The ‘Day of Crime’ programme: Lessons in public education and public criminology from the UK?

Taylor, Stuart (2013). The ‘Day of Crime’ programme: Lessons in public education and public criminology from the UK? In: European Society of Criminology Conference, 4-7 Sep 2013, Budapest.

Abstract

This paper draws together four key strands of interrelated contemporary criminological discourse; public attitudes, public engagement, public education and public criminology. It is inspired by recent attempts to (re)engage the British public with ‘their’ criminal justice system and the use of public education as an integral part of this interaction. It is also, however, motivated by a desire to further assess the role of the public criminologist as an active agent in this educative process.

The paper will draw on the preliminary findings of a small scale research study attempting to measure the impact that the ‘Day of Crime’ (an interactive educational programme of criminology and criminal justice designed and facilitated by academics) has on those who attend. Whilst previous educational programmes have been implemented and evaluated in Britain, these have all centred on adults; this programme focuses on young people aged 12-17 and attempts to explore whether their knowledge and opinions can be influenced / manipulated.

The study promotes commentary around the efficacy, value and ethical implications of such educational enterprises whilst also enabling the more imposing question of what role criminologists can, could or should play within such engagement activities to be further considered.

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