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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150440 Find in a Library
Title: Career Offenders and Selective Incapacitation (From Criminology, P 459-477, 1991, Joseph F Sheley, ed.)
Author(s): C A Visher
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter profiles career criminals and examines the practicality and effectiveness of a policy that targets such offenders for selective incapacitation.
Abstract: The career offender is commonly a male in his 20's who violates the law weekly if not daily, has a long record of juvenile and adult crimes, commits multiple types of offenses, and consumes large quantities of illicit drugs. The problems involved in identifying high-rate offenders by using existing information in criminal justice records limits the impact of selective incapacitation strategies in reducing crime. Currently, prediction scales used to forecast future criminal activity lead to too much punishment for some offenders and too little punishment for others. Attempts at crime reduction through selective incapacitation may be obstructed for a number of other reasons. Crimes will not be prevented if the incarcerated offender is replaced by another offender recruited to take his place, especially if the offender is a drug dealer or part of an organized burglary or auto-theft network. Also, if the incarcerated offender is a member of a gang or other offending group, the group may continue to commit the same number of crimes. Even if career criminals could be accurately identified early in their careers, a policy of selective incapacitation would result in an increase in the inmate population. Building additional prisons may be unfeasible economically, socially, and politically. The author concludes that better information is needed by criminal justice officials who arrest, prosecute, and sentence habitual offenders. Only time and additional research will show whether selective incapacitation is effective in reducing crime. 2 tables
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Criminology; Habitual offenders; Selective incapacitation; Serious juvenile offenders
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