ATCLSAttitudes Toward the Criminal Legal System Scale
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In light of the overwhelming evidence of the racial injustice sustained and perpetrated by the criminal legal system that Alexander (2012) has presented to her readers, we interpret lower scores on the ATCLS and less positive attitudes toward the criminal legal system to be supportive of human rights and social justice that focus on awareness of cultural structures and mechanisms of oppression as mentioned earlier.
Internal consistency was adequate for all three scales to measure dependent variables with the Cronbach's alpha of .886 at both pre-test and post-test on ATCLS; .688 and .735 on the pre-test and post-test, respectively, on the ATW; and .869 and .854 on the pre-test and post-test, respectively, on the ATB.
Dependent t-tests (see Table 2) indicated a significant decline in positive attitude toward the criminal legal system (ATCLS) and a significant decline in positive attitude toward Whites (ATW) at posttest with a moderate effect size (see Table 2); however, there was no change in students' positive regard for Blacks (ATB).
The change in ATCLS, ATW, and ATB scores from pre-test to post-test were normally distributed with skews ranging from -0.195 to -0.531, and the change in ATCLS scores was directly associated with change in ATW scores, r = .201, p = .036, and indirectly associated with change in ATB scores, r = -.192, p = .037.
Only degree level was significant for the change in ATCLS scores, [phi] = .710, p = .036, with 91.2% of MSW students reporting a decline in positive regard toward the criminal legal system.
Regression of change in scores on the ATB, ATW, and degree program (BSW = 0; MSW = 1) explained 20.8% of the variance in change on ATCLS score (see Table 3), indicating graduate school and a more positive attitude toward Blacks explained the decline in positive regard for the criminal legal system.