U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Proceedings of the National Conference on Punishment for Criminal Offenses

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1990
Papers from the National Conference on Punishment for Criminal Offenses (May 1990) discuss the public's punishment preferences, perspectives on the rationality of punishment, and system perspectives on punishment.

In discussing the public's punishment preferences for crimes, speakers focus on the results of the National Punishment Survey, which was conducted between August and October 1987 to determine the public's punishment preferences for specific offenses portrayed in eight crime scenarios. Survey results are compared with other punishment indicators. A major finding of the survey is the degree to which respondents favor imprisonment as a punishment relative to its actual use by the criminal justice system. Public attitudes toward punishment in England and Wales are also discussed, based on survey findings. A discussion of the deterrence effectiveness of punishment supports its value as a means of controlling the behavior of those who rationally calculate the consequences of their behaviors. One paper addresses the effectiveness of punishment in deterring drunk driving. A series of papers focuses on system perspectives on punishment. Overall, the papers indicate that system policymakers must consider the cost impact of implementing the public's desire for the increased use of incarceration. Chapter references, extensive tables.

Date Published: May 10, 1990