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April 20, 2011

New report from Justice Policy Institute on comparative criminal justice strategies

Finding_direction_cover-full;size$250,323 As detailed here, the folks at the Justice Policy Institute have produced a really interesting new report on international criminal justice policies and practices.  This new report, which is titled "Finding Direction: Expanding Criminal Justice Options by Considering Policies of Other Nations," appears expressly designed to encourage US criminal justice policy-makers to draw potential wisdom and guidance from what is being done in five particular other countries.  Here is JPI's summary description of the report and its goals:

When it comes to criminal justice, there is much to be gleaned from the policies and practices in other democratic nations.  Other nations protect public safety without imprisoning as large a percentage of their population, handle law-breaking behavior in ways less reliant on incarceration, and have different approaches to addressing complex social issues.

A country’s criminal justice policies and practices do not exist within a vacuum: they are a product of the larger social systems and political realities to which they are inextricably tied.  For this reason, some policymakers may think other countries are too fundamentally different than the U.S. for these policies to be adopted.

This report compares and contrasts the criminal justice policies and social, economic, and governmental structures of five countries -- Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Finland and Germany -- to the United States.  While each nation has a unique set of circumstances and realities, each has enough fundamental similarities to the U.S. that cross-national policy adoption could be considered.  An evaluation of the various similarities and differences can broaden the existing dialogue and create more momentum for the types of systemic reforms that will reduce the burden of over-incarceration on communities, states, and the country as a whole.

The full report, an executive summary and a series of short issue-specific factsheets drawn from the report are all available at this link.

April 20, 2011 at 05:51 PM | Permalink


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All comparison nations are socialist, big government, Euro style nations. This is Democratic Party propaganda, and misleading, stealthy advocacy for the welfare state. As to their crime rates, they may not be as low as stated. Go into a police station, report being raped by a date at knife point, they throw you out, tear up the report. That would not be the response here.

Also, the fair comparison should be restricted to crime rates among white Americans. Then the victimization and incarceration rates would not be as favorable to the European style economies. The racially motivated feminist lawyer has destroyed the American black family, and withdrawn police and criminal justice protection from the black crime victim. It is using the black crime victim pretextually, to generate massive lawyer government sinecures.

Such advocates must account for Cairo. Low rates of crime victimization measured by UN researchers in household surveys. Crushing poverty, crowding stress, homelessness, fecundity, official corruption, criminal justice system inadequacies, big government that is lazy, low educational attainment, high rates of unemployment in young males, low rates of incarceration.

I think I know the answer to the Cairo puzzle, but would like to hear other perspectives.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 21, 2011 6:57:27 AM

Thanks very much for posting this. It's an enlightening and ultimately quite useful report for policy analysts, and anyone concerned with incarceration policies.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 22, 2011 11:15:04 PM

yes, this really an enlightenment to everyone involved and those who want to get involved.

Posted by: marietta dui attorney | May 9, 2011 3:13:03 AM

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