What Happens When Investigating A Crime Takes Up Too Much Time? An Examination of How Optimal Law Enforcement Theory Impacts Sentencing
Pages  215-225

Creative Commons LicenseKatherine Ray, Elizabeth L. Borkowski, Wanda Leal and William D. Bales

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2017.06.23

Published: 20 November 2017

Abstract: Previous research finds that variations in sentencing outcomes still exist among similarly situated individuals, especially among drug offenders. While courtroom actors are often the focus of sentencing disparities, law enforcement officers are rarely studied. This is problematic because criminological research has yet to explore whether law enforcement could influence sentencing decisions. The current study aims to discover the influence of a previously ignored legal variable, investigation workload, on sentence length and directly examine an untested criminal justice theory, Optimal Law Enforcement Theory. This study will explore these overlooked concepts with a rare dataset that contains information on individuals convicted of prescription drug trafficking in Florida from 2011-2013. We find that investigation workload does influence sentencing, with offenders convicted from a high police workload being significantly more likely to experience longer sentences than offenders convicted from a low investigation workload. Limitations and policy implications are also discussed.

Keywords: Courtroom Actors, Investigation Workload, Law Enforcement, Optimal Law Enforcement, Sentencing.



Foreign Burglars: Primary Results of an Interview Study with Arrested Offenders in Germany 
Pages 226-233

Creative Commons License

Gina Rosa Wollinger and Nadine Jukschat
DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2017.06.24

Published: 22 December 2017 

Abstract: Given that the domestic burglary rate in Germany has been on the rise for years, there is currently a huge debate in political arenas and in the media concerning the offenders—especially foreign offenders. However, there is little specific research on burglars, particularly foreign burglars. This paper reports on the main results of a qualitative interview study with convicted foreign offenders in Germany. We conducted 30 narrative-biographical interviews with offenders from 15 different countries. The findings suggest the stereotype of foreign burglars in high-crime gangs is too one-dimensional. Moreover, there is a large range of different motives, biographical backgrounds, and modi operandi. Further, results show that specific circumstances in Germany support the behavior of foreign criminal, such as accommodation possibilities from contacts already living in Germany, or the availability of local fences (i.e. receivers of stolen goods).

Keywords: Residential burglary, offenders, burglary prevention.



The Principles of Ritual Logic - Pages 16-19

Beatrice Ugolini

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2018.07.02

Published: 5 January 2018

Abstract: The practice of occultism is an alternative phenomenon in respect of the ordinary modalities of the dominant religious institutions in a given historical period. On occasion, however, this practice is not confined to the context of deviance but can lead to the commission of criminal actions. It is therefore useful to highlight the means of reasoning, even if seemingly incomprehensible, which forms the basis of the accomplishment of magical acts. Contrary to what one may think, the world of occultism is not something improvised and insensate, yet it is characterised by principles that govern what could be defined as a “ritual logic”, endowed with its own peculiar internal coherence that guide the actions of those who still practice magic today. Considering primarily the occultist writings and the history of magic, this article seeks to identify such principles in order to begin to comprehend not only one of the most historically representative domains of deviance, but also the motivations of the offenders and victims involved in ritual crimes.

Keywords: Rituals, occultism, history of magic, deviance.



Working Behind Bars: Employed Prisoners' Perception of Professional Training and Employment in Prison - Pages 1-15

Ronit Peled-Laskov and Uri Timor

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2018.07.01

Published: 5 January 2018

Abstract: The research is aimed at examining the perceptions and attitudes of prisoners employed in enterprises in prison vis-à-vis employment and deriving conclusions regarding the impact of employment on the lives of prisoners in prison and its contribution to advancing their rehabilitation. Doing time is generally a painful experience, both physically and mentally, and often adversely influences prisoners’ life after release. Programs and activities have been developed in prisons in many countries, including Israel, to mitigate these impacts and at the same time reduce recidivism following release. A key such program is employment in enterprises within the prison walls, including training of prisoners in a variety of professions. In the framework of the present qualitative research 20 prisoners employed in enterprises in Israeli prisons were interviewed, and these aired their perceptions regarding employment and its effects. Three main themes and 18 sub-themes defining the attitudes of the prisoners to the issue emerged from the interviews. The first two themes are: employment provides benefits and alleviates the pains of imprisonment; and employment helps prisoners’ rehabilitation. The third theme emerging from the statements of an isolated number of prisoners is: employment is an act of exploitation on the part of the Prison Service and serves no useful purpose. The overall conclusion of the study is that employment in enterprises in prison is generally perceived by the prisoners as positive and contributory, in terms of both reducing the damage caused by imprisonment and raising the likelihood of the prisoner being rehabilitated through employment following his release.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, employment programs, pains of imprisonment, employment in prison.



Caught between ‘Crossfire’ in the Context of Bangladesh - Pages 20-31
A.B.M. Najmus Sakib1 and Zarin Tasnim Rashid2

1Victimology and Criminal Justice, Tilburg University, Netherlands; 2Culture Studies: Ritual in Society, Tilburg University, Netherlands

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2018.07.03

Published: 24 January 2018

Abstract: In recent times, the law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh are universally appreciated for their constitutive and plucky attitude to extremist gangs inside the country. Contrariwise, a suspicious incident of a particular form of extrajudicial killing; Crossfire is fading their achievements. Initially, it was a media term, but now widely used to express the murder of a criminal or accused in a gunfight event between members of law enforcement agencies and criminal groups. This occurrence is facing enormous criticisms in the home and abroad and considered as a violation of human rights. Though public notions about these incidents are surprisingly flexible and they consider this for a prognosis to remainder culprits. This paper analyzed the justice idea of both groups; who are for and against this event from a moral philosophical perspective in the context of Bangladesh. Both the utilitarian idea analyzed by Jeremy Bentham (consequences) and John Stuart Mill (individual human rights) echoes the voice of these two distinct groups respectively. However, the article advocates for a distinctive idea of justice known as deontological philosophy proposed by Immanuel Kant. This moral ideology concentrates on universal human rights and keeps the consequences aside. Considering the fact ‘Crossfire’, this paper believed there is no alternative to ensuring justice and enacting moral duty of law enforcement agencies to indemnify security and safety of the citizen of Bangladesh. 

Keywords: Crossfire, Law enforcement agencies, Extrajudicial killing, Moral philosophy, Utilitarianism, Deontology.