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NCJ Number: NCJ 165702     Find in a Library
Title: Two Views on Imprisonment Policies: Lethal Violence and the Overreach of American Imprisonment and Supply Side Imprisonment Policy
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): F E Zimring ; M K Block
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 30
  Series: NIJ Research Report
  Annotation: These two papers present empirical findings and contrasting opinions regarding the advantages of current sentencing and imprisonment policies.
Abstract: The paper by Zimring and his collaborator Hawkins argues that the serious problem in the United States is lethal violence rather than crime, that life-threatening violence should be a special priority for criminal sanctions, and that prison should be reserved mainly for these most serious threats. The discussion notes that rates of theft and burglary are similar for the United States and other developed countries, whereas the United States has far higher rates of offenses that jeopardize life. The analysis concludes that policies that have broadened the range of offenses punished by imprisonment have shifted the focus of corrections policies away from their appropriate priority. The paper by Block argues that imposing noticeable prison sentences helps control crime. It describes experimental research that concluded an increase in the likelihood that the penalty will be imposed is a much stronger deterrent that is an increase in the severity of the penalty. It also presents a cost-benefit analysis to support the conclusion that excessive levels of crime and imprisonment result from an insufficiently harsh sentencing and imprisonment for essentially all convictions for violent crimes is likely to be cost justified and may actually reduce the prison population. Figures, tables, notes, appended list of data sources and estimates, and lists of 14 references and 26 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Incarceration and Imprisonment ; Alternatives to institutionalization ; Convicted offender incapacitation ; Deterrence effectiveness ; Sentence effectiveness
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
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Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: National Institute of Justice Research Report; Presentations from the 1996 Annual Research and Evaluation Conference, Washington, DC
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