Essay Sample on Attitude Toward People with Criminal Records: A Negative Perspective and Societal Influences

Published: 2023-10-16
Essay Sample on Attitude Toward People with Criminal Records: A Negative Perspective and Societal Influences
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal law Society Human behavior
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 593 words
5 min read


Attitude is a learned opinion that has been formed over time towards a particular group. These set of emotions can either be positive or negative and influences a person’s behavior. I am no exception as I have developed a negative attitude towards people who have faced jail term.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Related Stereotype and Prejudice

Societal forces have influenced my perception of crime. When I think about ex-offenders, what comes in mind are feelings of doubt on whether they are reformed. The society has not been quick to embrace them. Instead, they remain individuals who should pay for their crimes for the rest of their lives. It is a social norm that has permeated the culture and has now become difficult to eradicate.

Concrete examples of statements I have overheard expressing affective reactions were when an event organizer introduced an individual as an ex-convict, yet he had been nominated for a community award. His persona had been reduced to a stereotype where he is only identified for a crime he did. Fortunately, there are policies that discriminate in favor of people who are out of jail. Companies offer job opportunities after one has served their term, although it might not be as prestigious as the career they had before. The employment policies and procedures apply to everyone while giving zero attention to the criminal record.

The situational and social factors that may influence attitude towards people with a criminal record is the lack of trust in their capacity to change (Tan et al., 2016). People can be characterized by the crime hence a negative social attitude. Another factor is the moral outrage where the society is angered by atrocities, thus evoking feelings of contempt.

Theoretical Perspectives

According to self-perception theory, for people to be sure about their attitude, they have to look at their behavior. I have gotten accustomed to the behavior of isolating and distancing myself from anyone who has faced incarceration which translates to a negative attitude.

Use of Heuristics and errors in Judgement

Availability heuristic has played a significant role in influencing my attitude (Gullone, 2019). I have made judgments based on the likelihood that society is not welcoming to people released from jail. The prison of stigma has been created as the community is neither willing to forgive nor forget. Using Heuristics has led to errors in judgment since everyone wants to paint previously incarcerated people as bad. Belief perseverance has taken over society, and they refuse to admit that ex-offenders wish to build a better future for themselves.

The negative attitude towards people with a criminal record can be implicated in a professional setting where getting a job becomes a daunting task. Employers hardly hire anyone with a felony conviction. Realistic suggestions to eliminate as much bias as possible is to combat stereotyping, and give individuals a chance to prove themselves as worthy of people’s trust. Society should also allow them to integrate with everyone else hence feeling of belonging.


In conclusion, people with criminal records suffer because of preconceived notions. This has made most societies develop negative attitude towards them, which might not end anytime soon as most people are not willing to incorporate new information about returning citizens.


Gullone, B. (2019, November 15). Heuristics & Biases Simplified: Easy to Understand One-Pagers that Use Plain Language & Examples to Simplify Human Judgement and Decision-Making Concepts. Scholarly Commons.

Tan, X. X., Chu, C. M., & Tan, G. (2016). Factors Contributing towards Stigmatization of Offenders in Singapore. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 23(6), 956–969.

Cite this page

Essay Sample on Attitude Toward People with Criminal Records: A Negative Perspective and Societal Influences. (2023, Oct 16). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism