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CRIM 101 (459)


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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

CHAPTER 11 NOTESPUBLIC POLICYCRIME PREVENTIONTHE GET TOUGH APPROACHAssumes that offenders will be deterred by stiffer sentences and harsher terms of imprisonmentLittle evidence if any in support of this argumentTHE US EXPERIENCEUS has three strike rules mandatory sentencing guidelines and war on drugsUS has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the Western Worldabout five times as high as the rate in CanadaPrison population in the US has doubled over the last decade and the average length of sentences has tripled38 of the US states now have the death penaltyUS continues to have a much higher rate of violent crime than CanadaAny decline in the overall crime rate in the US has been mirrored in CanadaRATIONAL CHOICE AND DETERRENCERational choice theorists argue that wouldbe offenders weigh possible benefits of criminal activities eg excitement money status etc against possible costs ie being caught andor punishedSimilar to Classical School of Criminology Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham who felt that certainty celerity and severity of punishment would be sufficient deterrent for most rational free willed individualsHANG EM HIGHLouisiana is amongst top five in the US when it comes to executions yet still has second highest murder rate and fifth highest crime rate in the USLouisiana passed 1995 amendment authorizing death penalty in cases of child rape but recent study of preamendment and postamendment figures showed no effect on reducing number of indictments for or counts of child rape in the stateStates that do not have the death penalty actually have lower than average murder ratesOR AT LEAST LOCK EM UPARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF LENGTHIER TERMS OF IMPRISONMENTIncapacitate offender by preventing him or her from committing crimes while behind barsSpecific deterrence ie individual offender deterred from future offending by the harshness of the punishmentGeneral deterrence ie members of the general public will themselves be deterred from committing crimes when they see harsh punishment meted out to the convicted offenderBUT DOES IT WORK
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