Maguire, E. R., & Johnson, D. (2015). The structure of public opinion on crime policy: Evidence from seven Caribbean nations. Punishment & Society, 17(4), 502-530.


A long tradition of research has examined public opinion on crime policy. Much of this research focuses on identifying the determinants and correlates of public opinion; few studies have examined the dimensional structure of public attitudes toward crime policy. This study posits and tests a multidimensional conceptualization of attitudes toward crime policy. We hypothesize that two general dimensions – punitiveness and progressiveness – are the minimum necessary to account for people’s opinions on crime policy. We test this multidimensional conceptualization and examine the structure of public opinion on crime policy using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and survey data from more than 11,000 residents in seven Caribbean nations. Our findings indicate that public opinion in all seven nations is multidimensional.

Year: 2015
Language: English
Type: Journal article
Topic: Measurement, Caribbean criminology
Methodologies: Measurement model, Cross-sectional model