This chapter summarizes European research that covers the various topic areas included in this book. It starts with an overview of European longitudinal studies, which have been conducted far beyond the small number of countries that are routinely included in international reviews of research. The chapter also gives an overview of transnational European crime victimization surveys and comparative research on self-reported juvenile delinquency. European countries differ substantially with respect to the volume, trends, and explanations of criminal victimization, violence against women, juvenile delinquency, and homicide. Among the factors routinely addressed is the nexus between migration and crime where Europe’s and America’s experiences differ in many respects. With respect to responses to offending, Europe has a long history of favouring therapeutic rather than punitive approaches, although evaluations often are unsatisfactory or entirely missing. Europe’s remarkably varying crime and incarceration rates, which are well-documented, allow us to asses to what extent prison populations are driven by crime rates or the length of sentences. The findings suggest that both variables play an important role and that especially the rate of inmates convicted of murder strongly affects a country’s prison population. The chapter concludes with a short discussion of the impact on crime of alcohol, drug and welfare policies.
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