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NCJ Number: 134249 Find in a Library
Title: Comparison of Punishment Systems in Denmark and the United States
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:15  Issue:1 and 2  Dated:(Spring/Fall 1991)  Pages:227-242
Author(s): W L Selke
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article compares crime and punishment in Denmark and Indiana, together with the concepts underlying the aims of corrections.
Abstract: Danish data were collected over a 5-month research project by the author in 1986. The major data sources were official publications by the government and research findings of leading Danish criminologists. A number of interviews were also conducted with criminal justice administrators. Comparative data on crime and punishment were obtained from the author's home State of Indiana which is approximately the same size as Denmark. Both official crime statistics and victimization data indicate that Indiana and Denmark have significant crime. Denmark has more property crime than Indiana, and Indiana has more violent crime and crimes against the person. Regarding punishment levels, Indiana uses more and longer imprisonment than does Denmark. With similar population sizes and crime rates, Indiana has nearly seven times the number of offenders in prison. The large difference in prison populations is primarily due to the much shorter prison sentences served by property offenders in Denmark. Regarding correctional philosophy, Danish corrections administrators do not believe that prisons can rehabilitate inmates. They focus instead on the humane management and housing of offenders in such a way that their self-esteem is not further damaged. Corrections research in Denmark is used mainly for planning and efficiency, rather than to determine a program's impact on crime rate or recidivism. This is because Danish criminologists and criminal justice practitioners believe the criminal justice system is but one component of a larger system of social services and institutions that must focus on social control and crime causes. 3 tables and 41 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Denmark; Foreign correctional systems; Indiana; US/foreign comparisons
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