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Breaking the bonds of criminal gangs with leniency

The Swedish government is once again evaluating leniency to break criminal gangs, according to news agency TT. But can the government break the culture of silence around criminal gangs in Sweden? What are the risk and consequences of being a government witness? Professor Giancarlo Spagnolo and Assistant Professor Maria Perrotta Berlin shared their insights on this topic.

The Swedish government recently proposed to evaluate the introduction of leniency to break criminal gangs in Sweden, according to the news agency TT. A proposal which Giancarlo Spagnolo, Professor at SITE, and Maria Perrotta Berlin, Assistant Professor at SITE, discuss in an article from 2013, in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

In the 2013 article, Giancarlo and Maria explain the pros and cons of using a system of reduced punishment (leniency) to "divide et impera" criminal gangs. Leninecy for cooperating witnesses can attract confessions and thus contribute to criminal investigations. But most importantly, the system can have a crime prevention effect because incentives for potential criminals to testify against accomplices in the future make it more difficult to cooperate in the first place. However, in order for such a system to work well, proper design and enforcement are of utmost importance.

Read the full article from 2013 (in Swedish) at Svenska Dagbladet. For the latest news about this topic, please read the full article from TT

Related topic:

Novel Tools for Measurement and Deterrence of Criminal Transactions, by Giancarlo Spagnolo and Maria Perrotta Berlin.

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