The Path to Enlightenment? Public Engagement, Public Education and the role of the Public Criminologist

Taylor, Stuart (2012). The Path to Enlightenment? Public Engagement, Public Education and the role of the Public Criminologist. In: 25th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, 27-29 Nov 2012, Auckland, New Zealand.

URL: https://anzsoc.org/events/conference-archive/

Abstract

This paper will discuss the contemporary context of ‘the public’ and their knowledge and opinions around criminal justice. It will question whether there is a need for the public to be ‘better’ educated around such issues and will consequentially consider the role of the criminologist as an active agent in this process. The paper will draw on research which measured the impact that the ‘Day of Crime’ (an educational programme of criminal justice, facilitated by academics) had on those attending. Whilst previous educational programmes have been designed and evaluated in England, these have centred on adults; this programme focuses on young people aged 12-17 and attempts to explore whether their knowledge and opinions can be manipulated. The study promotes commentary around the efficacy 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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