CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, November 2, 2012

Frey on the Economics of Crime

Bruno S. Frey (University of Zurich) has posted Punishment – and Beyond (Contemporary Economics, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp. 90-99, 2011) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This paper argues that the “Economics of Crime” concentrates too much on punishment as a means of preventing crime, which is unwise for several reasons. There are important instances in which punishment simply cannot reduce crime. Several feasible alternatives to punishment exist, such as offering positive incentives or handing out awards for law abiding behavior. These alternative approaches tend to create a positive sum environment. When people appreciate living in a society that is to a large extent law abiding, they are more motivated to observe the law.

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Minimum mandatory sentences in Florida has been a failure, in my opinion, in preventing crime. I have seen as a former prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney that the vast majority of people who get hit with these mandatory minimum sentences are not deserving of spending years in prison. I believe judges and prosecutors should have more discretion and control over their cases and the legislature should back off with these minimum prison sentences that do not prevent crime.

Posted by: Antonio G Jimenez | Nov 2, 2012 10:28:00 PM

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