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: 161903 Find in a Library
Title: Three Strikes and You're In: A Streams and Windows Model of Incremental Policy Change
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:1  Dated:(1996)  Pages:57-70
Author(s): M A Saint-Germain; R A Calamia
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Kingdon's "streams and windows" model is used to illuminate the policymaking process resulting in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and its "three strikes" provision.
Abstract: While some use has been made of the agenda setting portions of Kingdon's model, little attention has been paid to implications of the full model for policy change. At the same time, attention is being focused on three strikes legislation as a radical departure from past crime control efforts. Kingdon views policymaking as a process of several stages, e.g., problem definition, agenda setting, alternative generation, policy adoption, and implementation. He indicates items reach the government's agenda through three possible influence streams: problematic situations, specialized policy knowledge, and political events. Kingdon argues that these streams operate quite independently of one another and that agenda and policy change when streams are joined in an opportunity called a policy window. Policy windows are not rigidly scheduled; rather, they are mainly influenced by events in the problems and politics streams. The streams and windows approach is applied to analyze punishment, sentencing, and three strikes legislation. The authors show the three strikes provision of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is really only an incremental addition to previous legislation, the 1984 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. They also demonstrate how Kingdon's model explains the process of policy change by identifying relevant actors, institutions, and political processes. 59 references
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Criminology; Decisionmaking; Federal legislation; Federal regulations; Policy analysis; Political influences; Punishment; Sentencing/Sanctions; Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act
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.