Will brightly coloured uniforms raise public confidence in criminal justice?

Published: February 2009

Summary of journal article by: Shadd Maruna and Anna King, ‘Selling the Public on Probation: Beyond the Bib,’

With the release of the Casey Report, Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime (Casey, 2008), improving public confidence in criminal justice work, and community penalties in particular, has become a central concern for the British Government. Among the other suggestions for improving public confidence in community interventions is to require those doing community service work to wear fluorescent bibs identifying themselves as `offenders’. In this article, we review what is known about public opinion regarding community penalties, and discuss two possible routes to changing these attitudes: one is cognitive and the other is emotive. We review the research evidence on both, and discuss the likelihood of either being successful. We conclude by returning to the context of the Casey Report and assessing the likelihood that the Casey proposals will be successful on the basis of the evidence reviewed.

Authors / Editors

Prof Sarah Armstrong

University of Glasgow

Research Themes

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions