Chen, Gila, and Tomer Einat. “To Punish or Not to Punish—That Is the Question. Attitudes of Criminology and Criminal Justice Students in Israel Toward Punishment.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (early view; online first).
Attitudes toward punishment have long been of interest to policymakers, researchers, and criminal justice practitioners. The current study examined the relationship between academic education in criminology and attitudes toward punishment among 477 undergraduate students in three subgroups: police officers, correctional officers, and criminology students who were not employed by the criminal justice system (CJS). Our main findings concluded that (a) punitive attitudes of the correctional officers and police officers at the beginning of their academic studies were harsher than those of the criminology and criminal justice students who were not employed by the CJS, (b) punitive attitudes of the correctional officers at the end of their academic studies were less severe than their first-year counterparts, (c) fear of crime was higher among women than among men, and (d) the strongest predictor of punitive attitudes was a firm belief in the principles of the classical and labeling theories (beyond group). Implications of these results are discussed.