Trust of Socially Vulnerable Groups on Criminal Justice System of Pakistan

Khalil Ahmad


The present research analyzed the trust of juvenile and women prisoners in the criminal justice system of Pakistan with a focus upon the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of justice institutions for procedural and distributive fairness. Data were collected from both under-trial and convicted juvenile and women prisoners from Borstal Institute and District Jail Faisalabad respectively. Although larger proportions of the respondents recognized and accepted the authority of various justice institutions for rule of law, a significant number of respondents viewed that justice institutions protect the interests of powerful people and do not represent moral authority. Police lacked the trust of the respondents for procedural fairness in terms of respect, impartiality, and fair treatment. However, courts have been trusted for impartiality and fair treatment compared to police and other justice institutions. The logistic results indicated educational attainment, age, prison status, and income level differently influenced experiences of the prisoners towards procedural and distributive fairness of justice institutions. Younger, illiterate, and under-trial prisoners with relatively low household income levels had low perceived legitimacy of justice institutions and less trust in the criminal justice system. Low scoring on socio-economic variables seemed to be related to increased vulnerability of the prisoners, in turn, less trust in the criminal justice system.


Trust; Justice Institutions; Juveniles; Women prisoners; Perceived legitimacy.

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Journal of South Asian Studies
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