skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 42634 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMES WITHOUT VICTIMS
Journal: CASE AND COMMENT  Volume:77  Issue:4  Dated:(JULY/AUGUST 1972)  Pages:9-15
Author(s): A B SMITH; H POLLACK
Corporate Author: Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Co
Rochester, NY 14603
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ARGUING THAT THE CURRENT VICTIMLESS CRIME LAWS ARE DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE, CONSUME AN EXCESSIVE PROPORTION OF POLICE RESOURCES, AND ARE A MAJOR CRIME CAUSE IN THEMSELVES, THE AUTHORS CALL FOR REPEAL OF THESE LAWS.
Abstract: THE PENAL CODE PROHIBITS TWO KINDS OF ACTS: THOSE WHICH ARE INHERENTLY UNDESIRABLE, SUCH AS MURDER OR ROBBERY, AND THOSE WHICH SOCIETY FINDS UNACCEPTABLE, SUCH AS DRUG ABUSE OR MORAL OFFENSES. THUS, THE LAWS REFLECT SOCIETY'S VIEWS OF APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR. THESE VIEWS ARE RAPIDLY CHANGING, HOWEVER. MANY BEHAVIORS ONCE CONSIDERED TO BE UNACCEPTABLE (AND PROHIBITED BY LAW) ARE NOW PART OF THE NORMAL BEHAVIOR OF LARGE SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY. THIS MAY BE THE CASE WITH MANY OF THE 'VICTIMLESS CRIMES', THE AUTHORS STATE. LAWS AGAINST SUCH BEHAVIORS AS PROSTITUTION, GAMBLING, DRUG USE, OR POSSESSION OF PORNOGRAPHY MAY NOW DISTRACT LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL AND THE COURTS FROM DEALING WITH OTHER, MORE SERIOUS CRIMES. THE AUTHORS OBSERVE THAT ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS MAY ALSO LEAD TO INCREASED CRIME BY FOSTERING CORRUPTION AND THEFT TO OBTAIN DRUGS UNAVAILABLE THROUGH LEGAL MEANS. IN ADDITION, GAMBLING AND DRUG LAWS HAVE CREATED A SITUATION IN WHICH ORGANIZED CRIME HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO SATISFY CONSUMER DEMAND FOR THESE ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. FINALLY, THE AUTHORS ARGUE THAT THE LAWS ARE DANGEROUS TO CIVIL LIBERTIES, SINCE IT IS DIFFICULT TO BUILD A CASE WHERE THERE IS NO REAL VICTIM AND POLICE MUST OFTEN RESORT TO QUESTIONABLE SEARCHES OR ACTIVITIES....DMC
Index Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Drug abuse; Gambling; Law reform; Police corruption; Prostitution; Victimless crimes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=42634

*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.