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NCJ Number: 64822 Find in a Library
Title: DECRIMINALIZATION AND THE NEED FOR A RATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICY
Journal: INDIAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:3-6
Author(s): N R M MENON
Corporate Author: Indian Soc of Criminology
University of Madras
India
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Indian Soc of Criminology
Madras 600005, India
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: India
Annotation: IT IS ARGUED THAT INDIA SHOULD FOLLOW THE INTERNATIONAL TREND OF DECRIMINALIZING VICTIMLESS CRIMES.
Abstract: AS A RESULT OF INCREASING CRIME RATES AND THE STRAIN THEY PUT ON THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, DECRIMINALIZATION IN THE FIELD OF PRIVATE MORALITY HAS BEEN SUGGESTED AS A MEANS OF FREEING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR ITS ESSENTIAL TASKS OF PROTECTING PERSONS AND PROPERTY. IN INDIA, THE NEW PENAL CODE AMENDMENT BILL OF 1972 RECOMMENDS THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF CERTAIN CASES OF SUICIDE AND ABORTION. HOWEVER, IF DECRIMINALIZATION WERE PURSUED AS A DELIBERATE POLICY, AN ADDITIONAL NUMBER OF OFFENSES (E.G., VAGRANCY, JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, AND PROHIBITED SEXUAL BEHAVIOR) MIGHT WARRANT DECRIMINALIZATION. OVERCRIMINALIZATION, IN FACT, CONTRIBUTES TO THE CRIME PROBLEM BY MAKING THE SUPPLY OF ILLEGAL GOODS (NARCOTICS, GAMBLING ETC.) PROFITABLE TO THE INDIVIDUAL CRIMINAL, BY LEADING TO THE ORGANIZATION OF LARGE-SCALE CRIMINAL GROUPS CATERING TO ILLEGAL DEMANDS, AND BY CAUSING PERSONS DEPENDENT ON ILLEGAL GOODS (E.G., DRUG ADDICTS) TO RESORT TO CRIME TO SUPPORT THEIR EXPENSIVE HABIT. OVERCRIMINALIZATION ALSO LEADS TO THE GROWTH OF A CRIMINAL SUBCULTURE INVOLVING HOMOSEXUALS, DRUG ADDICTS, AND PROSTITUTES, AS WELL AS FAR MORE SERIOUS OFFENDERS, DEPLETES POLICE TIME AND MANPOWER OTHERWISE SPENT ON MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES, AND ENCOURAGES BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION IN CASES OF VICTIMLESS CRIME. MANY COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE U.S.A. AND WEST GERMANY, HAVE BEGUN TO DECRIMINALIZE SOME CASES OF VICTIMLESS CRIME. OF COURSE, THE DECRIMINALIZATION PROCESS IN ONE COUNTRY CANNOT BE MECHANICALLY EXTENDED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY; HOWEVER, EVEN EXTENSIVE NATIONAL RESEARCH LEADING TO THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF PARTICULAR OFFENSES IN INDIA MIGHT IN THE LONG RUN PROVE ECONOMICAL, EFFICIENT, AND SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. SEVERAL REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Efficiency; India; Law reform; Policy; Victimless crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64822

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