SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Hamai, K., & Ellis, T. (2008). Japanese criminal justice: Was reintegrative shaming a chimera? Punishment & Society, 10, 25-46.

Abstract: Despite its post-war reputation as one of the most crime-free industrialized countries Japan has a rapidly increasing recorded crime rate and corresponding falling clearance rate in police statistics. In 1998, only 19% of the Japanese public thought crime was getting worse, but by 2005 this had increased to 48%. The first part of this article, therefore, examines statistical records to assess the public’s perception of increasing crime. Recent evidence (Hamai and Ellis, 2006), summarized here, shows that in the late 1990s, press coverage of police scandals provoked key policing policy changes. These changes resulted in a sudden drastic increase in recorded crime, due to the increase in hitherto unreported and less serious forms of crime, and a coincident dramatic decrease in clearance rates. The second part of the article then examines, in more depth, how the myth of the collapse of secure society was created and has been maintained. The main focus is on the inaccurate media coverage of crime and the growing influence of the victims’ movement. The article then considers the impact of increasing punitivism along with an analysis of changes in the prison population.

Journal Article 2: Armstrong, T. A., Lee, D. R., & Armstrong, G. S. (2009). An assessment of scales measuring constructs in tests of criminological theory based on National Youth Survey data. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 46, 73-105.

Abstract: Researchers have utilized the National Youth Survey (NYS) data to test a variety of theoretical explanations of criminal behavior. Here, the authors offer an assessment of scales used in tests of criminological theory based on NYS data. The authors conducted this assessment to provide results informing future tests of theory. Their analyses focus on understanding the extent to which scales representative of different theories are actually based on the same item content. They test for two distinct processes that may explain this phenomenon. In the first process, scales measuring a given construct are attributed to different theories. In the second process, scales measuring different constructs are based on the same items. Results show that both of the processes described above contribute to the use of the same NYS items in scales that are attributed to different theories. To inform future tests of theory, the authors identify the sections of the NYS where each of these processes are most prevalent, in effect identifying the areas of the NYS that future tests of theory should treat with the greatest care. Based on the implications of each process identified above, the authors also offer some suggestions to strengthen future tests of theory using NYS data.