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NCJ Number: 164763 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Punishment in the United States Over 20 Years: A Failure of Deterrence and Incapacitation? (From Integrating Crime Prevention Strategies: Propensity and Opportunity, P 123-140, 1995, Per-Olof H Wikstrom, Ronald V. Clarke, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-164757)
Author(s): A Blumstein
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Council for Crime Prevention
S-113 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Sale Source: National Council for Crime Prevention
P.O. Box 1386
S-113 21 Stockholm,
Sweden
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: Analysis of crime trends in the United States over the past 20 years reveals a complex interaction between crime and punishment, and the dilemma posed by these trends should encourage further development of crime control theory in light of empirical realities.
Abstract: Crime rates in the United States have fluctuated over the past 20 years but have done so around a fairly stable mean. The stability in crime rates is at marked variance with the general public view that the crime problem is becoming more serious and is also in sharp contrast to recent incarceration trends. The key issue is why crime rates have remained stable in the face of dramatic increases in the incarceration rate. Four possible explanations are offered to address this issue: (1) crime rates would have increased significantly were it not for the growth in incarceration; (2) the impact of incapacitation is diminished because the additional people who have been incarcerated (primarily drug offenders) would not have contributed significantly to crime rates if they were on the outside; (3) incarceration has criminogenic influences; and (4) incarceration has diminished deterrent effects. A simple model that incorporates opportunity and individual choice in crime commission is described in an appendix. 15 references, 16 notes, and 5 figures
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Crime analysis; Crime control theory; Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Deterrence effectiveness; Incarceration; National crime statistics; Punishment; Trend analysis; United States of America
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