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Which factors shape public opinion of criminal justice? How do the views of the public influence criminal justice policy and practice? This book provides an introduction to public attitudes towards criminal justice. It explores the public's lack of confidence in criminal justice processes, and summarizes findings on public attitudes towards the three principal components of the criminal process: the police, the courts, and the prison system. It examines the importance that people attach to different criminal justice functions, such as preventing crime, prosecuting and punishing offenders, and protecting the public.The topics include: youth justice and public opinion; public perception of restorative justice; penal populism and media treatment of crime; the reliability of public opinion polls; and the drivers of public opinion. "Understanding Public Attitudes to Criminal Justice" provides an international perspective on the issues surrounding criminal justice and public opinion, drawing on research from the UK, the United States and Canada and a range of other countries including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Key reading for students in criminology, criminal justice, and media studies, this book is also of value to researchers and those with an interest in crime and the media.