Article

Legitimacy

Brian Forst

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online August 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0134
Legitimacy

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Legitimacy is the essential but ambiguous foundation of the criminal justice system: essential because the system cannot function without legitimacy and ambiguous because there is no consensus on what it means, precisely. It is a concept that applies not just to the criminal justice system and its processes, but also to political institutions and processes generally—primarily public institutions, but private ones too. Despite the central importance of legitimacy to the effective and fair functioning of the criminal justice system, the scholarly attention that has been paid to the concept has been remarkably scarce. The information and citations that follow examine the importance of legitimacy and attempt to sort out its more confusing aspects through the lenses of a variety of scholarly perspectives. In the process, information about these articles and books may help interested people to learn how legitimacy provides a foundation for policing, prosecution, adjudication, and corrections, and how each of these components of the criminal justice system in turn shape both the perceptions and realities of criminal justice legitimacy.

Article.  8129 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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