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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161630 Find in a Library
Title: Normative Theory of the Relationship Between Crime Rates and Imprisonment Rates: An Analysis of the Penal Behavior of U.S. States From 1972 to 1992
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:special issue (February 1996)  Pages:109-125
Author(s): M Ouimet; P Tremblay
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this study, the authors regressed State imprisonment rates on three crime rates (homicide, robbery, and burglary) at three points in time (1972, 1982, and 1992) to investigate the relationship between crime and imprisonment rates.
Abstract: The indicator of State punishment levels was the imprisonment rate per 100,000 population of sentenced prisoners in State and Federal institutions. The most central dimension of the analysis was punitiveness. A State was defined as more or less punitive if its imprisonment rate was higher or lower than expected given its crime rates. Findings revealed that States experiencing higher crime rates had higher imprisonment rates during all time periods. In addition, a basic pattern governing imprisonment trends was determined by relative punitiveness scores. States found to be overpunitive, given their crime rates, tended to increase their imprisonment rate at a lower rate than other States. Conversely, States found to be underpunitive tended to increase their imprisonment rate in subsequent years at a faster pace than other States. The authors suggest that States do not attempt to directly adjust imprisonment-crime rates but worry instead about whether they can be blamed for being more or less punitive than other States. Data on imprisonment rates and punitiveness are tabulated in an appendix. 35 references, 4 notes, 2 tables, and 3 figures
Main Term(s): Corrections statistics
Index Term(s): Burglary; Corrections research; Crime Rate; Crime surveys; Homicide; Incarceration; Robbery; State-by-state analyses
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