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32 How. J. Crim. Just. 1 (1993)

handle is hein.journals/hjcj32 and id is 1 raw text is: 



@  Basil Blackwell Ltd. 1993, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK
and 238 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
The Howard Journal Vol 32 No 1. Feb 93
ISSN 0265-5527



        Criminal Justice Expenditure:

                A   Global Perspective



                           JON   SPENCER
              Lecturer in Social Work, University of Manchester

Abstract: The United Nations Third Survey of Crime and Criminal Justice (United
Nations 1987) contains data on global criminal justice expenditure. The data show that between
1982 and 1986 there was a trend of increased expenditure on criminal justice. At the same time
crime rates increased. This paper examines criminal justice expenditure in different parts of the
system, in an attempt to discover whether there are patterns to global criminal justice
expenditure. The author concludes that criminal justice expenditure is more concerned with
political and ideological objectives than with feasible criminal justice outcomes.

The  United Nations Third Survey of Crime and Criminaljustice offers a uniquely
broad  database with which  to examine  global patterns of change. While
other  databases  provide   more  complete   information  on  particular
segments  of the criminal justice process, the Third Survey details all stages,
and  some characteristics of criminal justice systems, such as the number
of judges and magistrates, the proportions of these who  are female, and
the amount  spent on different parts of the system in different years. This
paper  offers some preliminary data on  criminal justice expenditure and
their relationship to aspects of the operation of the system. The data on
expenditure on  system elements (police, prosecutions, courts, prisons and
non-institutional measures (for example, probation))  were requested for
the  years 1982,  1984  and  1986.  Features of  the system  like prison
population and  numbers  prosecuted were available for all years from 1980
to 1986. Change  in expenditure is the cornerstone of this analysis.' This
was  chosen in preference to absolute expenditure because of the massive
national differences in purchasing power of ostensibly equal sums. Ratios
are much  more  stable and usable for a variety of reasons in international
comparisons   (see Harvey   1989).  In order  to provide  a  meaningful
comparison  of expenditure changes between  countries the average rate of
inflation between 1980 and 1986 for each of the 93 countries was included
in all relevant calculations.
  The  overall trend in criminal justice expenditure, globally, has been
upwards   in the period  1982 to  1986 (United  Nations   1987). The  93
countries which  make   up the data, with  few exceptions, indicated  an
increase in all areas of criminal justice expenditure during the period 1982


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