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NCJ Number: 221249 Find in a Library
Title: COUNTERBLAST: The Prison Overcrowding Crisis and Some Constructive Perspectives for Crime Policy
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:46  Issue:5  Dated:December 2007  Pages:512-519
Author(s): Friedrich Losel
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 8
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper presents a brief overview of three basic approaches that can reduce the population of prison inmates in England and Wales.
Abstract: An appropriate way of coping with the prison overcrowding crisis in England and Wales should not just reduce this problem in an isolated way, such as by increasing prison capacities or crisis-driven changes in sentencing. A more profound strategy should also contribute to an improved crime prevention policy and a reduction in criminal careers. It is estimated that an optimal implementation of the following three policies can lead to 10 percent fewer incarcerated offenders. The first policy entails the reduction of recidivism through rehabilitation programs. The second policy focuses on the reduction of inappropriate short-term incarceration. The third and last policy or approach to reduce the population of prison inmates is the reduction of criminal careers through early prevention and intervention. It is not new that incarceration rates of England and Wales are at the top of Western European countries. The increase over the last decade is also not untypical, but is part of an international trend in crime policy since the early 1990s. This was partially a reaction to increased crime rates that were related to migration, youth, drug, and other problems. Policy initiatives and sentencing practices play a much more important role and some countries followed the recent punitive trend much less than others. Tables, and references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies; England; United Kingdom (UK); Wales
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Corrections decisionmaking; Criminal justice system policy; Policy analysis; Prison overcrowding; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Sentencing reform
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