Criminal Justice Institutions

Criminal Justice Institutions in Europe

Confidence and Trust in Criminal Justice Institutions: Victims of Crimes Perspective

LaimUTE Zilinskiene, from the Vilnius University, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Victims and Victimization,” under the title “Confidence and Trust in Criminal Justice Institutions: Victims of Crimes Perspective”. Here is the abstract: Confidence in Criminal Justice institutions and trust in their representatives is one of the sorest subjects in democratic society. The purpose of CJ institutions in a democratic society is to defend and protect the interests of the public including victims of crimes, and to provide high-quality security services to the victims of crimes. Victim's non-confidence in such institutions might be an indicator signalling the lack of the functioning of criminal justice. Reporting to the police and cooperation with CJ institutions evidence is not only the fact of the commitment of a crime which must be reported to CJ institutions, but also adequate confidence in such institutions, and trust in their representatives. Many surveys have revealed low levels of confidence in CJ as compared to other social institutions. In 2011-2012, a new sociological survey was carried out under project 'Public Confidence in Criminal Justice Institutions in Lithuania and its Determinants'. The survey aimed at finding out public attitudes toward CJ institutions assesses the level of confidence in such institutions. In parallel, the survey covered such issues as victim's feeling of security, levels of fear of crimes and determinants thereof with a view to describing a mechanism how the experience of victimisation and prior contacts with CJ institutions interact with public confidence in such institutions. The survey disclosed not only the number of Lithuanian residents who have been victims of crime, but also the number of their relatives and persons in the neighbourhood who have suffered from different criminal acts. The first findings of the survey are analysed in the light of the victimisation.

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Further Reading

  • “Confidence and Trust in Criminal Justice Institutions: Victims of Crimes Perspective”, by LaimUTE Zilinskiene (Proceedings)

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