Saturday, July 28, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, July 28, 2007


NCJ 218971
Jeffrey A. Bouffard; Lindsey E. Bergeron
Reentry Works: The Implementation and Effectiveness of a Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:2/3 Issue:44 Dated:2006 Pages:1 to 29

This study examined the implementation and effectiveness of a Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) program. The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) program appears to be reaching its target population and identifying potential participants within an appropriate time frame. While reentry participants completed a high percentage of their institutional programming referrals, they completed a significantly smaller proportion of these referred programs than did comparison offenders. Overall, it appears that this SVORI program could benefit from additional efforts to increase offenders’ referral to and completion of institutional programming, since to date offenders in the program have not received any enhanced institutional programming, other than the increased attention paid to their case planning itself as part of the reentry program’s processes. Spurred by large increases in prison populations and other recent sentencing and correctional trends, the Federal Government has supported the development and implementation of SVORIs nationwide. Prisoner reentry programs in general, seek to maximize the offender’s positive release from prison and successful reintegration into society. Focusing on the effectiveness of the State of North Dakota’s SVORI program on in-program and post-parole recidivism, this study examined the program’s operation and its impact on recidivism for all program participants dating back to the start of the reentry initiative in 2003. Seventy-one SVORI participants were compared with 106 offenders who did not participate in enhanced reentry initiatives, but rather received traditional prerelease services prior to being paroled. Tables, references

NCJ 218985
James D. Unnever; Francis T. Cullen; Bonnie S. Fisher
A Liberal is Someone Who Has Not Been Mugged: Criminal Victimization and Political Beliefs
Justice Quarterly
Volume:24 Issue:2 Dated:June 2007 Pages:309 to 334

This paper assesses the common-sense, often repeated claim that a “liberal is someone who has not yet been mugged.” After testing the “mugging thesis” and controlling for an array of predictors of public opinion, no discernible relationship between being a crime victim and having a conservative worldview, support for conservative social policies, or punitiveness toward crime was found, as measured by support for the death penalty and for harsher courts. In summary, these results question the validity of the “mugging thesis” and, of attempts to use slogans to undermine progressive political agendas. The United States is the only Western liberal democracy that executes convicted murderers. It also has the highest per capita incarceration rate. Central to understanding why the United States is more punitive than its Western counterparts is the examination of why some Americans endorse a conservative political worldview. This paper explores one core aspect of this issue, whether crime victimization is related to (1) conservative views on crime, represented by support for punitive policies, and (2) a more general conservative worldview on social issues. The analysis is conducted within the broader context of the “mugging thesis”, the idea that “a liberal is someone who has not been mugged.” Tables, references

NCJ 218984
Steven Stack; Liqun Cao; Amy Adamzyck
Crime Volume and Law and Order Culture
Justice Quarterly
Volume:24 Issue:2 Dated:June 2007 Pages:291 to 308

In exploring public attitudes towards crime and justice, this paper investigates the issues of comparative analysis in regards to the death penalty and harsher sentences and the influence of high crime rates on public opinion. The results of the analysis regarding the effect of the volume of homicide on public opinion are consistent with three previous investigations that explored the relationship between public opinion of individuals and violent crime rates. Individuals residing in high crime areas were found to be more supportive of a law and order perspective than their counterparts. Strong results were also found for the hypothesized negative relationship between education level, a measure of cultural liberalism, and law and order ideology. Better educated persons are consistently less approving of a law and order ideology than less educated persons. Three control variables were found to have consistent relationships with both death penalty attitudes and a desire for stiffer sentences. Persons with economic security and married persons are consistently higher in law and order ideology than their counterparts. With respect to demographic factors, age is consistently a good predictor of law and order ideology, the higher the age, the higher the support for law and order culture. This study demonstrates that a relationship exists between objective crime rates and public opinion on crime and justice for a sample of 14 nations. Public opinion on crime is significant for a number of reasons. It is often cited in policy debates to legitimate existing practices and proposed changes in justice policy. However, the literature on public opinion about crime and justice has neglected the exploration of macro- or community-level influences on individual-level attitudes. This paper sought to test the hypothesis that persons residing in nations marked by a high volume of crime would be more likely to adhere to elements of a law and order culture. Tables, references

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