Crime and Punishment—Crime Rates and Prison Population in Europe
2. Prison Rates vs. Crime Rates: Previous Research and the Challenges of Comparing Crime Internationally
2.1. Deterrence Effect and Prison Paradox
2.2. Methodological Issues
2.3. Comparing Crime Internationally
- Eurostat—collects data on crime and prison population annually.
- CEPEJ: European Judicial Systems, Council of Europe—published annually.
- National crime statistics.
- UNODC: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
3. Data and Variables
4. Prison vs. Crime Clusters of the CEE and the WE Countries
5. Worldwide Governance Indicators vis-à-vis Crime and Prison Data
- Voice and Accountability (WGI_VA) captures perceptions of the extent to which a country’s citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media.
- Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism (WGI_PS) captures perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically motivated violence and terrorism.
- Government Effectiveness (WGI_GE) captures perceptions of the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to such policies.
- Regulatory Quality (WGI_RQ) captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development.
- Rule of Law (WGI_RL) captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in, and abide by, the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence.
- Control of Corruption (WGI_CC) captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, including both petty and serious forms of corruption, as well as the “capture” of the state by elites and private interests.
- results confirm that the CEE countries differ distinctly from the WE countries in terms of the relationship between “crime and punishment”(i.e., crime rates (X) and incarceration rates (Y));
- the direction of association between crime rates and incarceration rates is confirmed to be distinctly positive for assault, rape, and robbery;
- for theft, the inclusion of the CEE variable makes the association between X and Y weaker than is seen from the simple correlation (i.e., significantly negative).
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
|Y = prisoner rate||0.1796||0.2160||0.5806 **||0.6741 **|
|X = crime rate||−0.2473||−0.4368 **||−0.4557 **||−0.5652 **|
|−0.7414 **||−0.2679||−0.6065 **||−0.5337 **||−0.5881 **||−0.5978 **|
|n = 32||n = 32||n = 32||n = 32||n = 32||n = 32|
|Y = prisoner rate||−0.0807||−0.1412||−0.5867 **||−0.5610 **|
|X = crime rate||0.1218||0.4609 **||0.2828||0.6418 **|
|Y = prisoner rate||−0.2381||−0.3681 *||−0.4776 **||−0.3941 **|
|X = crime rate||−0.2226||0.2261||−0.3094 *||0.1619|
|Y = prisoner rate||0.0654||−0.1325||−0.5389 **||0.4083 **|
|X = crime rate||−0.1252||0.4656 **||0.1686 *||0.6090 **|
|Y = prisoner rate||0.1657||0.0564||−0.5089 **||−0.3866 *|
|X = crime rate||0.2115||0.4983 **||0.1966||0.6144 **|
|Y = prisoner rate||0.0987||−0.0360||−0.5817 **||−0.4525 **|
|X = crime rate||0.1846||0.5429 **||0.2021||0.6349 **|
|Y = prisoner rate||0.1223||−0.0541||−0.6191 **||−0.4959 **|
|X = crime rate||0.2456||0.5584 **||0.2123||0.6511 **|
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We simply need to know whether our data comprise a sample or represent the entire population. In both cases, the relationships between variables may, and should, be examined. Interpretations and statistical inference will be different. The model for the entire population relates only to this particular population, i.e., the insignificant variable in the regression equation may mean that, in fact, this particular variable may not be suitable for explaining the relationship in question for this population (Gruszczyński 2020, p. 14).
“South” means south of the Pyrenees and the Alps. The USA and Canada were placed in the category “North/West”. (Smit et al. 2008, p. 186).
Due to the small number of observations, we have not attempted to test the difference between the means.
As seen in table C, the instrument WGI_CC selected for assault is weakly correlated with this variable (it is a weak instrument), although this correlation is the highest among all correlations of assault with the WGIs.
|Prisoner rate (Y)|
|CEE countries (A)||7.560||5.158||18.179||27.003|
|no. of observations||9||10||10||10|
|WE countries (B)||5.846||3.622||6.840||7.318|
|no. of observations||17||16||17||17|
|Crime rate (X)|
|CEE countries (A)||34.967||5.699||17.236||525.946|
|no. of observations||10||10||10||10|
|WE countries (B)||115.722||28.305||53.160||1489.433|
|no. of observations||21||21||21||21|
|Yi = Prisoner Rate||Assault||Rape||Robbery||Theft|
|Xi = crime rate||0.0142 **||0.0465 *||0.0909 **||0.0001|
|Di||2.9715 *||2.6608 *||15.1775 **||19.8069 **|
|constant||4.0864 **||2.2317 *||1.4333||7.1373|
|CEE countries (A)||0.736||0.660||0.664|
|no. of observations||10||10||10|
|WE countries (B)||1.208||0.814||1.307|
|no. of observations||21||21||21|
|CEE countries (A)||0.916||0.670||0.438|
|no. of observations||10||10||10|
|WE countries (B)||1.311||1.335||1.354|
|no. of observations||21||21||21|
|Yi = Prisoner Rate||Assault||Rape||Robbery||Theft|
|= crime rate predicted from (2)|
|Di||0.0474 *||0.0351||0.2540 *||−0.0019|
|constant||5.0455 *||1.8138||9.1045 **||18.0669 **|
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Gruszczyńska, B.; Gruszczyński, M. Crime and Punishment—Crime Rates and Prison Population in Europe. Laws 2023, 12, 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010019
Gruszczyńska B, Gruszczyński M. Crime and Punishment—Crime Rates and Prison Population in Europe. Laws. 2023; 12(1):19. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010019Chicago/Turabian Style
Gruszczyńska, Beata, and Marek Gruszczyński. 2023. "Crime and Punishment—Crime Rates and Prison Population in Europe" Laws 12, no. 1: 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010019