The South African Social Attitudes Survey: trust in the criminal justice system in South Africa: tabulation report based on the 2012 round of the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS)

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

This report is one of the outputs associated with a Open Society Foundation South Africa (OSF-SA) sponsored study entitled 'An Investigation into South African Citizens' Trust in the Criminal Justice System'. For the survey component of study, a module of questions was developed and fielded in the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), which has been administered by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) since 2003. SASAS is a nationally representative sample survey of approximately adults aged 16 and older that investigates public's attitudes, beliefs, behaviour patterns and values in the country. The long term aim of this survey programme is to construct an empirical evidence base that will enable analysts to track and explain the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of the country's diverse populations. In the 2010 and 2011 rounds of the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), the decision was made to include a subset of questions from the cross-national module on trust in the criminal justice system fielded as a rotating module in the fifth round of the European Social Survey (ESS). The ESS is a biennial survey of social attitudes and behaviour which has been carried out in up to 34 European countries since 2001. The Trust in Justice module consisted of 45 questions with the principal objectives of (i) assessing national levels of trust in justice and the legitimacy of legal authorities across Europe, and (ii) testing individual-level psychological models that link trust to legitimacy to compliance / cooperation. The ESS module has aimed to advance the science of measuring public confidence in the justice system by: offering a coherent conceptual framework within which to think about trust in justice and the legitimacy of legal authorities; providing a set of indicators for monitoring trust in justice and the legitimacy of legal authorities and a set of contextual indicators within which to interpret trends in trust and legitimacy; permitting comparison between countries in trust in justice and the legitimacy of legal authorities, using standardised and agreed measures; and, permitting the testing of two models of public compliance with the law and cooperation with legal authorities. This tabulation report provides frequencies of all the closed questions asked in the confidence in the criminal justice module as well as cross tabulations of all the questions by age group, sex, population group, educational attainment, living standard measure, province and geographic subtype.