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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78801 Find in a Library
Title: Toward a Composite Index of Criminality (From Performance Measurement for Prosecution and Public Defense, P 95-106, 1981, by Joan E Jacoby - See NCJ-78800)
Author(s): S H Turner; E C Ratledge
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on the development of an objective measure of criminality that reproduces experienced prosecutors' judgments regarding the overall criminality of an offender.
Abstract: The measure focuses on the prior record of the offender and includes only variables typically found in a criminal history. Thus, the current offense, the type of defense, the offender's background, and other variables have been excluded from consideration. The result is a provisional composite index of criminality that can be applied to any criminal history so that its relative seriousness can be measured. The paper discusses the four main viewpoints held concerning the use of criminal histories in criminal justice decisionmaking processes and describes the study design in detail. Three models were used to test the index. As currently constructed, the index cannot deal with more than one conviction for the same crime. Tables and footnotes are supplied. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Criminality prediction; Evaluation; Testing and measurement
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