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How does society respond to crime?

After a crime has been committed, a variety of things may happen: the victim may report the crime to the police (or not), the crime may be linked to a suspect (or not), a suspect may be found guilty (or not), and convicted offenders may end up being incarcerated (or not). NSCR studies all these aspects of the aftermath of crime and our societal response to crime and punishment.

We investigate the impact of sanctions on the lives of perpetrators and the risk of recidivism. To study sanctions we use a variety of methods and datasets. We investigate police practice through interviews and observations, and we follow convicted persons through the legal system. In addition, we conduct research in correctional institutions for juvenile offenders.

Program leaders: Barbora Holá and Anja Dirkzwager

Suspect with mild learning disability has difficulty obtaining the right care and reoffends

Lifelong Obstacles is the first life course study in the Netherlands into young people with an MLD who have bene in trouble with the law in their youth. How do they get on in life ten years after completing a youth rehabilitation order? Legal documentation reveals that two-thirds of the study population (N=120) reoffends. The […]

New NSCR pillar: research into victims and victimization

What exactly is victimology? ‘Victimology is the research into victims and victimization. For example, with victims of a crime we investigate: what did you experience? What feelings do you have? What should be done for you? How do police and criminal law treat you? What do you expect from a criminal trial? How does the […]

Real-life observations of social distance in public: do people actually do it?

Rosenkrantz Lindegaard and Snoek draw on full time recordings of 55 surveillance cameras in Amsterdam to identify hotspots for rule-breaking of the social distancing measures. For their analysis, they apply video artificial intelligence and systematic behavioral coding, in order to establish where in the city people tend to break the rules, e.g. gather in groups […]

The Human Factor of Cybercrime

As a result, human decision-making plays a substantial role in the course of an offence, the justice response, and policymakers’ attempts to legislate against these crimes. This book focuses on the human factor in cybercrime: its offenders, victims, and parties involved in tackling cybercrime. Traditional criminal or new offender types? The distinct nature of cybercrime […]

How to recognize a mild intellectual disability earlier in the criminal justice system?

A mild intellectual disability (LVB) is often not recognized in the criminal justice system in time or even not at all. However, research shows that the percentage of clients with a LVB in forensic care is high. Characteristics of a LVB are limitations in intellectual functioning (IQ <85) and social functioning. Existing information is not […]

Deterrence versus procedural justice. Successfully reducing reoffending

An important aim of imposing sanctions is preventing people who have already committed crimes from breaking the law again. However, worldwide, the figures for reoffending are high. Usually, the criminal law system assumes that criminals will reoffend less if they perceive sanctions as (more) severe and if they feel they have been treated (more) fairly […]

Peter van der Laan appointed as interim director NSCR

Peter van der Laan studied special education at Leiden University. In 1991, he gained his doctorate for a thesis entitled Experimenteren met alternatieve sancties voor jeugdigen (Experimenting with alternative sanctions for juveniles). For many years, he has carried out research in the area of child protection, juvenile deliquency and (youth) criminal law. From 1981 to […]

Insufficiently protected. Violence in youth care

The sector study focused on three questions: What has happened in the closed (judicial) youth institutions since 1945? How did the violence take place? And how was the violence experienced by ex-pupils and what consequences did this have for their later life? Researchers Van der Laan, Eichelsheim, Dirkse, Bruggeman and Asscher conducted archival research, interviewed […]

Pressure during investigative interview increases risk of wrong sentencing

Miscarriages of justice, such as the Schiedam Park murder case, occur in the Netherlands too. This case led to further research and recommendations to structure the investigative interview differently, and to report it better. In England and Wales, famous cases of miscarriages of justice are the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six and the Maguire Seven. […]