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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The current instrumental approach of legal authority focuses on the power of legal authorities and institutions to shape behavior by threatening to deliver negative sanctions for rule breaking. This article discusses public attitudes and considers how these views have led to an instrumental approach to motivating lawful behavior, as this strategy is costly and results in negative side effects. Following this, the article explores the alternatives that are possible. In this regard, it points to a series of findings that suggest the importance of focusing on values, an approach which has the goal of enhancing self-regulation. Finally, it states that policy changes related to rehabilitation face more resistance from the public and discusses the nature of the public opinion that policy makers must confront when seeking to make policy changes.

Keywords: legal socialization, delinquency, legal authority, self-regulation, policy changes, rehabilitation

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