Crime and Panic: Contextual Factors in Violent and Sex Offender Sentencing

Jessica Huffman
Although crime rates have been decreasing nationwide, the public is still very concerned with crime as a social problem and generally supportive of criminal justice penalties for wrongdoing. The mass of punitive laws have been especially harsh on those convicted of sexual offenses, even as these offenders comprise a small part of the entire crime picture. The passage of mandatory minimum sentences and risk management laws for sex offenders suggest a moral panic over sexual...
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