Crime Law and Social Change

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Online ISSN: 1573-0751
Print ISSN: 0925-4994
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When the dominant crime narrative embraced by members of the public runs contrary to evidence or exaggerates the incidence or mischaracterises the nature of crime, and the news media reproduce that narrative, lawmakers and politicians tend to justify punitive crime policy and ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric as the ‘will of the people’ and a necessary measure to restore ‘law and order’. As such, the way in which members of the public and the news media understand crime and what they say about it is important because of the influence such discourse can have on criminal justice policy. But, in this paper I argue that Qualitative Frame Analysis (“QFA”) can be an effective methodological tool in shifting problematic narratives and facilitating social change. Using QFA, researchers, policymakers and advocates can positively shape crime discourse and design evidence-based policy proposals that are not only politically palatable but also criminologically sound. Using the case of Antigua and Barbuda, an Anglophone Caribbean country in the Eastern Caribbean, I argue that QFA can contribute to progressive crime policy in Antigua and Barbuda – policy that is informed by an understanding of crime that does not have at its heart notions of “law and order” or “getting tough.” Additionally, I show the importance of including the experiences of the global south in the extant literature as this case expands the working catalogue of culturally available crime frames beyond those identified in Europe and North America.
 
Seriousness of offense and the probability of conviction with a detention disposition over time
Juvenile justice systems around the globe are becoming increasingly more similar to criminal justice systems. In Brazil, previous legislations focused on the individuals themselves and did not distinguish between young offenders and children in precarious conditions, but a new legislation in 1990 marked a rupture and introduced elements of criminal law. We leverage a unique data set representative of every adolescent who has been through the juvenile justice system in the state of São Paulo between 1990 and 2006 and provide a quantitative assessment of the changes in sentencing patterns in the period. Results suggest that judges increasingly prioritise violent and drug-related offenses when convicting adolescent defendants, indicating that the Brazilian juvenile justice system progressively resembles the criminal justice rationale by emphasising the ideal of proportionality between crime and punishment. We conclude with a discussion on pendular justice, suggesting that juvenile justice in Brazil is moving from a positivist-inspired to a classic-inspire justice system.
 
Script of a legitimate living donor kidney transplant
Crime script of the Netcare case
Crime script of the Medicus case
This study fills critical knowledge gaps into the organization of organ trade utilizing crime script analysis. Adopting a situational crime prevention approach, this article draws from law enforcement data to compare the crime commission process (activities, cast and locations) of 2 prosecuted organ trade cases: the Medicus case and the Netcare case. Both cases involved transnational criminal networks that performed kidney transplants from living donors. We further present similarities and differences between illegal and legal living donor kidney transplants that may help guide identification and disruption of illegal transplants. Our analysis reveal the similar crime trajectories of both criminal cases, in particular the extensive preparations and high degree of organization that were needed to execute the illegal transplants. Offenders in the illegal transplant schemes utilized the same opportunity structures that facilitate legal transplants, such as transplant units, hospitals and blood banks. Our results indicate that the trade is embedded within the transplant industry and intersects with the transport- and hospitality sector. The transplant industry in the studied cases was particularly found to provide the medical infrastructure needed to facilitate and sustain organ trade. When compared to legal transplants, the studied illegal transplant scripts reveal a wider diversity in recruitment tactics and concealment strategies and a higher diversity in locations for the pre-operative work-up of donors and recipients. The results suggest the need for a broader conceptualization of the organ trade that incorporates both organized crime and white collar crime perspectives.
 
Exemplary text interpretation: topical structuring and differentiation of text genres
Although a common German sociological methodology, the documentary method has rarely been received outside the German-speaking region or in the field of criminology in general. Additionally, while ethnographic semantics is a recognized means of analysis in the field of ethnography, it is less known in criminological research. This paper proposes that the approaches in themselves but especially a combination of both allow for a deeper understanding of the cultural practices, everyday routines, and implicit knowledge of security actors. While the police are a constant focus of criminological and social science research, the study of Municipal Law Enforcement Services (MLES), particularly qualitative approaches, have been largely neglected, despite the increasing number of municipalities implementing their own security personnel. Consequently, their increased presence in public space warrants further investigation. The added value of linking two reconstructive approaches to analysis is demonstrated using MLES as an example. Thereby, both the advantages of such a combination for criminological research and new insights regarding the ways MLES interact with people in public space are illustrated. The research follows an ethnomethodological design and is based on expert interviews and participant observation. The paper addresses peripheral issues on three levels: the use of a previously geographically limited method of data analysis, an innovative triangulation of approaches to analysis that has not yet been applied in international criminological research as well as the presentation of German MLES as an under-researched subject.
 
The extra-legal governance system of judges’ career paths
The legal governance system of judges’ career paths
The two extra-legal governance systems of judges’ career paths
Many scholars have highlighted the individual, organizational and inter-organizational causes of organizational wrongdoing; others have focused on its (negative) consequences or have analyzed how it can persist and spread between organizations. An underlining assumption shared by many of those studies is that organizational wrongdoing is a deviant, society-damaging phenomenon originating from individual and organizational actors’ pursuit of undue advantages. We argue that, at least in some cases, actors may also have “organizational reasons” for wrongdoing, besides self-interest. This article aims at analyzing the organizational reasons for wrongdoing in the CSM affair, a scandal that shed light on the deviant practices for career paths within the Italian judiciary system. By relying on documents and several semi-structured interviews to judges, public prosecutors, and experts in the field, we reconstructed actual practices for career advancement (extra-legal governance) and compared them with formal policies (legal governance). Our analysis shows that deviant practices were not merely occasional episodes of favoritism, but were part of an extra-legal governance system that involved virtually all of Italy’s judges. We also found that the CSM decoupled formal policies from actual practices to manage two organizational trade-offs – bureaucratic rules vs. efficiency, and independence vs. accountability. Therefore, besides individual gain, actors had two major “organizational reasons” for wrongdoing: first, they needed to cope with a lack of organizational capabilities and resources; second, they needed to address calls for greater accountability. In the light of our findings, we conclude with some considerations about organizational learning and the relation between law, organizations, and wrongdoing.
 
A psychogeography method: map-making revealing movement and emotion
Debonir’s mental map: a workscape
Dred’s mental map: a hybrid
Travis’s mental map: an escape
Flânerie at the kitchen exhibit
This paper explores an interdisciplinary approach that researchers can use to understand how people feel about their movement in the cityscape and their risk-taking activities by visualizing it. Author 1, a visual artist, and Author 2, a criminologist, used a psychogeography method where participants hand-drew maps of their everyday operations in the sex marketplace. Researchers, artists, and activists have used mapmaking to elucidate how individuals conceptualize physical space and place or their subjective, emotional relationship to the city's geography. Psychogeographers Lynch and Debord have used it to understand how participants feel about moving, inhabiting, navigating risk, and subverting space in the metropolis. We use this method as a vehicle to show how sex market facilitators’ imagine the physical geographic space where they work in the nighttime economy, their embodiment in managing a business in the urban landscape, their emotions in this risk-taking activity, and how they feel rerouting city blocks and subverting formal capitalism. In addition, this technique enabled participants to feel and recall emotions of this lived experience, such as excitement, control, authenticity, shame, and freedom. Sixty participants who worked in New York City hand drew mental maps or visual depictions of where they worked within the city. This visual storytelling method provides an avenue for what O'Neill terms an ethno-mimetic process where images/performances make lived experiences palpable to viewers. In this case, we see a glimpse of the sensations of this high-risk activity in the sex marketplace, allowing us to understand participants' social relations, lived experiences, and motivations.
 
The presumption of innocence, the prohibition against pretrial punishment, and the right to an impartial jury—constitutional bedrocks of the American criminal justice process—are potentially threatened by the practice of “perp walks.” Justice officials, politicians, and the news media have cited public demand as one justification for this controversial practice. Yet, this justification lacks an empirical basis. Drawing from work on procedural fairness, the present study suggests compensatory justice as a framework for understanding why some American citizens might support perp walks. We extend research on public attitudes towards perp walks with data from an internet survey of 1000 U.S. adults. We find that perp walks are not supported by a majority of the public and that attitudes towards perp walks are influenced by perceptions of the pros and cons of perp walks as well as of the legitimacy of the justice system.
 
In order to address crime, it is popular to use situational crime prevention with its focus on immediate opportunities for offending. If targets become less suitable and if capable guardians are present, then crime is less likely to take place in the here and the now. This logic often translates into placing greater distance between targets and motivated offenders. For industrial security, this comes down to deterring, denying, detecting and delaying (“the four D’s”) any type of intrusion in order to protect assets. For public security, this comes down to surveillance, access control, territoriality, maintenance and activity support in order to prevent crime. While considering public security, this article will reflect on the possibilities of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
 
The meanings of “human trafficking” vary according to political, legal, and sociocultural contexts. This article contributes to understanding the global variation and challenges in enforcing anti-human trafficking laws, by examining how Chilean law enforcement responded to suspected cases of trafficking into forced labor after the Anti-Trafficking Law was enacted in 2011. We present qualitative research on suspected cases of labor trafficking involving Indonesian women in the city of Punta Arenas, including interviews with suspected victims, prosecutors, plaintiff attorneys, anti-trafficking legal advocates, and Indonesian embassy representatives. We argue that four aspects of Chilean legal culture illuminate multiple challenges to identifying and prosecuting cases of labor trafficking in Chile: the perspective that cases of labor disputes and labor trafficking are mutually exclusive; the heterogeneous understandings and definitions of forced labor and human trafficking; the normalization of migrant labor exploitation; and the lack of coordination between relevant institutions and stakeholders. Examining these cases that were investigated between the years 2011 and 2019 allows us to identify the development of a specific legal culture regarding human trafficking into forced labor in Chile.
 
Children and youth born of conflict-related sexual violence face unique challenges to their identities, self-concepts, and often struggle to find a sense of belonging within their families and communities. As a result of their birth origins, families and communities may impose the (ethnic) identity of the father/rapist on the child, refusing to accept the child within the mother’s ethnic group, or family network. As these children grow and develop, they often endure profound forms of family and community stigma, violence, structural barriers, and social exclusion. This article draws upon the perspectives of 139 children and youth born of conflict-related sexual violence in two countries: 60 in Rwanda and 79 in northern Uganda. It traces the life-histories and trajectories of these children and youth. Highlighted are the ways in which children and youth in both countries come to symbolize, and in many ways embody, an armed conflict that is long over. More specifically, the article explores the ways in which their lives and identities remain closely tied to violent conflict, as well as the ways in which they work to actively resist and challenge the assumptions and constructions placed upon them by their surrounding families and communities.
 
Youngsters participate as combatants at the forefront of armed conflicts around the globe, be it as part of state forces, as members of rebel groups, or as drivers of armed civilian resistance. This contribution explores the social trajectories of (ex-)civil self-defense militia members in Peru who fought alongside the state forces to defeat the Maoist rebels of Shining Path in the 1980 and 1990s. On the one hand, by taking the Peruvian Comités de Autodefensa (CAD) as a somewhat atypical case-study, the article aims to enhance a more nuanced understanding of youth as drivers of and participants in civil war violence which transcends the victim-perpetrator dichotomy. On the other, by analyzing the social trajectories of CAD leaders and members from their youth until the present, it seeks to gain insight into ex-combatants’ claims for recognition, reparation and citizenship in the aftermath of armed conflict. The trajectories of the CAD members demonstrate how the morality of soldiering, steered by ideas about masculinity, militarism and patriotism, gets intertwined with structural societal conditions such as the lack of educational and economic perspectives for youngsters, and the state’s failure to provide protection and security against rebel group violence to those who might need it most. In the aftermath of the conflict, militia service and the corresponding macho warrior identity form a basis of demands for inclusion by an historically marginalized rural population group. The findings on the Peruvian self-defense committees presented in this article have several implications for research and policy in the fields of Transitional Justice and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, and open both thematic and conceptual avenues for further research into civilian participation in armed conflicts around the globe.
 
Publications (articles) per year, 2001–2021, according to Web of Science search topic “food fraud”, March 2022
Food fraud is an emerging field of study in academic literature. The aim of this paper is to evaluate whether current understanding of food fraud in literature is in congruence with incidents of food fraud in the Netherlands. The discussion that follows is based on an analysis of 53 empirical cases on food fraud investigations conducted at the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the nationwide enforcement body tasked with investigating food fraud. The findings elucidate the differences between food fraud and other (food) crime and highlight the discrepancies with academic definitions to date, most notably with respect to incidents of ‘food laundering’ and by emphasizing the existence of intentional facilitators. We thus suggest adjusting the scope of what type of behavior can be considered as food fraud by conceptualizing three forms of food fraud: food laundering, fraudulent food enhancement, and facilitative food fraud. Food laundering encompasses the use of illegal material as food, whereas fraudulent food enhancement describes a situation where legal food is value-enhanced through deceitful cost-cutting measures. Facilitative food fraud captures the role of facilitative actors that operate illegally and intentionally for economic advantage. Based on these concepts, we suggest a modified definition as follows: food fraud is committed by any actor who is intentionally involved in illegal acts for economic advantage, thus causing or facilitating illegal food to be laundered into the supply chain or for food to be fraudulently value-enhanced. Future research should focus on testing these concepts and this definition with empirical studies from different regions and regulatory settings, and introduce additional data sources outside of enforcement, such as employee or victim surveys.
 
Major food fraud scandals of the last decade have created awareness of the need to strengthen companies’ ability to combat fraud within their own organizations and across their supply chains. The scandals compelled food companies and the food industry as a whole to take action and to protect companies and industries against the threat of food fraud. Stakeholders expect food companies to act proactively to mitigate food fraud risks. Certification schemes expect food producers to consider food fraud and to undertake food fraud vulnerability assessments and prepare control plans to mitigate fraud risks. This paper examines how vulnerability for food fraud on company level and supply chain level can be assessed using criminological theory. First, the paper discusses how such theory can be applied for assessing motivations and opportunities for internal and external actors to commit food fraud and assessing existing control measures to mitigate these vulnerabilities. Second, the paper discusses the SSAFE-tool in which these elements have been used in a survey for assessing food fraud vulnerability of companies in food supply chains. Third, the paper evaluates the results of the application of the SSAFE-tool to several food supply chain and tiers, including milk, spices, extra olive oil, organic foods and the food service industry.
 
The article exposes and analyzes the potentialities and limits of the activities of public defenders who work in Brazilian criminal sentence enforcement courts. It is the result of a work of systematization of different research experiences carried out in recent years: an ethnographic research with the Public Defender's Office of São Paulo and a documentary research on criminal sentence enforcement proceedings in the state of Rio de Janeiro. After making some general considerations about the role of public legal assistance in the Brazilian criminal justice system, the article explores the role of public defenders in some key moments of a sentence enforcement process: in the elaboration of a request of benefit; in the inspection of procedural records; in the monitoring of the processing time of the court; and, finally, in the defense at administrative processes of disciplinary infractions. In all those situations it is possible to perceive the aporetic or paradoxical character of the public defenders’ operations. On the one hand, their intervention in sentence enforcement proceedings appears to be absolutely essential, triggering the rights and benefits that make the prison population flow through the prisons in Brazil. On the other hand, public defenders appear as agents that are absolutely powerless, if not entirely useless, because they are incapable of making the justice system observe, in due course, the most ordinary subjective rights of a convict.
 
Number of P2P firms yearly (Source: WDZJ)
P2P-lending-related criminal charges by year (Top 10) (Source: PKU Law). Case data were retrieved using the key terms “P2P” and “Online Lending” with case type “Criminal Case” from PKU Law
White-collar criminality continues to be a significant issue in countries with differing levels of economic development. This paper provides a comparative analysis of white-collar crime and crises through an examination of the recent peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending crash in China. It considers criminological findings from major United States crises in light of China’s P2P online lending market failure through the lens of white-collar crime theory and research. The findings show that fraud was a main contributor to the P2P online lending crash and that various structural factors facilitated financial crimes that caused the collapse of the P2P online lending market. This study indicates that, similar to the U.S. experience, crime-facilitative environments allowed for endemic fraud in China’s online lending industry. It suggests that a primarily reactive approach to financial crime is less effective than a proactive system of compliance that includes more comprehensive and transparent financial regulation and law enforcement.
 
Enforcement measures for intellectual property rights (IPR) are essential to the harmonisation of the international system and can be achieved by unifying national legal frameworks and minimum standards of protection. The Member States party to international intellectual property (IP) agreements and conventions must abide by the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to achieve more relatable national enforcement procedures. This article examines the national legislatures of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding civil/commercial litigation procedures, and their relation to a criminal law enforcement approach to IP enforcement. In particular, this work considers whether this approach achieves its goal of protecting IPRs and providing legal and economic stability within the IP system. Thus, the application of criminal enforcement measures by courts was examined to understand both the need for criminalisation and whether there may be a negative impact on IPR infringement deterrence, should the courts fail to implement criminal measures. The examination shows that imprisonment as a means of criminal enforcement for IPR infringements is not the preferred method of deterrence in the legal systems of the UAE and Jordan, as the courts impose fines instead. In addition, civil/ commercial litigation is more effective in the legal systems under scrutiny due to non-effective criminal procedures and a lack of social awareness concerning the value of criminal enforcement of IPR infringements.
 
Enforcement measures for intellectual property rights (IPR) are essential to the harmonisation of the international system and can be achieved by unifying national legal frameworks and minimum standards of protection. The Member States party to international intellectual property (IP) agreements and conventions must abide by the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to achieve more relatable national enforcement procedures. This article examines the national legislatures of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding civil/commercial litigation procedures, and their relation to a criminal law enforcement approach to IP enforcement. In particular, this work considers whether this approach achieves its goal of protecting IPRs and providing legal and economic stability within the IP system. Thus, the application of criminal enforcement measures by courts was examined to understand both the need for criminalisation and whether there may be a negative impact on IPR infringement deterrence, should the courts fail to implement criminal measures. The examination shows that imprisonment as a means of criminal enforcement for IPR infringements is not the preferred method of deterrence in the legal systems of the UAE and Jordan, as the courts impose fines instead. In addition, civil/ commercial litigation is more effective in the legal systems under scrutiny due to non-effective criminal procedures and a lack of social awareness concerning the value of criminal enforcement of IPR infringements.
 
Maps of FHTM spread throughout United States
Group based trajectory model of county quarterly pyramid scheme uptake
Group membership geographically located. Note: Counties displayed as ‘No Data’ are missing countylevel, quarterly unemployment data for at least one quarter, resulting in their removal from the model
Community-level vulnerability to pyramid scheme fraud may be affected by place-based sources of strain and opportunity. Using national victim data from a pyramid scheme fraud case from 2000–2013, this research explores pyramid scheme adoption with group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM). GBTM is used to look for distinct trajectories of pyramid scheme join rates and to explore the effect of strain, as measured by a county’s Social Vulnerability Index and unemployment rate, and opportunity or protection, as measured by a series of social capital variables, on the group trajectories. Findings suggest that county-level strain, including the county’s Social Vulnerability Index and unemployment rate are related to pyramid scheme victimization, especially early adoption. We also find that social capital variables – which can, in theory, reduce strain or increase opportunity – have a nuanced relationship with fraud victimization. While our findings are drawn from a single pyramid scheme, they point to the potential to analyze case data to inform preventative and monitoring strategies appropriate to local-level characteristics.
 
Channels through Which Corruption Affects Performance
While some studies argue that a low level of corruption in the public sector is positively associated with a high level of firm performance, few studies investigate the impact of corruption on public organizations’ performance. Does corruption decrease performance in government agencies? Using the integrity assessment dataset and the government performance evaluation dataset, this study investigates 42 central public organizations in South Korea from 2014 to 2018. This study employs a probit model, a random-effects model, and time-lagged regression to capture the impacts of corruption. The findings show that a low level of corruption within public organizations is positively associated with a high-performance level under certain conditions. This outcome shows that fighting corruption might contribute to improved organizational performance in public organizations.
 
The five domains of the RCF Model by the WHO
The implemention of the RCF model to competency-based education and training for rehabilitators
The competency-based education log frame for rehabilitators
Selection of competent personnel is critical to in terrorism rehabilitation efforts. Elucidating the characteristics of effective rehabilitation staff and determining personal and professional competencies has however been neglected. This study seeks to systematically identify competencies needed for staffs working with terrorism offenders in Indonesia. Semi-structured interviews with Indonesian counterterrorism experts, practitioners, and professionals were conducted and data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings suggest four general/core and forty specific competencies are helpful for rehabilitation therapists and other staff working with ideology-based terrorist offenders. The findings may be used by service providers responsible for the design and implementation of deradicalization and terrorism offender rehabilitation.
 
Age of the victims ranked by nationality
This paper presents the results of a research on the representations of femicide in the judicial field, in Italy. The use of the term femicide is analysed through the lens of the normative process, examining its social meanings and questioning its political and economic anchoring using the “juridical field” model (Bourdieu 1986). The essay is based on a wide theoretical framework. It starts by highlighting the problems evoked by the term ‘femicide’ (Corradi, et al. 2016; Radford and Russell 1992); its declension in criminal law and jurisprudence through its coding in specific types of offence (Merli 2015). The topics of power and imbalance between the sexes (Goffman 1977) are analysed by presenting their juridical definitions and those found in penal codes (Casanova 2016; Cavina 2011; Feci and Schettini 2017). This perspective helps framing considerations about the results of the empirical research based on quantitative data taken from 93 verdicts of ‘femicide’ sentences which involved foreign or migrant victims (chosen from a corpus of 370 issued in Italy between 2010 and 2016) and qualitative aspects: gathered through expert interviews and the tales of violence against women in a verdicts’ judgemental sample of murders of foreign women. The study confirms the way in which narrations produced in the “judicial field” – despite the “distortions” affecting them (Dubé 2012; Gusfield 1968) – prove to be rich sources for the knowledge of a phenomenon which, still today, suffers from a structural lack of data.
 
Plea bargaining is one of the procedural tools introduced into the Nigerian Criminal Justice System to ensure quick dispensation of justice, save time and resources that would have been spent on a trial, and solve the problem of prison congestion in the country. This paper examines the application of this procedural tool in the administration of justice in corruption cases in Nigeria. It argues that plea bargaining is used by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) mainly to recover looted resources from the culprits without giving due consideration to the provisions of the law and the essence and purposes that punishment serves. Also, the application of plea bargaining in various corruption cases has resulted in lighter punishments for the culprits. The paper draws on Deterrence Theory to argue that the way plea bargaining is being applied in corruption cases may encourage corrupt practices, rather than deter offending. Therefore, to achieve a reasonable outcome in fighting corruption in Nigeria, the rule of law must be upheld.
 
Studies of bribery have been heavily infuenced by the cost/beneft calculation, leaving social relationship of the involved parties under-explored. We propose the norm of reciprocity as a complement theoretical lens to explain bribery exchanges and explore diferent types of obligation that induce bribery. Based on qualitative data from a sample of government ofcials in Vietnam, we found that many bribery exchanges are governed by the norm of reciprocity, i.e., obligation-based bribery. In these obligation-based bribery exchanges, the parties extend and return illegal favors based on their senses of obligation to each other, in adjacent to cost/beneft calculation. We also uncovered two types of obligation, including pragmatic and moral, and found that these types of obligation are developed through diferent practices. Failure to address this social element of bribery would hinder much of anti-corruption efort. The study suggests that interactions between the norm of reciprocity and wider ethical norms in governing bribery should be further addressed by both researchers and practitioners.
 
The process of vote buying
The Ekiti Model of Vote Buying
Structured Interview Guide
In Nigeria, politicians and parties have developed a sophisticated vote-buying scheme, which we label, according to the state, where it happens, the Ekiti model of vote buying. Through a qualitative study of the gubernatorial elections 2018 in Ekiti, we describe how the Ekiti model of vote buying works. At the top of this scheme are parties, which have developed a sophisticated money distribution chain. Party members, who participate, get rewards in forms of government jobs or other benefits (should the party win). At the bottom of the chain are the voters, who receive between 10 and 30 dollars for their vote. They can even double dip and get their voting money twice, if they play the system well. The staff at the voting stations and the security personnel also get their fair share to guarantee that the vote buying machinery works. Who wins in such a system of entrenched corruption? It is the party, which hands out the most resources. As such, the vote buying machinery proofed quite effective.
 
Darknet cryptomarkets are a common method of drug procurement and are frequently a focal point for law enforcement intervention as a result. Past works assessing the effectiveness of cryptomarket closures by law enforcement have found a high degree of ecosystem resilience. Previous work, however, has not parsed the potential mediating role that official press statements and media coverage of such events might play on subsequent behavior. Using a new dataset of 27,195 distinct deterrent- or publicity-related sentiment-expressive signals taken from 406 media stories and 47 official press releases between 2013 and 2019, this article traces the potential impact of law enforcement closure of Darknet cryptomarkets on both US Google search activity and US Tor network use. The results generally show: 1) that discussion of certainty and severity of punishment, as deterrent signals, and sensationalism and market resiliency, as publicity signals, are the most forcefully expressed sentiments in the corpus of text; 2) US Google search interest in the Dark Web topic exhibits a fair degree of periodicity that is largely unassociated with the sentiment expressed in media coverage; and 3) US Tor anonymity network usage tends to be somewhat sensitive to how the closure is framed, with drops in Tor client connections in the US following comparatively high deterrence-coverage events and increases in the same following comparatively high publicity closures.
 
The criminal process in the Province of Buenos Aires has been affected by radical reforms in the last decades. Beginning with the complete replacement of the criminal procedure code in 1998 to the introduction of pre-trial hearings and simplified procedures for cases declared in flagrante delicto in 2004 the reforms have impacted more than legal procedures; they have changed the way judicial actors perceive themselves and their relations with the institution. Based on interviews with ten public defenders of the PBA this article offers an exploratory analysis on how public defenders’ perceptions have been impacted by those reforms and to what extent those internal changes have affected the internal dynamics of the PD. Drawing from the sociology of Bernard Lahire and Laurent Thenevot we identify in the public defenders’ responses how these changes affected their personal commitments. Mapping those commitments allow us to describe the subjective folds of the PD through which it is possible to better understand the decisions of public defenders by considering the internalization they make of the judicial world and its relationship with the institutional context.
 
Bubble plot of relative fine (logged) with gross revenue (logged)
In addition to legal considerations, what other factors correlate with and seem to affect fines companies are assessed when they commit an environmental crime? Relying upon the treadmill of crime theoretical framework we hypothesize that companies committing environmental crimes in poor and minority dominated communities will receive lower relative fines because the harms are viewed as less serious by prosecutors and judges, thus resulting in environmental injustice. In addition, from a green criminological framework, a company’s economic situation may be considered in setting fines so as not to slow down the treadmill of production. Using a unique dataset of firms fined for environmental violations in federal criminal courts, we seek to determine if sentencing practices that are consistent with the treadmill of crime perspective produce second-level environmental injustices. We conclude that the sentencing of corporations is handled in a manner consistent with predictions derived from the treadmill of crime theory and find as a result, in limited circumstances, environmental injustices are occurring.
 
Conversation about the alleged true killers' height, supported by documents from external sources
Statement by a tracker referring to the shoeprints found in the murder stall
Activist argues that the word "WAR" is written on the bathroom wall
Looking for information on the alleged murder weapon
Jurors are people who are exposed to legal proceedings and consequently exercise their judgment. A broad literature on law and film discusses the analogy between formal jurors, who are assigned to jury duty by the legal system, and "informal jurors"– "viewers-as-jurors" who encounter the legal system indirectly, through the media. In this paper, we identify a new category of "informal jurors", which refers to public discourse and actions concentrated on social media arenas in reference to legal cases. We argue that this category, which we call "social media jurors", maintains a tight correspondence with existing categories of jurors, but is distinguished from them by their extended abilities for speech and action. This article is based on a netnographic study, by which we illustrate our argument through the online activity in support of Roman Zadorov. Zadorov was convicted of murdering a young girl in Israel, while a large majority of Israelis continue to support his innocence and carry out extensive action on social media in support of this cause.
 
Count of comments per day. (Note: The dotted line represents the appearance of the first QAnon comment)
Density of comments by theme per day. (Note: The dotted line represents the appearance of the first QAnon comment)
Heatmaps for Jaccard Similarity Coefficients: Co-occurrences by Theme. All Comments (n=491). (Note: 1 = Protect and Save; 2 = Cessation of Behavior; 3 = Moral Sentiment; 4 = Government Performance; 5 = Praise for Teams; and 6 = Victimization)
Heatmaps for Jaccard Similarity Coefficients: Co-occurrences by Theme. Before QAnon (n=84) (Note: 1 = Protect and Save; 2 = Cessation of Behavior; 3 = Moral Sentiment; 4 = Government Performance; 5 = Praise for Teams; and 6 = Victimization)
Heatmaps for Jaccard Similarity Coefficients: Co-occurrences by Theme. After QAnon (n=407) (Note: 1 = Protect and Save; 2 = Cessation of Behavior; 3 = Moral Sentiment; 4 = Government Performance; 5 = Praise for Teams; and 6 = Victimization)
The state has encouraged civilians to take control of their own security through partnership and self-governance. Resultantly, civilians involved in the provision of security are attempting to obtain legitimacy for their civilian policing efforts. To investigate the acquisition of legitimacy for civilian policing, this article analyses comments (n = 1036) from an e-petition launched by a pedophile hunting group seeking legality for their enforcement operations. Because the e-petition eventually became dominated by QAnon conspiracy followers, the article also examines the QAnon movement in relation to civilian policing. The findings provide insight into justifications for the legality of civilian policing that are supplied by the general public in their efforts to support such groups, the process of de-legitimatization of the policing capabilities of the state, and the risks of what I call legitimacy tethering , linking civilian policing initiatives to radical groups such as QAnon.
 
Wrongful convictions continue to occur, with over 350 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States, and a collection of over 2500 known cases of presumed factual innocence at the National Registry of Exonerations. Conversation with exonerees suggest that at least some innocent individuals have met other wrongfully convicted prisoners while incarcerated. In the current study, we explored formerly incarcerated men’s views of wrongful conviction through the lens of governmentality. Using thematic analysis of interview transcripts with over 50 formerly incarcerated Canadian men on supervised release, we reveal how these released men perceive wrongful conviction, and how their understandings are impacted and shaped by the power dynamics underpinning their social interactions and experiences within the criminal justice system. Two main themes emerged in releasees perceptions of wrongful conviction: (1) that factually innocent people were wrongfully convicted of crimes—whether those crimes occurred prior to, or during, incarceration, and (2) the perceived fairness of legal processes led some individuals to view convictions of even factually guilty individuals to also warrant the label of wrongful conviction.
 
This article examines the gender implications of unjust provocation defence, which received little empirical attention than the theoretical. It focuses on the role of masculinity behind the application of unjust provocation defence in hate-motivated killings of LGBTQI in Turkey. By employing a qualitative content analysis to study four cases from Turkish domestic courts, it aims to provide an empirical background to the current theoretical debate on provocation defence. It argues that the non-recognition of hate crimes and the wide judicial discretion power of the courts jeopardise LGBTQI’s right to access the justice system, thus making them vulnerable to violence. Therefore, this article highlights the need to legislate hate crimes towards LGBTQI members to eliminate hostility towards them.
 
Environmental pollution is regarded as a major environmental crime in most countries ; Iran is no exception. This study examines water and soil polluting behavior among villagers in Jimabad, Mashhad County-a rural area in the Razavi Khorasan province in the northeastern region of Iran. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from a random sample of 315 respondents in the population of the villagers of Jimabad. This article reports on the levels of water and soil polluting behavior among the respondents and the results are discussed in terms of techniques of neu-tralization, religiosity and cultural context.
 
Perceived self-efficacy is often held to be the most focal mechanism of human agency. It has shown strong potential to explain action in multiple areas highly relevant to understanding crime, at least when the concept is formulated in close connection with the conditions that characterize the criminal acts it is supposed to explain. This article introduces the concept in the context of white-collar crime. To advance our understanding of how opportunities for such crime work, self-efficacy is defined with regard to one’s ability to control others’ impression of financially relevant information, or what is called dramaturgical self-efficacy . The presentation of this concept and its various elements is illustrated with contemporary empirical cases of white-collar crime and is preceded by a discussion of how opportunity structures and perceived self-efficacy have been understood in previous research relevant to the field. The article also discusses how the concept can be further developed with regard to the relationship between motivation and opportunity for white-collar crime.
 
This paper examines northbound crossings of personal vehicles and pedestrians from Mexico to the U.S. Sample size from January 1997 to December 2019 includes the period after December 2006 when then inaugurated Mexican government announced the “war on drugs”. We construct a series of border homicide share, which stands for the allocation of homicides in border states relative to the total of Mexican homicides. The series runs from between 15 to 20% to its peak of 48% in 2010 and its recent stabilization with less than 25%. We argue that this represents the intensity of violent crime spread throughout the Mexican border with the U.S., which is the geographic focus of research on border crossings. Employing structural vector autoregressions (SVAR), we estimate a model with homicide share, industrial production and border crossings. We compare the responses of this model to the pure economic model with the real exchange rate. We conclude that the response of border crossings to shocks in industrial production is about the same (positive and statistically significant) across models. However, while border crossings of vehicles and pedestrians respond negatively to positive shocks in border homicides the response of vehicles is prolonged and for pedestrians is immediate.
 
Descriptive statistics: Binomial Logistic Regression -Drug trafficking conviction
Few studies have assessed defense performance in criminal cases in the Latin American context. The current research investigated whether defense type affects the odds of conviction and incarceration length for drug trafficking cases in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. We used a Binary Logistic and a Linear regression model, controlling the results for defendants and case characteristics. From that, we found no difference in the performance of public defenders compared to private and assigned lawyers. Criminal history, firearms seized, and being the only defendant in the process increased incarceration length. Precision scale or plastic bags seizure increased the odds of conviction. Moreover, non-whites and less educated defendants had higher odds of conviction than their counterparts. We attributed these findings to the functioning of the criminal justice system as an assembly line, in which cases are mass treated. In the absence of reflection on the individualities of the processes, court actors end up making decisions based on stereotypes. In the absence of clear criteria in the Drug Law/2006 on who is a user and a dealer, certain social types – perceived as “bandidos” (Misse, Lua Nova 79:15–38, 2010), would be more likely to be labeled as dealers. In this context, the defense can do little to change the process course and its outcomes.
 
This article evaluates the factors impacting support for tough on crime policies in El Salvador. Examining theoretical and empirical scholarly work, we look at how fear, together with social and political contexts drive public appetite for punitive policies towards criminals. We show that President Nayib Bukele is responding to public opinion and has implemented tough on crime policies at the expense of human rights violations and democratic institutions. Society favors candidates who are the “toughest” against criminal actors. Political candidates from all sides of the ideological spectrum tap into the fear of the populace to win votes, leading to punitive Darwinism. We provide an empirical assessment of which theoretically relevant factors are statistically associated with punitivism in the Salvadoran context, using multiple regression analysis of high-quality public opinion survey data from LAPOP.
 
The graphic visualization of N1's egonetwork
sub-clustering dynamics and second-level hubs
Percolation of information along the egonetwork
the chronological scheme of the input-output chain
The paper investigates the role of criminal networks in fostering illegal wildlife trade (IWT), and how these relational structures interact with transnational organized crime. The paper frames these topics within the debate around the opportunistic or organized nature of IWT. The aim is to understand how chaotic behaviors can transform into an ordered and organized strategy. Social network analysis (SNA) and network ethnography were conducted to explore the crime network surrounding a wildlife trafficker based in East Africa. The empirical results suggest that criminal networks operate as "machine of order" that transform opportunistic behaviors at the micro level into ordered strategies at the macro level. Empirical results also suggest that organized crime has an important role in making the process of transforming opportunistic into organized behaviours more efficient and more effective.
 
Using prospect theory as our core descriptive model of the decision-making process, we explore how behavioural economics can be used to expand what can be said about terrorist behaviour and align the inferences about terrorist behaviour that have been drawn from a diverse collection of disciplines. Prospect theory played a key role in the emergence of behavioural economics and provided many leads that were followed up by subsequent generations of researchers to reveal and explain various interesting quirks and anomalies in human decision-making, especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty. The decision-maker that emerges from behavioural economics is one who makes decisions shaped by a mixture of rationality, emotions, aspirations, reference-dependent choices, loss aversion and habits. When we speak of terrorist decision-making and draw inferences about it from different analytical perspectives, behavioural economics can help us to ensure that our inferences are in accordance with each other and, furthermore, help us to deepen our ‘thinking about terrorists’ thinking’.
 
Trends in thefts (left graph) and robberies (right graph) rates in Italy by year. Note: the grey areas indicate years in which SPs were adopted; darker colour indicates years with a higher share of the population affected by SPs
Adoption of SPs (black squares) across Italian provinces and years, represented by their coalitional strength (colour intensity) and political orientation (colour). Note: blue indicates centre-right, red indicates centre-left, grey refers to other combinations
Population average model to predict the adoption of SPs at the local level: predicted probabilities by coalitional strength (left graph) and political orientation (right graph). Note: the estimates are adjusted for the control variables described in the text. The results from the full models are presented in Table A2 in the Online Appendix
We develop a theoretically informed quantitative evaluation of the large-scale policy of security pacts (SPs) in Italy (2007–2012). In particular, we show how Matland’s theoretical model of policy implementation (1995) may help clarify the contextual heterogeneity present in the outcomes of security policies. We build and use a macro-panel dataset in which we exploit variations in the temporal and geographic adoption of SPs to develop a dynamic analysis of the contextual factors that influence the probability of adopting a large-scale security policy at the sub-national government level. We apply a rigorous counterfactual design to assess the effectiveness of SPs in reducing theft and robbery rates. We find that the probability of adopting SPs is positively affected by coalitional strength but not political orientation. In contrast, the effectiveness of SPs in reducing crime relates more to the political orientation of the ruling parties than to coalitional strength.
 
A relatively nascent discipline, the field of hate studies has been explored and theorised from a multiplicity of disciplinary contexts. However, the field is ill-defined, and the relationship between hate crime and other related concepts unexplored. Here, we consider the range of phenomena which might fall within or without the field of hate studies, initiating a discussion of the boundaries of the field. We signal both the continuities and discontinuities among and between an array of strategies intended to sort and maintain hierarchical relationships, with the purpose of provoking scholars in the field of hate studies to reflect on its scope.
 
Estimated Recidivism by Foreign-born Status and Gini Index
Using approximately 30,000 arrest records from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and neighborhood characteristics from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, this study examines the relationship between foreign-born status and recidivism. In addition, we investigate whether any plausible relationship between foreign-born status and recidivism is conditioned by neighborhood characteristics. The results from hierarchical logistic regression analyses reveal that foreign-born offenders are less likely to recidivate than native offenders. Furthermore, the negative effect on recidivism for foreign-born offenders is amplified in neighborhoods with higher socioeconomic inequality. We discuss implications for policy and future research.
 
Critics of market economies are found among academics, social movements and alliances involving both. One such alliance is constituted by what is known as the degrowth movement, whose analyses of the dysfunctional effects of prevalent economic arrangements and principles relate (implicitly or explicitly) to crime prevention strategies. After briefly examining the concerns of classical theorists such as Karl Marx and Max Weber about infinite growth and its environmental impact, this paper tries to uncover the criminological implications of degrowth and to hypothesize how its strategies can contribute to the reduction and/or prevention of criminal activity.
 
There are endless possibilities of court users seeking to influence judges' decisions on cases in many countries. As a result, authorities often seek to reduce corruption opportunities by regulating judicial conduct and limiting access to judges. Using interview data from 15 judges drawn from a larger study of justice and anti-corruption officials in Ghana, this paper presents judges' interpretation and observation of rules around judicial conduct and the impact on corruption opportunities. The results suggest that judges interpret their obligations under these regulations broadly, including isolating themselves from the public to remove them from the possibilities of corrupt exchanges. However, it was found that instead of decreasing corruption opportunities, regulating judicial conduct in this way can produce unintended consequences. This anti-corruption measure, while well-meaning, can increase corruption opportunities, shift corruption opportunities to lower-level court officials, decrease transparency and guardianship, and even motivate judges to engage in corruption. The article concludes by discussing the implications of the results for preventing corruption in judicial systems.
 
Correctional officer excessive use of force has not been the focus of previous research inquiries, even though it is an inevitable feature of corrections work. Utilizing court cases from the U.S. District Courts and U.S. Courts of Appeals, this study seeks to add to the body of knowledge by examining criminal liability for correctional officer excessive use of force. The most consistent theme influencing correctional officers’ decisions to use excessive force was prisoners’ display of disrespectful or hostile behavior. Correctional officers involved in gang criminal activity, sexually assaulting prisoners, and using force on prisoners with pre-existing medical conditions were other themes that emerged from the analysis. This study expands our knowledge of individual, situational, and organizational characteristics that might contribute to excessive force in corrections settings. Our study shows that correctional agencies can reduce excessive force levels by implementing simulation-based training, administering psychological tests, and creating mandatory reporting laws.
 
As the awareness and extent of white-collar crime increases, the number of prison inmates from the middle and upper classes can be expected to grow. However, existing scholarship on the imprisoned white-collar offenders has geographical and methodological limits, is of a predominantly explorative nature and often employs definitions focused on the offence rather than the perpetrator. This study attempts to advance the current state of research by utilising Bourdieu’s capital theory in the description and explanation of the prison experience of a sample of 13 politicians, businesspersons, and lawyers serving prison terms for corruption and embezzlement in Poland. Deductive analysis of semi-structured interviews reveals how participants used social, cultural, and symbolic capital to secure an advantageous position whilst in prison. Due to varied assets such as their non-criminal identity, interpersonal skills and legal knowledge, the incarcerated elites studied were able to curry favour with guards, win recognition from fellow inmates and, unlike most prisoners, maintain supportive connections with the outside world. When considered within Bourdieu’s framework, these results provide an insight into the workings of capital in carceral settings, support the special resiliency hypothesis and explain it through differences in the social situation of inmates.
 
Governments, businesses, private citizens and even organised crime are increasingly investing in cyber security, with the cyber security industry growing in size and relevance. This paper demonstrates that markets for the buying and selling of cyber security should be subject to many of the same critical inquiries typically targeted at the private security industry. Using a number of illustrative examples of emerging trends in the commodification of cyber security it will be highlighted how these markets create significant social impacts and present similar dilemmas of democracy, justice, sovereignty, and deleterious side-effects for wider society. Key conceptual differences between cyber security commodities and ‘conventional’ security commodities will also be considered before arguing for an inter-disciplinary research agenda into the considerable social implications of the buying and selling of cyber security commodities.
 
This article argues that criminal justice scholars should import the theory of institutional corruption from political science to make sense of a distinct set of problems in the criminal justice system. To make this argument, this article examines the case of Ferguson, Missouri. In Ferguson, the city’s mandate to maximize revenue generation had a corrosive effect on the day-to-day policies and practices of both the Ferguson Police Department and the municipal court, leading to aggressive policing, excessive fines, and a number of unfair and unconstitutional practices. Framed as a problem of institutional corruption, the case of Ferguson is emblematic of a broader set of issues in criminal justice institutions involving policies and practices that are legal but rife with corrupting incentives. Such problems demand further scrutiny from criminal justice scholars and practitioners alike.
 
Top-cited authors
Michael Levi
  • Cardiff University
E.R. Kleemans
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
David Décary-Hétu
  • Université de Montréal
Luca Giommoni
  • Cardiff University
Binh Tran-Nam
  • UNSW Sydney