The structure of public opinion on crime policy: Evidence from seven Caribbean nations

Edward Maguire, Devon Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-530
Number of pages29
JournalPunishment and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • comparative research
  • crime policy
  • progressive attitudes
  • public opinion
  • punitive attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The structure of public opinion on crime policy: Evidence from seven Caribbean nations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this