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CSD Brief No 29: Public Trust in the Criminal Justice System – an Instrument for Penal Policy Assessment
 
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The policy brief presents the results of a survey of the public trust in the police and the courts in Bulgaria, the public perceptions of the level of corruption in these institutions and the fear of crime in the Bulgarian society.

Of all the EU member states, Bulgaria is the country whose citizens are the least satisfied with the performance of the main government institutions. Trust in the main institutions concerned with criminal justice – the police and courts, is low and has remained practically unchanged over the last decade. At the end of 2010, a positive evaluation of police performance was given by less than half of the country’s adult population and barely one in five gave a favorable opinion of the courts. The low public trust in the courts and police can also be accounted for by the high level of corruption in these institutions. It is also conducive to public attitudes of insecurity and the society begins to perceive crime as an inherent part of reality rather than a problem that can actually be addressed.

A state’s penal policy can only produce results if sufficient attention is paid to trust, legitimacy, and security. It is therefore recommended to adopt a system of indicators for the assessment of public trust in criminal justice.

Public discussion: Public Trust in the Criminal Justice System – an Instrument for Penal Policy Assessment
 
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