Using mail surveys to assess perceptions of law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys regarding parental involvement laws

Eve M. Brank, Lori A. Hoetger, Lindsey E. Wylie, Leroy B. Scott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Community sentiment is often measured by asking community members their opinions; however, individuals who enforce laws provide unique perspectives. This is especially true when laws are on the books but are not actively enforced. The current chapter details a mail survey study that examined the perspectives of prosecuting attorneys and police chiefs concerning parental involvement laws. Parental involvement laws hold parents legally accountable for the illegal behavior and status offenses of their children. Overall, prosecuting attorneys and police chiefs did not view these laws as effective yet tended to blame parents for juvenile delinquency and for difficulties in implementing parental involvement laws. Therefore, this legal professional sample did not have strong support for these laws, which may provide an explanation for why these laws are very common yet infrequently enforced. The chapter also addresses benefits and difficulties in assessing community sentiment with a limited mail survey to legal professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Community Sentiment
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages99-110
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781493918997
ISBN (Print)9781493918980
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Attorneys
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Mail surveys
  • Parental responsibility laws
  • Police chiefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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