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NCJ Number: 120048 Find in a Library
Title: Unemployment, Imprisonment, and the Stability of Punishment Hypothesis: Some Results Using Cointegration and Error Correction Models
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:169-186
Author(s): C Hale
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper considers two alternative, but not necessarily competing, theories concerning the determinants of custodial receptions in England and Wales since World War II.
Abstract: A version of the "stability of punishment" hypothesis is used to illustrate the concept of cointegration and its relationship to error correction models. This theory suggests that imprisonment rates rise and fall according to exogenic factors such as prison capacity, in order to keep prison populations at a stable level. Thus, the threshold of punishable behavior is adjusted, officially or unofficially. There was no empirical evidence to support this theory. A dynamic time-series model is developed and tested, which relates imprisonment to convictions, crime, and unemployment. This model attributes imprisonment rate changes not to workload, but to judicial attitudes and ideological positions. It cites deteriorating economic conditions, the volume of recorded crime, and its amplification by mass media as reasons for more frequent use of severe sanctions. 4 tables, 50 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Sentencing/Sanctions
Index Term(s): Corrections decisionmaking; Employment-crime relationships; England; Incarceration; Judicial decisions; Wales
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