skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 136670 Find in a Library
Title: Economic Change and Penal Repression
Author(s): T Godefroy; B Laffargue
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 284
Sale Source: les Institutions Penales
Centre de Recherches
Sociologiques Sur le Droit et
4, rue de mondovi
Paris 75001,
Type: Issue Overview
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: The interrelation between unemployment and imprisonment in France is examined.
Abstract: This statistical study analyzes prison statistics, unemployment figures, statistics of recorded crime, and demographic variables during two economic recessions (1920-1938 and 1982-1985). The direct link between high unemployment and rising crime that is so commonly assumed was not found in either recession. Instead the results showed a direct influence of the labor market on the size of the prison population. Rising unemployment figures correlated with a growth in the number of inmates, although the number of recorded offenses did not rise correspondingly. To explain this phenomenon, the study argues that economic hardship increases the traditional target population of the criminal justice system: a marginal, economically insecure group of people who are the first to lose their jobs. At the same time, the criminal justice system tends to become less tolerant during recessions and chooses preventive detention and prison sentences over alternatives to prisonization. An annotated bibliography and detailed statistical charts and graphs are appended.
Main Term(s): Economic influences
Index Term(s): Economic analysis of crime; Employment-crime relationships; Foreign correctional facilities; France; Unemployment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.