More Sanctions - Less Prison?: A Research Note on the Severity of Sanctions Proposed by Survey Participants and how it is Affected by the Option to Combine a Prison Term with Other Sanctions
2014 (English)In: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, ISSN 0928-1371, E-ISSN 1572-9869, Vol. 20, no 1, 121-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Public opinion has come to be given an increasingly important role in the crime policy debate of western countries. The task of problematising different pictures that emerges from different studies of public opinion on appropriate sentences thus becomes an important task. In this article the question is whether survey respondents, in their choice of reactions to crime, tend to propose shorter prison sentences when they combine the prison term with other measures? If so, different response instructions can lead to different conclusions as to what survey participants consider to be appropriate sentences. Earlier research points at such tendencies to some extent. In order to examine this question, two comparisons will be made. In the first, survey respondents who chose to combine a prison sentence with other measures is compared with those who chose to propose a prison sentence as the only sanction. In the second, participant who were instructed to only propose a single sanction will be compared with those who were given the opportunity to combine two sanctions. Both comparisons are made with regard to the lengths of the proposed prison sentences. No systematic differences emerge. The correlation between the length of prison term proposed and the choice, or opportunity given, to combine the prison term with other measures varies, for example, across the different offences examined. The choice of appropriate reactions to crime is based on a more advanced deliberation than whether different sanctions may be combined.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 20, no 1, 121-136 p.
Appropriate sentences, Public opinion, Response instructions
Law and Society
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102279DOI: 10.1007/s10610-013-9215-5ISI: 000332015600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102279DiVA: diva2:710085