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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84121 Find in a Library
Title: Delphi Assessment of the Effects of a Declining Economy on Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:46  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1982)  Pages:36-40
Author(s): K N Wright
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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: United States of America
Annotation: This Delphi assessment of the effects of a declining economy on crime and the criminal justice system shows that certain types of crime will increase, although an uncontrolled outbreak of crime is not predicted; specific economic factors are primary producers of fluctuations in the incidence of crime.
Abstract: The Delphi technique is a systematic procedure for soliciting and organizing 'expert' forecasts about the future through the use of anonymous, iterative responses to a series of questionnaires and controlled feedback of group opinions. In this study, 20 experts in the fields of economics, criminal justice, and criminology were used. Results indicate that the economic situation should worsen during the 1980's, with significant unemployment, losses in individual buying power, low economic growth, high inflation, and recession. Crimes against persons should not significantly increase, since this category of offenses is not greatly influenced by economic fluctuations. High increases in corporate crimes, such as tax evasion and violations of safety regulations, should be expected in the 1980's. Moderately high increases in various property crimes, including burglary, robbery, petty larceny, arson, forgery, embezzlement, employee theft, and price fixing, should be expected. Unemployment, the loss of buying power, and inflation will be the primary direct causes of the increases in property crimes. The criminal justice system is currently limited in its ability to affect crime control, and economic adversity may further reduce service delivery. Public defender, probation, and parole officers are most likely to bear the brunt of any significant resource cuts. Eleven footnotes are listed. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Economic influences; Estimated crime incidence; Future trends
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