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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97358 Find in a Library
Title: Crime in China - As We Saw It
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:103-110
Author(s): J P Clark; S M Clark
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two members of America's 1984 delegation to China give their perspectives on crime and social control in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), including prevalent offenses, theories of crime causes and social control held by PRC scholars and public officials, social control organizations, and crime rate predictions.
Abstract: The authors' efforts to probe the data base upon which statements about crime were made are reported, and the most common types of crime are identified. Various forms of theft and robbery were most prevalent, followed by hooliganism, homicide, bribery, embezzlement, interference with another's marriage, and negligence at work. Although the data provided no basis for testing behavioral theories of crime causation and control, Chinese officials' and scholars' opinions about these matters are discussed. Social control efforts are exerted in the neighborhood and workplace. Popular justice structures of various kinds (e.g., mediation committees, neighborhood patrols, and neighborhood committees) are both proactive and reactive in addressing situations that need correction. Attention focuses on the actions of such committees, which number about 360,000. Additionally, the committees are shown to be part of the pervasive effort to educate the people about law and the consequences of disobedience. The relative scarcity of police in neighborhoods is seen to reinforce the ideology that they are inordinately dependent on and responsive to the people. Few cases are referred to courts, but Chinese offenders are said to receive far harsher sentences than they would in the West for commensurate crimes. Recidivism is very low. Nonetheless, the delegation predicted that China's crime rate will increase; Chinese officials disagreed with the prediction. Six references are included.
Index Term(s): China; Crime causes theory; Crime control policies; Crime control theory; Crime patterns; Crime prediction; Offense classification; Social conditions
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