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Three Strikes Law as a Public policy

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Abstract

Twenty-four states in the United States have enacted the “Three Strikes You’re Out” laws in their justice system since they were established in the early 1990s. The state of California has been the centre of interest as it the laws were first enacted so that they could reduce the level of criminal activity in the area. Since its enactment in November 1994, the state has imprisoned approximately 50,000 criminals by the year 2001. The sentences ranged from twenty-five years to life imprisonment without parole. Although such extremes efforts have been taken, it has been reported that the desired results have not yet been achieved. The only results are an increase in long sentences and a congestion of the prisons. Other states have limited use of these statutes. However, they have recorded a greater decline in crime rate as compared to the state of California. In fact, the states, which do not incorporate these statutes, do not have high rates of crimes as those incorporating the three strikes laws. Due to such outcomes, many have come to question whether the law are means to reducing the crime rates, or is an unusual and cruel punishment bearing no results. The people supporting the law state that it is a success since it removes recurring offenders off the streets for at least twenty-five years before they can harm the public again. If this is the case, why have the crime rates fail to decline? Does it remove some offenders then encourage others to take their place? This research analyses the law in order to show that it has only made a small impact on reducing crime rates. It only punishes the offenders unusually but does not bring the change it was meant to bring. It should be done away with. It has not made the needed change in the state of California.

References

Chen, E. (January 01, 2008). Impacts of “Three Strikes and You’re Out” on Crime Trends in California and Throughout the United States. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 24, 4, 345-370. Elsa Chen analyses the reason why the strikes law has not made the impact it was to make especially in the state of California (has imprisoned the highest number of offenders under the law) and other states that have enacted the law. Chen proves that the toughest policy in the criminal justice may not always be the most effective. The article shows that the state of California has not depicted better results than other states using laws that are more limiting. The article helps one to analyze the impact of a state that uses the law to the maximum as compared to other states using laws that are more limiting. It also enables one to focus on a particular state as compared to analyzing all the states, which is more daunting.

Chintrakarn, P. (January 01, 2012). Reassessing the impact of three-strikes laws on crime rates in U.S. States. European Journal of Scientific Research, 67, 2, 176-179. Pandej Chintrakarn gives a current analysis of the impact the three strikes law in all the twenty-four states. The article has also expounded the research on all the forty-eight states. The author has used the panel data in coming up with the analysis. The data ranges from the year 1982 to the year 2003. It expounds on the areas of per capita gross product of the state, the people with higher level of education, the college degree being the least, unemployment and per capita expenditure. The article enables one to analyze the law in relation to other areas, which contribute to the increase of criminal activity in the society. It is important to view the law in all aspects so that it can be identified whether it should still be enacted or be done away with.

Helland, E., & Tabarrok, A. (June 06, 2007). Does Three Strikes Deter?: A Nonparametric Estimation. Journal of Human Resources, 42, 2, 309-330. The authors have come up with a strategy that identifies the effect of the law using the deterrent effect of law only. The authors have compared the “post-sentencing criminal activity of criminals who were convicted of a strikeable offense with those who were tried for a strikeable offence but convicted for a non-strikeable offence.” The results show that the law reduced the felony arrests by 17-20% in the second strike crimes. The article gives a statistical perspective of this law in both the states enacting the law and those that do not. One can analyze the issue from a statistical point of view.

Kelly, J., & Datta, A. (January 01, 2009). Does Three Strikes Really Deter? A Statistical Analysis of Its Impact on Crime Rates in California. College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal, 5, 1, 29-36. The authors have used the California statistics of the year 1984 to the year 2004 in order to determine the effect of the law in deterring criminal activities. The research follows the approach of differentiating between the deterrent and incapacitation effects of law. The results obtain showed the law’s impact was on the crimes pertaining to property crime. However, the violent crimes were hardly affected. The article enables one to establish the effect of the law in relation to the individual crimes. It is therefore established whether the laws should be implemented in all areas of crime or in some areas of crime.

References

Chen, E. (January 01, 2008). Impacts of “Three Strikes and You’re Out” on Crime Trends in California and Throughout the United States. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 24, 4, 345-370.

Chintrakarn, P. (January 01, 2012). Reassessing the impact of three-strikes laws on crime rates in U.S. States. European Journal of Scientific Research, 67, 2, 176-179.

Helland, E., & Tabarrok, A. (June 06, 2007). Does Three Strikes Deter?: A Nonparametric Estimation. Journal of Human Resources, 42, 2, 309-330.

Kelly, J., & Datta, A. (January 01, 2009). Does Three Strikes Really Deter? A Statistical Analysis of Its Impact on Crime Rates in California. College Teaching Methods & Styles Journal, 5, 1, 29-36.

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