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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222556 
Title: Crime, Fear, and the Demand for Punishment in the United States (From International Perspectives on Punitivity, Volume 4, P 33-54, 2008, Helmut Kury and Theodore N. Ferdinand, eds. -- See NCJ-222554)
Author(s): Ashley M. Nellis; James P. Lynch
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Universitatsverlag Brockmeyer
44797 Bochum,
Sale Source: Universitatsverlag Brockmeyer
Im Haarmannsbusch 112
44797 Bochum,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: Germany (Unified)
Annotation: Using survey data and police and correctional administrative record data, this study examined the interrelationship among crime, fear, the demand for punishment, and punishment policy in the United States over the period 1972 to 2003.
Abstract: A comparison of the trend analyses for crime and for punishment policy showed a strong relationship between the two trends; however, there was no simple link between the public's demand for punishment and the development of formal punitive policies. The individual-level analyses found that personal experience with crime as well as changes in the national-level crime rates were positively related to the demand for punishment. At the same time, many demographic and ideological factors that have little to do with the risk of personal victimization also influenced a person's demand for punitiveness, such as gender, race, class, age, religion, and political party affiliation. Ideological positions were particularly related to support/nonsupport for the death penalty. The failure to find a significant effect of public demand for punishment on punishment policy could be due to the model's not allowing for the appropriate lag time between public demand for punishment and the development of specific punishment policy by legislative bodies. This study used 30 years of data from the General Social Survey, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, the Bureau of Justice Statistics National Prisoner Statistics, and the National Crime Victimization Survey. The trend analysis examined the relationship between crime, fear, public demand for punishment, and punishment policy. The individual-level analysis included data on individuals, their demand for punishment, victimization experience during the past year, and national level crime rates. The dependent variable was demand for punishment, and the independent variables were related to demographic characteristics, ideology, and victimization experience. 6 tables and 37 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Fear of crime; Incarceration; Punishment; Trend analysis; United States of America
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