Thursday, June 28, 2007

Crime and Delinquency Abstracts

From Crime and Delinquency, via Psychology and Crime News:

Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 53, No. 3, 436-470 (2007)DOI: 10.1177/0011128706286554

Wrongful Conviction
Perceptions of Criminal Justice Professionals Regarding the Frequency of Wrongful Conviction and the Extent of System Errors

Robert J. Ramsey, Indiana University East, Richmond
James Frank, University of Cincinnati, OH

Drawing on a sample of 798 Ohio criminal justice professionals (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges), the authors examine respondents' perceptions regarding the frequency of system errors (i.e., professional error and misconduct suggested by previous research to be associated with wrongful conviction), and wrongful felony conviction. Results indicate that respondents perceive system errors to occur more than infrequently but less than moderately frequent. Respondents also perceive that wrongful felony conviction occurs in their own jurisdictions in .5% to 1% of all felony cases, and in the United States in 1% to 3% of all felony cases. Respondents, however, specify an acceptable rate of wrongful conviction to be less than .5%. Findings thus indicate that criminal justice professionals perceive an unacceptable frequency of wrongful conviction and associated system errors and suggest that programs aimed at reducing system errors and improving professional conduct would be broadly accepted among criminal justice professionals.

Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 53, No. 3, 380-407 (2007)DOI: 10.1177/0011128706286915

Perceptions of Punishment
How Registered Sex Offenders View Registries

Richard Tewksbury,University of Louisville, KY
Matthew B. Lees, University of Louisville, KY

Sex offender registries (SORs) are a societal response to serious and presumably dangerous criminal offenders. Existing research on registries has focused on demographic overviews of registrants, assessments of registrants' recidivism, accuracy and completeness of listed information, and collateral consequences for registrants. The present research assesses the perceptions of registrants regarding the value of SORs as a tool to enhance community awareness and promote public safety. In addition, this study examines offenders' perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of registry format and structure and suggestions for improvement. Results show that registrants see significant potential for registries but seriously question the efficacy and efficiency of how registries are currently constructed and used.

Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 53, No. 3, 355-379 (2007)DOI: 10.1177/0011128705285983

Restorative Justice at Work: Examining the Impact of Restorative Justice Resolutions on Juvenile Recidivism
Nancy Rodriguez, Arizona State University

Programs with restorative justice ideals attempt to incorporate victims and community members into the administration of justice. Although these programs have become increasingly popular, only a few programs in the United States have been the focus of prior studies. Using official juvenile court data from an urban, metropolitan area, this study finds that juveniles who participated in a restorative justice program were less likely to recidivate than juveniles in a comparison group. Also, gender and prior offenses indirectly influence recidivism in important ways. Girls and offenders with minimal criminal history records exhibit the most success from participating in such programs. Findings demonstrate the importance of examining additive and interactive effects in restorative justice research.

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