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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84084 Find in a Library
Title: Economic Crisis and the Rising Prisoner Population in England and Wales
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:17  Dated:(Summer 1982)  Pages:20-35
Author(s): S Box; C Hale
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of the rising inmate population in England and Wales during periods of economic crisis shows an overall willingness by the judiciary to imprison an increasing proportion of persons found guilty of indictable crimes.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that both the frequency and severity of imprisonment will vary positively with the rate of unemployment when the level of crime and the numbers of persons formally available for imprisonment are controlled. Further, it is proposed that the variation between imprisonment and unemployment will be stronger when the aforementioned hypothesis is tested on male population in comparison with a female population and a younger male population in comparison with an older male population. Data were obtained on the following variables for 1949-79 and for young males for 1952-79: (1) receptions into prison under sentence, (2) average daily inmate population, (3) unemployment, (4) population, (5) numbers found guilty of indictable offenses, and (6) indictable offenses recorded by the police. The data were analyzed through multiple regression. All hypotheses were supported, suggesting support for arguments developed by a number of North American radical criminologists which maintain that the judiciary issues harsher sentences against persons deemed to be threats to social order during periods of economic crisis and higher unemployment. Alternative explanations are discussed. About 60 bibliographic listings are provided. Tabular data and mathematical equations are included.
Index Term(s): Employment-crime relationships; England; Incarceration; Radical criminology; Sentencing/Sanctions; Wales
Note: Earlier version of this paper was presented at the National Deviancy Conference in Sheffield, England, in 1980.
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