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Gius, Mark. (1999). The Economics of the Criminal Behavior of Young Adults:
Estimation of an Economic Model of Crime with a Correction for Aggregate Market and Public Policy Variables. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October 01. Retrieved November 07, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
Mark Gius uses a combination of individual-level and county-level data to estimate an economic model of crime for young adults. This data is similar to that used by Becker in 1968 and Trumbull in 1989, and in order to estimate a model of crime in both areas, researchers took into account the bias introduced by using aggregate-level data in conjunction with individual-level data. In order to eliminate this bias, researchers used a technique derived by Moulton in 1990.
Results from a logit regression model indicate that race, sex, and peer pressure have statistically significant effects on the probability that a young adult will commit a crime, and also suggest that police presence, as measured by county-level per capita police expenditures, does not deter young adults from committing crimes. Since Becker, there are been a plethora or work done on the economic of crime. Most of the studies attempted to ascertain the determinants of criminal behavior and/or crime rates, and use as their data aggregate measures of crime, such as county, state, or even national-level crime statistics, and aggregate measures of socioeconomic characteristics. While many of these studies have shed light on the effects of socioeconomic characteristics and institutional factors on criminal activities, there has been some criticism of the use of aggregate data to model criminal behavior, a behavior that is an individual choice about lifestyle and income-generating opportunities. Moreover, these studies do not capture all criminal activity; their data only capture reported criminal activity.
If a legitimate activity for an individual has a greater return than all other activities, then that individual takes advantage of that opportunity. On the other hand, if an illegal activity promises the greatest return, then that individual commits the criminal act. In order to account for the returns from legitimate opportunities, the following variables are employed: unemployment rate for respondent's labor market, unemployment; urban dummy variable, urban, coded one if individual lives in urban area and zero otherwise; and income, income. It is assumed that the higher the unemployment rate is the lower the returns from legitimate activities will be, and the more likely criminal activity will occur. Moreover, it is assumed that there are greater opportunities for legitimate activities in urban areas. Individuals with larger incomes will be less likely to commit crimes.
This study is one of the first studies using an economic model of crime that finds that individual characteristics are much more important than institutional factors in the determination of the factors that affect the criminal behavior of young adults, This study is also one of the few studies that uses individual-level data and finds that police presence has no statistically-significant deterrent effect on the criminal activities of young adults. Unlike prior studies that use former convicts as their samples, the present study uses a random sample of young adults; thus the results of the present study are much more applicable to the general population of young adults. This study is one of the first in the area of economic crime modeling that takes into account the correlated disturbances of using aggregate measures in an individual-level regression estimation.
Wyckoff, Sara. (2001). Incorporating Content on Offenders and Corrections into Social Work Curricula. Journal of Social Work Education. September 22. Retrieved November 07, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
This article offers suggestions for incorporating content on adult offenders and corrections across diverse curriculum areas, including human behavior in the social environment, practice, research, and social welfare policy. It provides educators in the field of social work with guiding principles for work with offenders and with many concrete strategies for integrating material on this often forgotten population into already existing courses. As educators strive to present material in the classroom that is relevant to the problems pressing to society today that graduates will face in diverse practice settings, one of the areas of great social importance that is often overlooked within curricula is practice in corrections with adult offender populations. Wykcoff's article present suggestions and tools for incorporating content on adult offenders and corrections into course across the social work curriculum, including areas of human behavior in the social environment, practice, research and policy courses. Wykcoff gives an overview of the historical and present day involvement of social workers in corrections to provide a context for this discussion. The author also gives an exploration of the overlap between offender populations and the individuals and families with whom the workers will come into contact in other settings in order to make clear the need for greater attention to offenders. Wyckoff also offers a rationale for utilizing an integrative curricular approach using key principles to guide social work involvement with offenders, as well as specific suggestions for content integration in major curriculum areas. These suggestions offer assistance to social work educators in their efforts to prepare students to address the complex needs of offenders and their families and to successfully interact with correctional systems on behalf of clients.
Wyckoff offers key principles in an effort to guide the incorporation of material on adult offenders and corrections and be made explicit to students when discussing work with offenders. The topics covered in these principles include: Mental Health, Administration, Health Care,
Substance Abuse, Additional Teaching Tools, Child Welfare, Research,
Social Welfare Policy, Applying Theoretical Perspectives, Utilizing Macro Interventions, Engaging Offender-Clients, Social Work Practice, Diversity,
Human Development, and Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Incorporating the content on adult offenders and corrections into graduate social work curricula is warranted due to the pressing social problems related to this area of social welfare, the rapidly growing number of individuals under correctional supervision, and the social work profession's diminished influence in this area in the past decades. Professionals in the social work field are increasingly likely to come into contact with offenders or their family members, even outside of traditional correctional settings. Thus, students who have been introduced to the complexity of corrections and the needs of offenders will be much better prepared to work effectively with offenders and to interact with organizational systems on their behalf. Wyckoff has offered many concrete suggestions concerning the strategies for including content on offenders and corrections within HBSE, practice, research, and policy courses. Thus, the intent is that greater attention to this content in social work curricula will increase student awareness of offender populations and encourage interest in and greater readiness for this avenue of social welfare.
O'Meara-Wyman, Kathy. (2000). Privatizing and Regionalizing Local Corrections:
Some Issues for Local Jurisdictions to Consider. Corrections Today. October 01. Retrieved November 07, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.
The author discusses the increasing public demands for improved operational performance and cost-effectiveness in local government, which lead local government leaders to continually seek out and consider innovative public administration options. Two option that are available for consideration are privatizing and regionalizing local correction. This article tries to clarify the concepts of privatization and regionalization, and examines the common pros and cons of each. It also discusses factors and issues that commonly surround this decision. The decision whether or not to partially or totally privatize and/or regionalize local corrections is a complex process because of the multitude of issues involved. And it is an arduous process because the issues and interests involved are significant and affect both public and private interests. Of course, topping this list are the care and protection of the public, correctional staff and the individuals who are incarcerated.
Common conditions that trigger thinking about privatization and regionalization of local correctional services, include concerns over correctional cost, crowding, care and custody, and security and safety.
These conditions usually do not exist in isolation, but rather synergistically affect one or a whole group of conditions. Prison crowding creates cost overruns in facility operations, such as overtime, food, medical and facility maintenance line items, all of which require constant increase adjustments simply to maintain order and a humane, safe and secure environment, while facilities struggle to provide the best possible standards.
The author provides seven different organizational arrangement options to consider that take into account basic designs, operation and oversight.
The first option is a consortium of local jurisdictions that agree to operate a regional facility for both pretrial and sentenced inmates; the jurisdictions share control in the form of a jail governing board that consists of representatives from all jurisdictions, and share joint pro rata funding. Under this option, there are usually not other jails operating in the areas.
Under option two, some of the participating jurisdictions continue to operate their own facilities, although at a reduced or limited level, that are designed for pretrial inmates only and usually respond to geographic and/or court system needs. Under option three,…[continue]
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