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SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS OF CRIME - COMPARISON OF PLANNED AND IMPULSIVE OFFENSES

NCJ Number
64680
Author(s)
E EREZ
Date Published
1979
Length
244 pages
Annotation
A SURVEY OF 567 OFFENDERS INTERVIEWED AT AGE 26 AND A LITERATURE REVIEW WERE USED TO EXAMINE SITUATIONAL DETERMINANTS OF CRIME, ESPECIALLY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLANNING FOR CRIME AND ITS EXECUTION.
Abstract
THE STUDY TOOK INTO ACCOUNT GENERAL ASPECTS OF A CRIME'S PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CONTEXT TO ILLUSTRATE AN APPROACH TO CRIMINOLOGY RATHER THAN TO IDENTIFY THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF PARTICULAR VARIABLES. IT WAS ARGUED THAT UNPLANNED OR IMPULSIVE CRIME MAY BE PROMPTED BY SITUATIONAL FACTORS. FIRST AND LAST OFFENSES OF THE STUDY POPULATION WERE SELECTED FOR CLOSE SCRUTINY. FINDINGS INDICATED THAT MOST OFFENSES WERE PETTY, COMMITTED FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON. THE FIRST OFFENSE WAS USUALLY COMMITTED FOR EXCITEMENT OR RELIEF FROM BOREDOM. MOST OFFENSES OCCURRED WITHOUT FORETHOUGHT OR PLANNING. MOST OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED OUTDOORS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. INDOOR OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED MOST OFTEN IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS. GANG ACTIVITY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONLY ONE THIRD OF THE OFFENSES, BUT GROUPS OF TWO OR THREE PARTICIPANTS, USUALLY BEST FRIENDS, WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE CRIMES. PLANNING WAS MORE COMMON AMONG PROPERTY OFFENDERS THAN AMONG PERPETRATORS OF PERSONAL CRIME OR CRIME INFLICTING DAMAGE. FINDINGS SUGGESTED THAT ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF CRIMES ARE PLANNED AND THAT CERTAIN SITUATIONAL FACTORS CONSTITUTE THE LINK BETWEEN THE WOULD-BE OFFENDER AND HIS OFFENSE. RESULTS ALSO SUGGEST THAT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED WITH IMPULSIVE OFFENDERS THAN WITH PLANNED OFFENDERS. SOCIETY'S PREVENTIVE MEASURES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TOWARD IMPULSIVE OFFENDERS, ESPECIALLY CHRONIC ONES. IN ADDITION, PUNISHMENT, SHOULD MATCH OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS RATHER THAN THE AMOUNT OF PLANNING. FURTHER RESEARCH IS RECOMMEDED. FOOTNOTES FOR EACH CHAPTER, TABLES, AN INDEX, A BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND AN APPENDIX PRESENTING THE STUDY INSTRUMENT ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)