Public Attitudes and Sentencing Policies Across the World
- John Van Kesteren
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Many Western countries have experienced a boom in prisoners rates, characterised as “carceral hyperinflation” or “new punitiveness”. Politicians and opinion makers assume that this reflects the demand of the public for more severe sentencing. This article analyses data on the attitudes of the population towards punishment from over thirty different countries taken from the International Crime Victim Surveys of 2004/2005. First, some key findings on punitivity are presented showing that in many countries the public prefers non-custodial sentences for recidivist buglars. Next, results are presented from a multi-level analysis of the correlates of punitiveness at both the individual and country level. This multi level analysis shows that individual characteristics explain very little variance in country differences in punitiveness. On country level, the level of common crime and the Gini coefficient, a measure for income differences in the country, have significant explanatory power. The often mentioned tougher attitude towards sentencing in the English speaking/common law countries is fully explained by this. Finally, the relation between the publics attitude towards sentencing and a measure of actual sentencing severity showed a weak and inverse relationship at country level.
- Besserer, S. (2001). Attitudes toward sentencing in nine industrialized countries. In N. P. (Ed.), Crime Victimization in Comparative Perspective. Results from the International Crime Victims Survey, 1989–2000. The Hague: Boom Legal Publishers.
- Boers, K., & Sessar, K. (1988). Do people really want punishment? On the relationship between acceptance of restitution, needs for punishment, and fear of crime. In K. e. K. Sessar, H. (Ed.), Developments in crime and crime control research. German studies on victims, offenders, and the public. New York: Springer.
- Buikhuisen, W., Dijk, J. J. M. (1975) Verbaliseringsbeleid Misdrijven. WODC, Den Haag
- CBS (2008). Kerncijfers, veiligheid en recht.
- Costelloe, M. T., Chiricos, T. B., J., & Gertz, M. M.-K., D. (2002). The social correlates of punitiveness toward criminals: a comparison of the Czech Republic and Florida. Justice System Journal, 1, (2002).
- Doob, A. N., Webster, C. M. (2006) Countering punitiveness: understanding stability in Canada’s imprisonment rate law & society. Law & Society Review 40: pp. 325-368 CrossRef
- Farrington, D. P., Langan, P. A., Tonry, M. (2004) Cross-National Studies in Crime and Justice (Vol. NCJ 200988). Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC
- Garland, D. (2001) The culture of control. Crime and social order in contemporary societies. Oxford U.P, Oxford
- Haen-Marshall, I. Operation of the Criminal Justice system. In: Kangaspunta, K., Joutsen, M., Ollus, N. eds. (1998) Crime and Criminal Justice Systems in Europe and North America, 1990–1994 (Publication Series No. 32). HEUNI, Helsinki
- Killias, M. (1989) La Suisses Face au Crime. Verlag Rüegger, Grüss
- Kuhn, H. Attitudes towards punishment. In: Alvazzi del Frate, A., Zvekic, U., Dijk, J. J. M. eds. (1993) Understanding Crime. Experiences of Crime and Crime Control. UNICRI, Rome
- Kury, H., Dörmann, U., Richter, H., Würger, M. (1992) Opfererfahrungen und Meinungen zur Inneren Sicherheit in Deutschland. Bundeskriminalamt, Wiesbaden
- Kury, H., Obergfell-Fuchs, J., Smartt, U. The evolution of public attitudes to punishment in Western and Eastern Europe. In: Roberts, J. V., Hough, M. eds. (2002) Changing Attitudes to Punishment, Public opinion, Crime and Justice. Willan Publishing, Devon
- Kühnrich, B., & Kania, H. (2005). Attitudes towards punishment in the European Union. Results from the 2005 European Crime Survey (ECSS) with focus on Germany. Brussels: Gallup-Europe.
- Mayhew, P., Dijk, J. J. M. (1997) Criminal Victimisation in eleven Industrialised Countries. Key findings from the 1996 International Crime Victims Survey (Vol. 196). WODC, The Hague
- Mayhew, P., Kesteren, J. N. Cross-national attitudes to punishment. In: Roberts, J. V., Hough, M. eds. (2002) Changing Attitudes to Punishment, Public opinion, Crime and Justice. Willan Publishing, Devon
- Pratt, J. D., Brown, M., Hallsworth, S., Morrison, M. E. (2005) The New Punitiveness: Trends, Theories, Perspectives. Willan Publishing, Cullompton
- Roberts, J. V., & Hough, M. (Eds.). (2002). Changing Attitudes to Punishment, Public opinion, Crime and Justice. Devon: Willan Publishing.
- Sessar, K. (1992) Wiedergutmachen oder strafen. Einstellungen in der Bevölkerung und der Justiz. Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler
- Sung, H. E. (2006). Democracy and criminal justice in cross-national perspective: From crime control to due process. The Annals of th American Academy of Political and Social Science. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Van der Kooij, A. J., Neufeglise, P., & Meulmann, J. J. (2001). CATREG, categorical multiple regression with optimal scaling (revised and updated version). Chicago: SPSS Inc.
- Dijk, J. J. M. (2008) The World of Crime. Breaking the silence on problems of security, justice and development across the world. Sage Publications, Los Angeles
- Van Dijk, J. J. M., & Mayhew, P. (1992). Criminal victimization in the Industrialized World: Key findings of the 1989 and 1992 International Crime Surveys.
- Dijk, J. J. M., Mayhew, P., Killias, M. (1990) Experiences of crime across the world: Key findings from the 1989 International Crime Survey. Kluwer Law and Taxation, Deventer
- Dijk, J. J. M., Manchin, R., Kesteren, J. N., Hideg, G. (2007) The Burden of Crime in the EU, A Comparative Analysis of the European Survey of Crime and Safety (EU ICS) 2005. Gallup Europe, Brussels
- Dijk, J. J. M., Kesteren, J. N., Smit, P. (2008) Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective, Key findings from the 2004–2005 ICVS and EU ICS. Boom Legal Publishers, The Hague
- Kesteren, J. N. (2007) Integrated Database from the International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS) 1989–2005, codebook and data. INTERVICT, Tilburg University, Tilburg
- Kesteren, J. N., Mayhew, P., Nieuwbeerta, P. (2000) Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries: Key-findings from the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey. WODC, Ministry of Justice, The Hague
- Van Kesteren, J. N., & Van Dijk, J. J. M. (forthcoming, 2009). Key Victimological Findings from the International Crime Victims Survey. In P. Knepper (Ed.), International Handbook of Vicitmology.
- Walker, N., Hough, M. (1988) Public attitudes to sentencing. Macmillan, New York
- Public Attitudes and Sentencing Policies Across the World
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
Volume 15, Issue 1-2 , pp 25-46
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- International comparison
- Multi level analysis
- Prisoners rates
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Tillburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000, LE, Tilburg, Netherlands