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Lecture 10

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

Crim 101 Lecture 10 April 11 , 2013 1 PUBLIC POLICY & CRIME PREVENTION THE “GET THROUGH” APPROACH  Assumes that offenders will be deterred by stiffer sentences and harsher terms of imprisonment THE US EXPERIENCE  US has three strikes rules, mandatory sentencing guidelines and war on drugs  Us has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the Western world—about 5 time the rate in Canada  Prison pop. In the US has doubled over the past decade and the average length of sentences has tripled  38 of the US states has death penalty  US continues to have a much higher rate of violent crime than Canada  Any decline in the overall crime rate in the US has been mirrored in Canada RATIONAL CHOICE AND DETERRENCE  Rational choice theorists argue that would-be offenders weigh possible benefits of criminal activities  Similar to Classical School of Criminology (Cesare Becarria and Jeremy Bentham) HANG „EM HIGH  Louisiana is amongst top five in US when it comes to executions, yet still has second highest murder rate and fifth highest crime in the US  Louisiana passed 1995 amendment authorizing death penalty in cases of child rape, but recent study of pre-amendment and post-amendment figures showed no effect on reducing numbers of indictments for (or counts of) child rape in the state  States that do not have the death penalty have lower than average murder rates OR AT LEAST LOCK „EM UP ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF LENGTHIER TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT:  Incapacitate offender (by preventing him or her from committing crimes while behind bars)  Specific deterrence (i.e., individual offender deterred from future offending 2 Crim 101 Lecture 10 April 11 , 2013 by the harshness of the punishment)  general deterrence (i.e., members of the general public will themselves be deterred from committing crimes when they see harsh punishment meted out to the convicted offenders BUT DOES IT WORK?  Many chronic, serious offenders are substance abusers Criminological theorists (e.g., Felson, Gottfredson & Hirschi) CUTTING RECIDIVISM  Study of 400 young offenders in Vancouver, serving mean sentences of 100-168 days  Previously served average of 33 months on probation  Recidivism rate still 81% within 12 months of their release BOOT CAMPS  Based on military model, with early wake-ups, rigorous schedules, drills and physical training and orders from correctional staff that must be followed  Thought that these activities reduce impulsivity and increase positive attitudes towards society PUTTING THE BOOTS TO BOOT CAMPS  Virtually all research into effectiveness of boot camps has been disappointing
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