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1 Outline of researchThe analysis in the previous chapter revealed that the percentage of persons who repeated the same type of offenses was high for theft and Stimulants Control Act violations when compared with other offenses (See Fig. 7-2-1-3 and Fig. 7-2-3-5). Persons who repeated these offenses were revealed to have a strong tendency to repeat offenses of the same type. In addition, the rate of revocation of suspension of execution of the sentence was also high among these offenders (See Fig. 7-2-2-5), as was the percentage of inmates who had been imprisoned multiple times (See Fig. 7-2-3-4). Since the tendency for offenders to repeat theft and Stimulants Control Act violations was high, as shown, these offenses are considered to entail a risk of re-offending which differs from general criminal tendencies.
Moreover, an examination of the sentencing of those with previous convictions for theft only and those with previous convictions for Stimulants Control Act violations only revealed that most had been granted suspension of execution of the sentence at their first trial, while about 60% and 80% of them respectively were sentenced to imprisonment without suspension of execution of the sentence at later trials (See Fig. 7-2-2-3). Considering that the reformation/rehabilitation of offenders is difficult as they repeat offenses, it is important when developing criminal policies to take effective measures to prevent repeat offenses at an early stage.
In light of this need, a special study was conducted using criminal case records with the aim of identifying risk factors, etc. involved in the tendency to repeat offenses by comparing/discussing differences between those who had repeated offences within a certain period after being granted suspension of execution of the sentence and those who had not.
The research involved those who had been granted suspension of execution of the sentence for either theft or Stimulants Control Act violations (limited to use or simple possession cases) and who had no previous conviction for the same type of offense. More concretely, the subjects selected for the research are theft offenders processed by the Tokyo Local Public Prosecutors Office, Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office (head office only), and Yokohama Local Public Prosecutors Office, along with stimulants offenders processed by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office (head office only) and Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office (head office only), whose conviction was made final in the court of first instance in 2004 (because of the retention period of criminal case records the research cannot be carried out before that date).
In addition, a follow-up study was conducted to determine whether the research subjects had ended up repeating offenses or not. Here, to “repeat offenses” refers to being convicted in a final judgment for offenses committed after the decision date of the court of first instance and within four years of that date.
The breakdown of the research subjects is as follows.
Theft: 691 persons (628 males, 63 females)
Those who did not repeat offenses: 486 persons (444 males, 42 females)
Those who repeated offenses: 205 persons (184 males, 21 females)
Among them those who repeated theft: 162 persons (142 males, 20 females)
Stimulants Control Act violations: 519 persons (388 males, 131 females)
Those who did not repeat offenses: 365 persons (262 males, 103 females)
Those who repeated offenses: 154 persons (126 males, 28 females)
Among them those who repeated Stimulants Control Act violations: 128 persons (101 males, 27 females)