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NCJ Number: 69407 Find in a Library
Title: REAL CRIME PROBLEM IN AMERICA AND SENTENCING (FROM NEW DIRECTIONS IN SENTENCING, P 242-259, 1980, BY BRIAN A GROSMAN - SEE NCJ-71049)
Author(s): J C BALL
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth
Scarborough, Ontario M1P 451, Canada
Sale Source: Butterworth
2265 Midland Avenue
Scarborough, Ontario M1P 451,
Canada
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: INTERVIEW DATA WERE OBTAINED FROM 243 BALTIMORE OPIUM ADDICTS TO DELINEATE THE ROLE PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS PLAY IN THE U.S. CRIME PROBLEM THROUGH THE USE OF A NEW MEASURE OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR: CRIME DAYS PER YEAR AT RISK.
Abstract: EACH OF THE 243 MALE ADDICTS WAS INTERVIEWED DURING 1970 OR 1974 BY SPECIALLY TRAINED INTERVIEWERS WHO WERE FAMILIAR WITH THE BALITMORE ADDICT SUBCULTURE. THE INTERVIEWS LASTED ABOUT 3 HOURS, AND THE QUESTIONS WERE FOCUSED ON SIX TOPICS: DRUG USE, CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, WORK, LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, DRUG SELLING, AND SOURCES OF INCOME. THE AVERAGE LENGTH OF AN ADDICTION PERIOD WAS FOUND TO BE 2 YEARS, ALTHOUGH LONGER PERIODS WERE COMMON. EACH SUBJECT WAS ASKED ABOUT THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF CRIMES HE COMMITTED ON A DAILY, WEEKLY, OR MONTHLY BASIS FOR EACH ADDICTION OR ABSTINENT PERIOD. THESE RESPONSES PROVIDED THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF CRIME-DAYS, THE PRINCIPAL TYPE OF CRIME, AND CRIMINAL CAREER PATTERN FOR EACH SUBJECT. RESULTS SHOWED THAT THE MOST FREQUENT ADDICTION-CRIME STATUS FOR THE ENTIRE SAMPLE WAS THAT OF BEING ADDICTED AND COMMITTING CRIMES ON A DAILY BASIS; THIS OCCURRED DURING 41.7 PERCENT OF THE RISK PERIOD. NEXT MOST COMMON WAS BEING OFF REGULAR OPIATES AND NOT COMMITTING DAILY CRIMES; THIS OCCURRED FOR 34.5 PERCENT OF THE RISK PERIOD. A COMPUTATION OF CRIME-DAY FOR EACH ADDICT FOR EACH YEAR AT RISK INDICATES THAT THE MEAN NUMBER OF CRIME-DAYS PER YEAR AT RISK FOR THE SAMPLE WAS 178.5. THUS, THE BALTIMORE ADDICTS WERE COMMITTING CRIME ON A DAILY BASIS DURING 45.6 PERCENT OF THEIR YEARS AT RISK. ALSO, THE RATE OF CRIMINALITY WAS SIX TIMES GREATER WHEN SUBJECTS WERE IN ADDICTION STATUS THAN WHEN THEY WERE ABSTINENT. BECAUSE THESE PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS ARE SELDOM ARRESTED, BOTH THE PUBLIC AND THE COURTS ARE UNAWARE OF THE EXTENT AND PERSISTENCE OF THEIR CRIMINALITY. THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS FAILING TO COPE WITH A MAJOR CRIME PROBLEM BECAUSE IT VIEWS CRIME AS A UNIQUE EVENT AND NOT AN ONGOING REPETIVE PROCESS, IS PREOCCUPIED WITH PROCEDURES, AND IS HAMPERED BY THE LACK OF A VIABLE FEDERAL POLICY FOR DEALING WITH PROFESSIONAL CRIME. EIGHT NOTES, FIGURES, AND TABLES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Crime seriousness measures; Frequency distribution; Habitual offenders; Professional criminals; Recidivists; Sentencing/Sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69407

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