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Punishment and Crime in Scandinavia, 1750-2008 (From Crime and Justice in Scandinavia, P 33-107, 2011, Michael Tonry and Tapio Lappi-Seppala, eds. - See NCJ-242441)

NCJ Number
Hanns von Hofer
Date Published
75 pages
This essay discusses the statistical data on crime and punishment.
Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden have collected criminal justice data since at least the first half of the 19th century. These data can be used to describe basic trends in criminal justice interventions as regards violent and property offenses. They can also be used to screen the potential effects of criminal justice interventions on crime compared with more basic structural factors such as urbanization, industrialization, migration, and control of substance use. The marginal effects of changes in criminal sanctions appear to be negligible for the development of recorded crime. These changes include use and abolition of the death penalty, the gradual replacement of imprisonment with alternative sanctions, and the shifting use of fines. The influence of urbanization and industrialization appears to be insignificant, but measures to control alcohol use have had a great effect on violence, as have changes in the opportunity structure on theft. Viewed over the long term, criminal justice interventions during the twentieth century were inefficient in controlling the development of crime and criminals in Scandinavia. (Published Abstract)