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FSD3162 Finnish Perceptions of Justice: Citizens 2016

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Authors

  • Kääriäinen, Juha (University of Helsinki. Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy)

Keywords

court cases, courts, crime and security, criminal courts, criminal law, criminals, judges, law, offences, public opinion, punishment, trust, values

Abstract

The survey examined Finnish people's attitudes on crime, punishment, judges, courts, and criminals. Furthermore, views on what would be a suitable punishment for different types of crime were investigated.

The survey began with a set of crime-related true or false statements (e.g. "A typical Finnish convict is a man with an alcohol and drug abuse issues"). The respondents were asked how much they followed news about crime and punishment on different media outlets. The respondents' trust in different institutions, such as the police and the healthcare system, was investigated.

Next, the respondents were asked how they would distribute 100 million euros between different crime prevention methods. Furthermore, the respondents were asked how important they thought certain goals (e.g. "Rehabilitation of criminals", "Compensating the victims of the crime") were for criminal punishment. Opinions on criminal courts and the safety of the respondents' own neighbourhood were probed. The extent to which the respondents agreed or disagreed with several statements about judges and criminals was studied. The respondents were also asked how much they thought public opinion should influence a number of issues (e.g. taxation, alcohol price).

In the next part, the respondents were presented with seven different criminal cases, and asked what punishment would be fitting for each case. If the respondents felt that a prison sentence was required, they were also asked if there were any basis for a more lenient sentence (e.g. "The victim does not wish for prison sentence" "The felon is younger than 18-years old"). Furthermore, the respondents were asked whether the punishments for the aforementioned crimes should be harsher or more lenient than they were at the time of surveying.

Finally, opinions on the importance of several values were charted.

The background variables included the respondent's gender, age, marital status, household composition, educational level, economic activity and occupational status, household gross income, voting in elections, and political party preference, as well as the total time spent in educational institutions, and whether the respondent or any member of their household had been a victim of violence or theft in the past 5 years.

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Metadata record is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.