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NCJ Number: 120047 Find in a Library
Title: Dynamics of Unemployment and Imprisonment in England and Wales, 1946-1985
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:147-168
Author(s): W J Sabol
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 22
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An explanation of the dynamic relationship between unemployment and prison admissions in the English criminal justice system resulted in the clear indication that unemployment affects the British courts' use of imprisonment.
Abstract: The adoption of econometric procedures designed to test between alternative forms of dynamic equilibria, indicated that from 1946 to 1985 there was a steady growth rate in prison admissions, and that rising unemployment was an important contributing factor. Based on a behavioral model of judicial expectations, it is argued further that judges used their expectations as heuristic devices for simplifying sentencing decisions. Unanticipated changes in unemployment caused corresponding changes in sentencing patterns underscoring a need for better information. Guidelines need to be set to restrict the use of extralegal factors in the administration of justice. Findings coincide with those of other British researchers in that unemployment plays a much larger role in determining prison sentences than under Anglo-American legal traditions. 2 graphs, 3 tables, 60 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Employment-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Corrections decisionmaking; England; Incarceration; Sentencing factors; Unemployment; Wales
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