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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76863 Find in a Library
Title: Violent Crime in Alberta - Sentencing Strategies and Violent Crime
Author(s): J Hackler; L Gauld
Corporate Author: University of Alberta
Population Research Lab
Centre for Criminological Research
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Alberta Legislative Assembly
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6, Canada
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1, Canada
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This second paper in the Canadian study of violent crime summarizes some of the research that supports arguments on behalf of more severe sentencing. These ideas are then assessed by comparing results of the Dangerous Offender Project of Columbus, Ohio, to those of Canadian studies in order to provide insights for Alberta.
Abstract: Recent research into sentencing strategies by the Shinnars, Wilson, Van den Haag, and Ehrlich all assume that harsher sentencing will prevent more crime than is actually cleared by arrests. Evidence gathered by the Dangerous Offender Project in Columbus, testing the effectiveness of 18 different sentencing policies, suggests that such an assumption is in error. Using computer techniques, the study applied the 18 policies to all those offenders charged with violent crimes in 1973. The most severe policy would have led to a reduction of 6 percent of the violent crime in 1973 but would have required 5 year sentences for those convicted of serious nonviolent crimes and for first offenders as well. A look at homicide cases in Canada supports the project's evidence. A 5 to 10 percent reduction in crime might be achievable through incarceration, but it would require massive imprisonment of many who have never or will ever commit a violent crime. There is also the possibility that harsh sentences, especially when mandatory, decrease the likelihood of a conviction. Sentencing policies which would increase the certainty of apprehension and conviction may have a greater deterrent effect than those that would increase the severity of sentences. Footnotes, tabular data, and 21 references accompany the text. For related documents, see NCJ 76862 and 76864-5. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Alberta; Canada; Comparative analysis; Deterrence; Deterrence effectiveness; Ohio; Sentencing/Sanctions; Violent crimes; Violent offenders
Note: Paper number 2 of the Violent Crime Study
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