Breaking the bonds of criminal gangs with leniency
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.