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NCJ Number: 99581 Find in a Library
Title: Political Context for the Changing Content of Criminal Law (From Politics of Crime and Criminal Justice, P 77-95, 1985, Erika S Fairchild and Vincent J Webb, eds. - See NCJ-99577)
Author(s): A M Heinz
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study indicates that local interest group support for improved crime control measures and local media attention to crime is important in producing criminal justice law reform at the State level.
Abstract: Data were obtained from Northwestern University's Governmental Responses to Crime project, which examined the changing dimensions of crime and the ways in which governmental agencies in the United States responded between 1948 to 1978. Trends were documented in 10 American cities selected on the basis of variations in crime rates, demography, region, and governmental spending patterns. The dependent variable, State legislative attentiveness to crime, was measured by the revisions adopted per legislative session in each State considered. One independent variable was a measure of the perceived density of group participation in the local policy process. The second independent variable estimated newspaper attentiveness to crime as measured by the proportion of front page articles devoted to crime. Data support the view that as the structure of local interest group participation changes to involve more persons, State legislatures become more attentive to the concerns of these groups. Evidence also indicates that as newspapers become more attentive to crime coverage, legislators' attention to crime issues increases. Tabular and graphic data, 9 notes, and 35 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Law reform; Media support; Political influences
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