July 3, 2006
The latest issue of The Economist has an interesting article about prisons in Great Britain. See here. A "leader" (lead editorial) earlier has some fascinating comparative information on imprisonment rates. Here's what they say: "Britain locks up more of its people than any other country in western Europe: 145 out of every 100,000 compared with France's 88 (though a fraction of America's 738)." Those are very interesting differences. Our rate of incarceration is five times that of Great Britain. Note that an implication of the U.S. figure is that less than 1 percent of the population (0.00738) is incarcerated.
July 3, 2006 | Permalink
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According to the article, evidence suggests that prison is not an effective deterrent. Authorities have therefore gone to a system of community punishment, which, unfortunately, has major problems too. That makes me curious: (1), At what age does a criminal become significantly less-likely to commit another crime? and (2), After what length of sentence does a criminal become significantly less likely to commit a repeat offense? If these questions can be answered statistically (perhaps they already have) can't judges and legal systems begin to determine the punishment per crime that most effectively prevents repeat offenders?
Posted by: TLU | Jul 21, 2006 1:43:33 PM