Penn State Poll

Carissa Herwig, Pennsylvania State University -Harrisburg
David Rine, Pennsylvania State University- Harrisburg
Barbara Sims, Pennsylvania State University- Harrisburg

The purpose of this paper is to examine data from a 2003 statewide survey in which citizens were asked their perceptions about causal attributions (why people commit crime) and their attitudes toward punishment. The study seeks to examine the extent to which people's perceptions of causation influence their views toward punishment, controlling for several socio-demographic characteristics, fear of crime, and individual victimization experiences. Implications for public policy are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006