TITLE

ECONOMIC STATUS AND CRIME: IMPLICATIONS FOR OFFENDER REHABILITATION

AUTHOR(S)
Orsagh, Thomas; Witte, Ann Dryden
PUB. DATE
September 1981
SOURCE
Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology;Fall1981, Vol. 72 Issue 3, p1055
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article evaluates the supposition that certain offender rehabilitation programs reduce recidivistic crime. The relevant programs are those that enhance an offender's economic status. Although these programs are highly diverse and have been applied to offenders at all stages within the criminal justice process from pretrial to post-release, they possess one common characteristic: they attempt to enhance an offender's economic well-being. The neoclassical theory of crime causation in its more general Heineke, Block and Lind formulation yields no a priori support for the relationship between economic status and crime. An enhancement of legitimate income and employment opportunities may or may not induce a shift out of criminal activity. Research using aggregate data provides only weak support for the simple proposition that unemployment causes crime. Moreover, research using such data does not provide convincing tests of the relationship between low income and crime. In contrast, research using individual data provides consistent but weak support for the proposition that higher income is associated with lower levels of criminal activity, and weak, if any support, for unemployment being significantly associated with criminal activity. Finally, the programmatic literature provides glimmers of hope among mostly insignificant program effects.
ACCESSION #
17521515

 

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