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NCJ Number: 43258 Find in a Library
Title: ECONOMIC BASIS FOR THE DEFINITION AND CONTROL OF CRIME (FROM MODELING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 1977 BY S S NAGEL-SEE NCJ-43252)
Author(s): L PHILLIPS; H L VOTEY
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN EFFORT IS MADE TO DECIDE WHICH ACTIONS, BASED ON SOCIAL COST, SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED AS CRIME, AND TO DEVELOP PRACTICAL RULES FOR THE ALLOCATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESOURCES.
Abstract: SOCIETY'S GOAL IS TO MINIMIZE THE SOCIAL COST OF CRIME SUBJECT TO THE TECHNICAL CONSTRAINTS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE LIMITATIONS IMPLICIT IN THE BEHAVIORAL RELATIONSHIP OF MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY. A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO CRIME CONTROL USES A MATHEMATICAL MODEL TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF CRIME WHICH CAN BE DETERRED THROUGH CERTAINTY OF PUNISHMENT, SEVERITY OF PUNISHMENT, AND VARIOUS ETIOLOGICAL FACTORS. THIS MODEL, APPLIED TO CERTAIN FELONIES, SHOWS THAT: (1) THE DETERRENT EFFECT OF ARREST VARIES FROM -0.4 FOR ROBBERIES TO -1.5 OR -3.6 FOR MURDER, DEPENDING ON THE STUDY; (2) THE CLOSER THE EVENT IS TO THE CRIME, THE GREATER THE DETERRENT EFFECT: ARREST IS A GREATER DETERRENT THAN IMPRISONMENT, WHICH HAS A -0.2 TO -0.3 CORRELATION TO DETERRENCE; (3) CERTAIN CLASSES OF BEHAVIOR MAY BE UNCONTROLLABLE BECAUSE THE BENEFITS TO THE INDIVIDUAL OUTWEIGH THE COSTS OF SOCIAL CONTROL. THIS THIRD CATEGORY IS MADE UP OF TWO SUBCATEGORIES, CRIMES WHICH EXACT A GREAT TOLL ON THE INDIVIDUAL ENGAGING IN THEM, SUCH AS DRUG ADDICTION, AND CRIMES WHICH HAVE HIGH INDIVIDUAL BENEFIT, SUCH AS BLACK MARKET ACTIVITY, CRIMES WITH HIGH INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS COST A GREAT DEAL TO CONTROL AND SUCH CONTROL MAY MERELY DRIVE THE ACTIVITY UNDERGROUND; AN EXAMPLE IS GAMBLING. ON THIS SCALE, STREET CRIME IS HIGHLY CONTROLLABLE; USE OF MARIJUANA, TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, OR NUDE BATHING ARE HIGHLY CONTROLLABLE IN PUBLIC BUT NOT IN PRIVATE; AND DRUNKEN DRIVING, PROSTITUTION, HEROIN USE, AND PORNOGRAPHY ARE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL. THIS IS NOT TO CRITICIZE POLICE FOR SPENDING TIME ON PUBLIC DRUNKNESS, GAMBLING, AND PROSTITUION. THOSE WHO OPPOSE SUCH ACTIVITIES ARE A HIGHLY VOCAL GROUP AND BY DRIVING SUCH BEHAVIOR UNDERGROUND THIS GROUP IS MOLLIFIED. HOWEVER, WHEN DISCUSSING CRIME, TRUE SOCIAL COST MUST BE KEPT IN MIND.
Index Term(s): Allocution; Crime control model; Crime Control Programs; Crime costs; Deterrence; Mathematical modeling; Research
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