Curricular Unit:Code:
Public opinion and Criminal Justice1178OPJC
3UndergraduateCriminology6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Winter SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
i) To demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the field of study and to derive and/or deepen those generally associated with the degree in question, increasing it with bibliography and providing an opportunity for the development and/or application of ideas;
iii) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding of the subjects related to the CU, in a way that shows a professional approach and having skills generally demonstrated through the conception and justification of arguments for solving problems in their area of study/training;
iv) Have the ability to collect and interpret data to support judgments that include reflection on relevant issues of a social, scientific or ethical nature;
v) Be able to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to different audiences (specialized and non-specialized).
vi) To develop the necessary learning capacities to pursue further studies with a high degree of autonomy.
1.1. Searching for the concept of public opinion and attitudes: Formation of public opinion:
  1.2. Fear of crime and feelings of insecurity
1.3. Costs of victimization and fear of crime
1.4. Trust in institutions
2.1. The indirect observation
2.2. Direct observation
2.2.2. Opinion polls
3.1. The importance of public opinion in the Criminal Justice System
3.2. The measure of public opinion on the justice system: methodological issues
4th unit: PUBLIC OPINION: victims and offenders
4.1. System of criminal Justice and Victims .
4.2. Public opinion and prisons.
4.3. Pubic opinion and rehabilitation of offenders.
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
Mindful of the objectives, the syllabus is adequate to provide students with a broad and complete overview of criminological landscape and notions of public opinion attitudes and their influence in Criminal Justice. There are also discussed the various generators constraints of insecurity and the various constraints that generate public policies, and methodological issues about opinion surveys on crime and Justice.
It analyzes factors affecting victim decision to report crimes and attitudes toward prison and offenders rehabilitation.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
The evaluation will consist of practical work and a moment of written evaluation.
The classes will consist of a theoretical exposition of the subject and practical work (e.g. carrying out exercises, study, research, reading and bibliographic reflection) which must be complemented and continued in the study outside of class time.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
Teaching methodology will include theoretical lecturing, research, reading and discussion of specific references, as well as thematic debating and critical reflection. Assessment will be continuous and based on a written test, a practical essay, an oral presentation and work discussion, as well as the execution of theoretical and practical tasks in the classroom, and students’ punctuality and attendance.
Sousa, J. P. (2004). Elementos de teoria e pesquisa da comunicação e da mídia. Letras Contemporâneas.
Cavadino, M., & Dignan, J. (2007). The penal system: An introduction. Sage.
Roberts, J. (2018). Public opinion, crime, and criminal justice. Routledge.
Ditton, J., & Farrall, S. (Eds.). (2017). The fear of crime. Routledge.
Garland, D. (2002): The Culture of Control. Crime and social order in the contemporary society. Oxford University Press.
Pickett, J. T. (2019). Public opinion and criminal justice policy: Theory and research. Annual Review of Criminology, 2, 405-428.
Drakulich, K. M., & Kirk, E. M. (2016). Public Opinion and Criminal Justice Reform: Framing Matters. Criminology & Public Policy, 15(1), pp. 171-177.
Roberts, J. (2018). Public opinion, crime, and criminal justice. Routledge.
Habermas, J. (1987). Comunicação, opinião pública e poder. Comunicação e Industria Cultural. São Paulo: TA Queiroz.
Lecturer (* Responsible):
Joana Torres (
Manuela Niza Ribeiro (