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NCJ Number: 64148 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME POLICY IN DENMARK - HOW WE MANAGED TO REDUCE THE PRISON POPULATION
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:35-41
Author(s): H H BRYDENSHOLT
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DANISH CRIME RATES AND RECENT GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE PRISON POPULATIONS ARE ASSESSED.
Abstract: FLUCTUATIONS IN DENMARK'S CRIME RATES OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES CORRESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING MAJOR SOCIAL CHANGES: WORLD WAR II, THE RAPID SPREAD OF INDUSTRIALIZATION IN THE LATE 1950'S, THE RISE IN DRUG USE AMONG YOUTHS IN THE 1960'S, AND INCREASED UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE 1970'S. ALTHOUGH PRISON POPULATIONS REMAINED STABLE IN THE 1960'S DESPITE A GROWING CRIME RATE, THESE POPULATIONS BEGAN TO OUTGROW PRISON SPACE IN THE 1970'S. IN 1973, THE PENAL SYSTEM AIMED AT REDUCING PRISON POPULATIONS TO COUNTER THIS GROWTH. INDETERMINATE SENTENCES THAT DID NOT REDUCE RECIDIVISM WERE ELIMINATED, AND MINOR PROPERTY CRIMES WERE PUNISHED MORE LENIENTLY, WITH PROBATION IN MANY CASES OR SHORTER SENTENCES. PART OF THIS LAW REFORM WAS ADMINISTRATIVE; WITH FEWER INCARCERATIONS AND MORE PROBATION, FORMALLY SEPARATE PRISON AND PROBATION SYSTEMS HAD TO BE COMBINED UNDER ONE MANAGEMENT TO SAVE RESOURCES. PRISON POPULATIONS BEGAIN TO DROP AS A RESULT OF THIS NEW POLICY. MAINTAINING SMALLER PRISON POPULATIONS IS DEEMED FORTUNATE ON GENERAL HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS, SINCE RECENT RESEARCH INDICATES THAT PRISON IS AN INEFFECTIVE CRIME DETERRENT, AND SINCE CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY (THE MOST PREVALENT IN DANISH CRIME STATISTICS ARE NOT VIEWED AS UNFAVORABLY BY THE PUBLIC AS IN THE PAST. ALTHOUGH FURTHER EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO DECREASE PRISON POPULATIONS, THE GOAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE (CRIME REDUCTION) HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTED. CRIME REDUCTION CAN ONLY OCCUR THROUGH FAR-REACHING SOCIAL REFORM, AND SUCH OCCURRENCES AS A DECREASE IN BIRTHS ALLEVIATING UNEMPLOYMENT AND LINKAGES BETWEEN LABOR UNIONS AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Correctional planning; Correctional reform; Corrections effectiveness; Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; Denmark; Inmate Programs; Inmate statistics; Law reform
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