In opinion polls, most people admit they know very little about the youth justice system.
However, that doesn’t seem to stop them having strong and often inaccurate views about, for example, the level of youth crime.
Why is this?
One reason may be linked to the fact that people get their information about crime from the news media, often newspapers.
We look at the ways in which the media comment on youth crime and how this might affect public opinion.
Some academics argue that the media and public opinion are very negative towards young people, far more so than in some other countries.
Is this the case and why might this be?