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Title: Do You Get What You Pay for? Assessing the Use of Prison from an Economic Perspective
Authors: Marsh, Kevin
Fox, Chris
Hedderman, Carol
First Published: May-2009
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 2009, 48 (2), pp. 144-157.
Abstract: This article assesses the relative economic costs and benefits of alternative sentences. A conceptual economic model is developed in which the benefits are the rehabilitation, incapacitation, deterrence and retribution effects of prison. A review of the literature was undertaken to identify economic studies that measure these effects. The evidence available tends to focus on costs and the rehabilitation and incapacitation effects. The evidence on the deterrence effect takes two forms – theoretical models and empirical analysis. Little economic evidence on the retribution effect of prison was identified. In conclusion, whatever the other reasons put forward for or against the use of prison, it is reasonable to conclude that using it for anyone but those convicted of serious offences is a waste of public resources.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1468-2311.2008.00556.x
ISSN: 0265-5527
Type: Article
Rights: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 2008, 48 (2), pp. 144-157. The final version is available from Doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2311.2008.00556.x
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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