Aboriginals' primary and secondary control over and satisfaction with the Canadian justice system

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Lieb, Glynnis A.
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In Canada, no group has a more complex, negative history of involvement with the justice system than Aboriginals. The study investigated differences between the control and satisfaction perceived by Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals through the use of original questionnaires administered both during and after participant contact with the Canadian justice system. As predicted, there was a positive correlation between primary and secondary control ratings. However, Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals failed to differ in level of control and satisfaction. Participants reported higher levels of perceived secondary control than primary control for the treatment they received by staff but not the usefulness of legal services. Women reported higher levels of total perceived control than men, but only for Aboriginal women. Women reported significantly higher levels of expected than obtained outcome satisfaction. Findings suggest that people‟s experiences and misgivings about the Canadian justice system are not significantly different, regardless of ethnicity. Although people are not particularly happy with the current system, no group feels clearly more helpless than any other with regards to addressing their legal needs.
Aboriginal, justice, control, satisfaction