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Respond to the following two students based on Chapter 2
In Chapter 2, Walker discusses Sober Realism which is used to develop effective crime control policies and provide better interpretations of how the justice system handles routine cases daily. He also speaks about the factors that have been crucial to reducing crime. Such as the nature of the crime, if the victim was injured, and if the offender has a prior record. I think the factor of a prior record has been the most crucial because if the offender has a record they are more likely to be punished severely.
This contributes to the reduction of crime because if an offender has a prior record, they will be punished severely for the second crime they committed. For example, on page 49 it states that if an offender has a long record of prior arrest the case can remain in the second layer, which is where more serious felonies like rape fall. Also on page 49 under “The Impact of Prior Record”, a BJS report states that “defendants convicted of a felony sentenced to prison dropped from 54 percent for those with two or more prior felony convictions to only 29 percent for those with no prior convictions.” Page 49 also speaks about defendants who have been paroled and how 66% of people on parole are sent back to prison within 3 years for parole violations rather than additional crimes. This ties back to the reduction in crime because since the system is harsh, especially on offenders who have a record they will probably be less likely to offend again. In short, the balance between being both harsh and “flexible” on offenders with records and offenders without records has been a crucial factor in the reduction of crime.
What I think that has been crucial to the overall impact in the reduction of crime across the country would be strict on crime. The country has reduced crime in my interpretation by being tough on criminals that commit crimes. This in a way makes people fear punishment and avoid crimes. When the public sees that the system is being hard on criminals and how they are getting charged and locked up it shows people who may think of doing a crime to avoid/ stop it. It shows them a warning of what can happen to them if they commit a crime. This in my opinion has been a good method to avoid crime and keep the crime rate low.