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NCJ Number: 62776 Find in a Library
Title: BASIC STATISTICS (FROM LIFE-SENTENCE PRISONERS, 1979, BY D SMITH - SEE NCJ-62775)
Author(s): C BROWN
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LIFE-SENTENCE PRISON POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES ARE PRESENTED; BASIC DESCRIPTIVE DATA AS COMPILED BY THE HOME OFFICE STATISTICAL DEPARTMENT ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: BEFORE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE HOMICIDE ACT OF 1957, MOST PEOPLE SERVING PRISON FOR AN INDEFINITE TERM HAD BEEN SENTENCED TO DEATH BUT HAD THEIR SENTENCES SUBSEQUENTLY COMMUTED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT. SINCE 1957, THE DEATH SENTENCE WAS IMPOSED INFREQUENTLY AND WAS TOTALLY ABOLISHED IN 1969. CONSEQUENTLY, THE NUMBER OF LIFE-SENTENCE INMATES (LIFERS) RECEIVED INTO PRISONS INCREASED MORE THAN THREEFOLD SINCE 1957. THERE HAS BEEN A MARKED INCREASE IN THE USE OF LIFE SENTENCES FOR OFFENSES OTHER THAN HOMICIDE, PARTICULARLY FOR THE OFFENSES OF WOUNDING AND RAPE. THE AVERAGE PERIOD OF DETENTION OF 1977 RELEASES AFTER THE LIFE SENTENCE IS IMPOSED IS 9 YEARS, 8 MONTHS. MANY LIFERS REMAINS FOR LONGER PERIODS. THE COMBINATION OF THE INCREASING NUMBER OF RECEPTIONS OF PRISONERS WITH LIFE SENTENCES AND THE LONG TIME THAT MOST OF THEM SPEND IN CUSTODY HAS RESULTED IN A CONSIDERABLE INCREASE IN THE TOTAL PRISON POPULATION OF LIFERS IN ENGLAND AND WALES. THIS FACT PRESENTS SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN ADDITION TO THOSE OF OVERCROWDING BECAUSE LIFERS COMMITTED A DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGHER NUMBER OF VIOLENT OFFENSES. THE EMPHASIS ON LONG INCARCERATION AND HIGH SECURITY HAS LED TO THE CONCENTRATION OF THE LARGE MAJORITY OF LIFERS INTO A LIMITED NUMBER OF ESTBLISHMENTS. EVEN AFTER RELEASE FROM CUSTODY, A LIFER IS NOT TOTALLY FREE. HE IS RELEASED ON LICENSE AND MAY BE RECALLED TO PRISON ANY TIME DURING THE REMAINDER OF HIS LIFE SHOULD HIS CONDUCT MAKE THIS RECALL NECESSARY. INTERESTINGLY, PEOPLE GIVEN LIFE SENTENCES FOR NONHOMICIDE OFFENSES ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE RECALLED THAN THOSE SENTENCED FOR HOMICIDE OFFENSES. TABULAR STATISTICAL DATA AND A FOOTNOTE ARE INCLUDED IN THE CHAPTER. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); England; Homicide; Inmate statistics; Life sentences; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62776

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