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NCJ Number: 62574 Find in a Library
Title: SHOULD SOME THEFT BE DECRIMINALIZED? - A LOOK AT THE (WEST) GERMAN EXPERIENCE
Journal: JUDGES' JOURNAL  Volume:17  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:16-19,55-56
Author(s): W L F FELSTINER; A B DREW
Corporate Author: American Bar Association
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES TWO PROPOSALS OF DECRIMINALIZATION WIDELY DISCUSSED IN GERMANY, BUT RARELY CONSIDERED IN THE UNITED STATES--SHOPLIFTING FROM SELF-SERVICE STORES AND PETTY CRIMES ON BUSINESS PREMISES.
Abstract: GERMAN DECRIMINALIZATION PROPOSALS HAVE A COMMON SOURCE--CONCERN ABOUT THE LARGE NUMBER OF UNDETECTED AND UNPROSECUTED INSTANCES OF SUCH THEFTS. IN GERMANY, THE PRIVATE RESPONSE TO CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR ON FACTORY PREMISES HAS DRAWN SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL, LEGAL, AND SCHOLARLY ATTENTION. NEWSPAPERS ALLEGED THAT MOST CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR WHICH OCCURRED ON COMPANY PREMISES WAS NOT REPORTED TO THE POLICE. INSTEAD, COMPANIES INVESTIGATED AND SANCTIONED SUCH BEHAVIOR WITHOUT GOVERNMENT PERMISSION OR ASSISTANCE. LEGAL ACADEMICS BECAME CONCERNED WITH THE IDEOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS OF COMPANY JUSTICE AND THE ATLERNATIF GROUP PROPOSED THAT SUCH CRIME BE DECRIMINALIZED AND THAT COMPANY PUNISHMENTS BE LEGALLY SANCTIONED. THUS, ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL, DECRIMINALIZING MINOR CRIME AT THE WORKPLACE IN GERMANY TURNS ON THE ISSUES OF ADEQUATE PROCESS, WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES IT DEPENDS ON THE ADEQUACY OF PRIVATE PROCESS IN THE UNORGANIZED SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY AND ON THE DIFFICULTY OF REFORMING ANY INADEQUATE PROCESS. FORMAL DECRIMINALIZATION OF SHOPLIFTING IS UNLIKELY IN WEST GERMANY, AS STORE OWNERS WISH TO RETAIN THEIR RIGHTS TO INDEMNITY AND PROSECUTION. SOME DE FACTO DECRIMINALIZATION MAY, HOWEVER, TAKE PLACE THROUGH USE OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION. IN THE UNITED STATES, DECRIMINALIZATION ISSUES WHICH WOULD BOTH DEMAND AND INCORPORATE THE NECESSARY EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF SHOPLIFTING SHOULD BE DEBATED. NOTES ARE GIVEN. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Business crime costs; Crime prevention measures; Decriminalization; Germany; Shoplifting
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62574

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