Public confidence in the justice system is relatively low compared to that in many other institutions. Part of this lack of confidence has been attributed to a low public understanding of how the justice system really works. Experience with the justice system is often identified as a way to remedy outdated opinions. In this article we explore the potential effects of experience on attitudes towards the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales. Distinguishing between four types of experience, we map the effect of experience on evaluations of the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system. Experience was found to only have a marginal effect on these evaluations in a multivariate model controlling for socio-demographic characteristics.

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Department of Public Administration

Van de Walle, S. (2009). Confidence in the Criminal Justice System: Does experience count?. Retrieved from