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Perceptions of the U.S. Justice System - Division of Media Relations and Public Affairs - American Bar Association

Embargoed for Release - Wednesday, February 24, 1999

Perceptions of the U.S. Justice System
Table of Contents

Background

Objectives

Sample

Methodology

Executive Summary

Detailed Findings
I. Strong Support for the American Justice System
II. People’s Knowledge of the Justice System
III. Attitudes That Drive Confidence in the System
IV. Conclusion
Knowledge
Self-Assessment
Self-Assessment: Demographic Profile
The Seventeen Questions Used to Determine Levels of Actual Knowledge
How Knowledge of Courts Has Changed
Actual Knowledge of U.S. Justice System
Relationship Between Self-Reported Knowledge and Actual Knowledge Levels
Experience
Court Experience
Most Recent Type of Case
Reactions to Court Experience
Positive/Negative Experiences By Role in Court
Positive/Negative Experience By Type of Case
How Attitude Toward System Changed After Experience
Impact of Information Regarding Court Procedures
Who Received Information by the Reason They Were Last in Court
Attitudes About Courts Based on Experience
Top-2-Box Agree
Experience with Lawyers
Satisfaction Levels of Service the Lawyer Provided in Relation to Type of Service Sought
Jury Duty
Rating of Experience as Juror/Being Called as Juror
Opinions
Confidence in Institutions/Professions
Comparison of Confidence Levels in Current and Previous Study
Comparison of Confidence Levels Between Actual Levels of Knowledge
Comparison of Confidence Levels Of Those With Positive And Those With Negative Active Court Experience
Comparison of Confidence Levels by Sub-Groups
Opinions About the U.S. Justice System
Attitude Statements on Which the Majority of Total Respondents Agree
Opinions of Specific Components of the U.S. Justice System
Overall System Attitudes
How Groups of People Are Treated
Sentencing/Criminals
Courts/Judges/Lawyers Doing Their Jobs
Lawyers Being Civic Minded
Comparison of Attitude Ratings by Actual Levels of Knowledge
Comparison of Attitude Ratings by Demographic Sub-Groups
How Attitudes Group Together
Key Drivers
Key Drivers of the Justice System Overall
Key Drivers of the U.S. Justice System
Key Drivers of the Courts
Key Drivers of the Judiciary
Key Drivers of the Legal Profession and Lawyers
Key Drivers of the Police
Sources of Information
Sources of Information About the Justice System
Importance of Information Sources By Actual Level of Knowledge Groups
Sources of Education About the Justice System
Interested in Learning More About the Justice System
Demographic Profile of Those Interested in Learning More About the Justice System
Sources Willing to Learn From
Suggestions to Improve the Courts

Appendix
Table 1 - Demographic Profile of Respondents
Table 2 - How Groups of People Are Treated
Table 3 - Lawyers Being Civic Minded
Table 4 - Attitude Statement Ratings Among Total Respondents

Survey and report prepared by M/A/R/CŪ Research.