Millennials lack trust in American justice

February 09, 2016, 3:29 PM GMT+0

Few millennials have much trust in the police and nearly half think America's police and courts are fundamentally unjust

Since the murder of Trayvon Martin the rights and wrongs of the American justice system have become one of the main points of contention in American society. The Black Lives Matter movement, a diffuse grouping of internet and social activists committed to reforming the police in order to end the disproportionate killing of black men and women, is becoming increasingly influential. One activist, DeRayMckesson, has announced his candidacy to become mayor of Baltimore.

New research from YouGov reveals that millennials have little trust in America's justice system. Overall, there is a divide between trust in the police and the courts, with younger Americans much more likely to distrust police than their elders, while older Americans are more skeptical of courts. Among over-65s, 56% have 'a lot' of trust in the police while only 14% have a similar level of trust in the courts. For under-30s the figures are 23% and 20%, respectively. 21% of under-30s say that they have 'no trust' in the police. The only group with less trust in the police than under-30s are black Americans, 40% of whom say that they have 'no trust' in the police.

Americans are evenly split on whether the legal system is fundamentally just (39%) or unjust (36%), but among young Americans nearly half (47%) say that the justice system is fundamentally unjust. Only 24% say it is just. Among over-65s, 50% say that the system is fundamentally just.

The age divide largely disappears when it comes to their personal expectations for the justice system. 61% of under-30s and 63% of over-65s say that they are likely to receive justice if they were victim of a crime, while 56% of under-30s and 48% of over-65s think that it is common for innocent people to be convicted of crimes that they didn't commit.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.