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NCJ Number: 43346 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN ENGLAND (FROM THE FUTURE THAT DOESN'T WORK - SOCIAL DEMOCRACY'S FAILURES IN BRITAIN, 1977 BY R EMMETT TYRRELL, JR)
Author(s): J Q WILSON
Corporate Author: Doubleday
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Doubleday
Garden City, NY 11530
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ENGLAND AND WALES ARE IN THE GRIP OF THE MOST STEEPLY RISING CRIME RATE OF THE CENTURY, WHICH IS STRETCHING POLICE AND PRISON SYSTEMS TO CAPACITY; AT THE SAME TIME, LIKELIHOOD OF PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME IS DECREASING.
Abstract: CONTRARY TO COMMON BELIEF IN THE U.S., ENGLAND HAS AN INCREASING CRIME PROBLEM. IN 1973, THERE WERE 4116 INDEX CRIMES PER 100,000 POPULATION REPORTED TO POLICE IN THE U.S. AND 2760 INDICTABLE OFFENSES PER 100,000 REPORTED IN ENGLAND AND WALES. IN LONDON'S METROPOLITAN AREA, WHICH EXCLUDES THE CITY ITSELF, THERE WERE 355,248 INDICTABLE OFFENSES IN 1973; NEW YORK CITY, WITH A SIMILAR POPULATION, REPORTED 475,855 INDEX CRIMES. FIGURES FOR SUCH CRIMES AS BURGLARIES SHOW THAT ENGLISH CRIME RATES ARE LOWER THAN THOSE IN THE U.S., BUT NOT AS MUCH LOWER AS POPULARLY SUPPOSED. AUTO THEFT RATES ARE ACTUALLY HIGHER IN ENGLAND AND WALES. THIS DRAMATIC INCREASE CANNOT BE BLAMED ON RACE, UNEMPLOYMENT, MALDISTRIBUTION OF INCOME, OR THE OTHER 'CAUSES' POPULAR IN THE U.S., NOR CAN INCREASED YOUTHFULNESS ACCOUNT FOR MUCH OF THE CHANGE. THE NUMBER OF BOYS UNDER AGE 17 INCREASED BETWEEN 1961 AND 1971 BY 8 PERCENT IN BRITAIN AND BY 9 PERCENT IN THE U.S., ALTHOUGH CRIME RATES FOR THIS GROUP TRIPLED AND QUADRUPLED. A CHANGE IN THE QUALITY OF THE FAMILY SEEMS TO BE COMMON TO THE TWO COUNTRIES. ALTHOUGH ENGLAND HAS FEW SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES, A DECLINE IS SEEN IN FAMILY CONTROL AND TEACHING. DURING THIS DECADE, THE POLICE HAVE BECOME MORE CENTRALIZED, THE NUMBER OF LOCAL DEPARTMENTS HAS BEEN CUT BY A THIRD, AND MORALE PROBLEMS ARE INCREASING. IN SPITE OF THESE PROBLEMS, HOWEVER, A PERSON COMMITTING A MAJOR CRIME STANDS A MUCH GREATER CHANCE OF BEING CAUGHT THAN IN THE U.S. AND, ONCE CAUGHT, IS FAR MORE LIKELY TO GO TO PRISON. THE EXCEPTION IS JUVENILE OFFENDERS. THE REFORM AND REHABILITATION MOVEMENT WHICH TOOK HOLD OF THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE LAST DECADE IS NOW GAINING MOMENTUM IN ENGLAND AND WALES. SINCE THE COURT SYSTEM IS STILL LOCAL AND FRAGMENTED, A SENTENCING RATE MAY BE OVER 70 PERCENT IN ONE JURISDICTION AND 12 PERCENT IN A NEIGHBORING ONE. HOWEVER, THE POPULARITY OF NONCUSTODIAL PROGRAMS IS INCREASING. DESPITE THIS DIVERSIONARY TENDENCY, PRISON POPULATIONS ARE MUSHROOMING, LARGELY DUE TO THE INCREASED CRIME REATES. IF THE HARSHER SENTENCING PRACTICES OF THE 1930S WERE STILL IN EFFECT, THE PRISON POPULATION WOULD BE EVEN LARGER THAN IT IS TODAY. THE BRITISH CRIME PROBLEM IS NOT THE FOCUS OF POLITICIANS AS IT IS IN THE U.S. ALSO, BRITAIN'S OTHER PROBLEMS MAY BE DRAINING WAY MONEY AVAILABLE FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND IMPEDING THE ABILITY OF LEADERS TO THINK ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF POLICE, COURTS, AND CORRECTIONS.
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; England; Foreign criminal justice systems; Socioculture; United States of America; Wales
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43346

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