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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164664 Find in a Library
Title: Interaction of Criminological Research and Public Policy
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:12  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1996)  Pages:349-361
Author(s): A Blumstein
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The interaction between criminological research and public policy over the past several decades is examined in terms of rehabilitation, just deserts-utilitarian, and overt politicization periods.
Abstract: In the 1960's, the dominant thinking about criminal justice policy emphasized offender rehabilitation. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice called for a medical model of rehabilitation as the primary thrust of the correctional system. The correctional system was expected to hold offenders until they were rehabilitated and then release them. Rehabilitation lent itself quite well to empirical research using randomized experiments. These experiments were undertaken to identify the most appropriate treatment modalities for individuals being rehabilitated. The rehabilitation period was effectively terminated by null-effect evaluations of various rehabilitation techniques. In the just deserts-utilitarian period, the theme of formulating sentencing policies based mainly on just deserts focused on crime seriousness and offender culpability, without much concern for the crime control effectiveness of the just deserts approach. This period was characterized by various attempts to establish determinate sentencing policies and sentencing guidelines and was fed by research estimates of deterrent and incapacitative effects of criminal justice activities. The more recent overt politicization period saw the earlier attempt to bring rational and theory-based perspectives to policy development replaced by much stronger emphasis on political concerns. Possible ways to re-establish the research-policy connection are explored, with particular attention paid to complexities inherent in developing rational criminal justice system policies. 27 references and 1 table
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Crime control policies; Crime seriousness measures; Criminal justice research; Criminal justice system policy; Determinate Sentencing; Deterrence; Just deserts theory; Political influences; Rehabilitation; Sentencing guidelines
Note: Paper prepared for the Plenary Session, Journal of Quantitative Criminology 10-Year Anniversary, Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 1995, Boston
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