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Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

People convicted of violent crimes constitute a majority of the imprisoned population but are generally ignored by existing policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration. Serious efforts to shrink the large footprint of the prison system will need to recognize this fact. This point is especially pressing at the time of this writing, as states and the federal system consider large-scale prison releases motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those convicted of violent crimes constitute a large majority of older prisoners, who are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus behind bars. Excluding them from protective measures will deeply undermine those ...


Portmanteau Ascendant: Post-Release Regulations And Sex Offender Recidivism, J. J. Prescott Jan 2016

Portmanteau Ascendant: Post-Release Regulations And Sex Offender Recidivism, J. J. Prescott

Articles

The purported purpose of sex offender post-release regulations (e.g., community notification and residency restrictions) is the reduction of sex offender recidivism. On their face, these laws seem well-designed and likely to be effective. A simple economic framework of offender behavior can be used to formalize these basic intuitions: in essence, post-release regulations either increase the probability of detection or increase the immediate cost of engaging in the prohibited activity (or both), and so should reduce the likelihood of criminal behavior. These laws aim to incapacitate people outside of prison. Yet, empirical researchers to date have found essentially no reliable ...


Proportional Response: The Need For More—And More Standardized—Veterans’ Courts, Claudia Arno Jul 2015

Proportional Response: The Need For More—And More Standardized—Veterans’ Courts, Claudia Arno

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Over the past two decades, judges and legislators in a number of states have recognized significant shortcomings in the ways traditional systems of criminal corrections address cases involving criminal offenders who are veterans of the U.S. armed services. This recognition has come at a time when policy-makers have similarly recognized that, for certain subsets of criminal offenders, “diversionary” programs may achieve better policy results than will traditional criminal punishment. In accordance with these dual recognitions, some states have implemented systems of veterans’ courts, in which certain offenders, who are also U.S. veterans, are diverted into programs that provide ...


Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, Amanda Y. Agan, J. J. Prescott Dec 2014

Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, Amanda Y. Agan, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Sex offender laws that target recidivism (e.g., community notification and residency restriction regimes) are premised—at least in part—on the idea that sex offender proximity and victimization risk are positively correlated. We examine this relationship by combining past and current address information of registered sex offenders (RSOs) with crime data from Baltimore County, Maryland, to study how crime rates vary across neighborhoods with different concentrations of resident RSOs. Contrary to the assumptions of policymakers and the public, we find that, all else equal, reported sex offense victimization risk is generally (although not uniformly) lower in neighborhoods where more ...


Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that ...


Do Sex Offender Registries Make Us Less Safe?, J. J. Prescott Jan 2012

Do Sex Offender Registries Make Us Less Safe?, J. J. Prescott

Articles

State legislatures enacted sex offender registration and notification (SORN) laws with the explicit and exclusive aim of reducing sex offender recidivism. The general idea that we ought to “regulate” released offenders — of any type — to reduce the likelihood of their returning to crime is an attractive one, at least in theory. Criminal recidivism generates significant social harm. Nevertheless, despite their now-widespread use, SORN laws became the norm without any systematic study of their consequences. Admittedly, the logic underlying these laws seems at first difficult to gainsay: if a known sex offender poses even a small risk to a potential new ...


Do Sex Offender Registration And Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?, J. J. Prescott, Jonah E. Rockoff Jan 2011

Do Sex Offender Registration And Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?, J. J. Prescott, Jonah E. Rockoff

Articles

Sex offenders have become the targets of some of the most far-reaching and novel crime legislation in the U.S. Two key innovations in recent decades have been registration and notification laws which, respectively, require that convicted sex offenders provide valid contact information to law enforcement authorities, and that information about sex offenders be made public. Using the evolution of state law during the 1990s and 2000s, we study how registration and notification affect the frequency of reported sex offenses and the incidence of such offenses across victims. We find evidence that registration reduces the frequency of sex offenses by ...


Short-Term Rehabilitation And Crim Prevention, Jon C. Mackay Apr 1969

Short-Term Rehabilitation And Crim Prevention, Jon C. Mackay

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Any program designed to reduce the rate of recidivism in the United States must be viewed as a valuable tool of crime prevention. It can be safely said that at least two-thirds of the crimes committed every year are committed by recidivists, for over the past decade approximately fifty to sixty per cent of all offenders have become repeaters. Thus the elimination of the recidivist in our society would result in a minimum reduction of thirty-three per cent in the number of crimes committed over a given period of time. The task of eliminating recidivism has been left to the ...


The Prevention Of Repeated Crime, John B. Waite Jan 1943

The Prevention Of Repeated Crime, John B. Waite

Michigan Legal Studies Series

Though this study is concerned fundamentally with the prevention of crime, it deals only with that part of the field wherein prevention of further crime is sought through treatment of known criminals. The whole field of crime prevention is, of course, much wider than that particular part. With a reasonable degree of logical distinction, it represents five major divisions of particularized interest. The first involves the question of what activities are to be considered as crimes and ought, as such; to be prevented. The second division assumes that a crime has been committed and covers the various activities by which ...