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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70719 Find in a Library
Title: Recidivism and Special Preventive Effects
Journal: Tijdschrift voor criminologie  Volume:21  Dated:(May/June 1979)  Pages:97-110
Author(s): C van derWerff
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: The special preventive effects of criminal penalties in the Netherlands are assessed by examining recidivism rates of offenders convicted for various offenses.
Abstract: Data derive from a random sample of 1,701 individuals convicted of criminal offenses in 1966. Personal information and recidivism data are supplied by the government information service and the General Documentation Register of the Justice Department Document Service. Results indicate that after a followup period of 6 years, 41 percent of the convicted individuals have been rearrested. For the category theft with burglary the recidivism rate is 68 percent, the highest of the crimes examined; for unconditional prison sentences, the recidivism rate is 60 percent, compared to 32 percent for unconditional fines. Recidivism is far more common among men than women and is highest in the group aged 18-25, declining after age 30. The rate of recidivism for first offenders is 28 percent, as compared to 77 percent for offenders who have already been convicted more than eight times. The analysis of recidivism statistics suggests that the preventive effects of unconditional imprisonment are not greater than the preventive effects of release or conditional sentences, especially if the unconditional sentences are 14 days or less. However, imprisonment for more than a month appears to have negative effects on individuals convicted of simple theft or abuse. Of course, the greater chance of recidivism in these cases may be the cause, not the effect, of severe penalties. It can be concluded that imprisonment increases rather than decreases the chances of recidivism, and that penalties, not involving imprisonment tend to reduce chances of recidivism. However, the exact nature of the penalties' influence on recidivism remains unclear, and further comparison of similar groups which have been incarcerated or released is necessary. Notes and tables are supplied.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Corrections effectiveness; Effects of imprisonment; Incarceration; Netherlands; Recidivism
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