or copy and send this link: https://magyarnemzet.hu/belfold/megoldast-jelentenenek-a-rettento-szigoru-szupermax-bortonok-7934729/
Sixty years old is the most important criminological research center in Central and Eastern Europe
Established in 1960, the National Institute of Criminology is a scientific, research and training body of the Prosecutor General's Office. When it was founded, the National Institute of Forensic Science was named because the prevailing ideology at that time considered bourgeois science as bourgeois. The research site has been known as the National Institute of Criminology and Criminalistics since 1971, and since 1999 it has been named the National Institute of Criminology (OKRI). We talked to György Vókó, the director of the institute, about the anniversary.
– What does criminology mean and what does OKRI do?
– Criminology is a social science dealing with the causes of crime, the theoretical and practical aspects of the fight against it, and the possibilities of law enforcement and crime prevention. The mission of our institute is to investigate crime, to develop criminology, forensics and criminal science. We strive not only to deal with theory, but also to provide practical help to reduce crime. The most important thing in the field of forensic science is that the results of the research can be utilized as much as possible in the prosecution and court work. In addition, we have developed a lively relationship with similar profile institutions in other countries with which we are engaged in joint projects and were invited to organize the Balkan Criminological Network, which was established in Zagreb. Last year, we held a joint conference with the Chinese prosecutor's office on cybercrime, half of which was published in Hungarian and half in Chinese.
– Who can be a criminologist in Hungary and what is the number of researchers at the institute?
– Criminology is a compulsory subject at law universities, but a criminologist cannot be just a lawyer. Our research team of 22 includes criminal psychologists and sociologists, and even statisticians. Many of us have academic degrees: we have an academic, a doctor of the academy, a PhD, a candidate, and four have a habilitated university professor. We have counted, myself and my colleagues are members and officials of 52 scientific organizations. OKRI was recognized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, although not maintained, as a scientific workshop.
– How do you decide when, on what topics, to conduct research?
– 40% of our recent topics were initiated by the prosecution on current, practical issues such as nature damage, human trafficking, animal torture, migration and human trafficking. Of course, the institute staff also raises topics. Recently, we have dealt with, but not limited to, domestic and domestic violence, child and neonatal protection, relapse prevention, drug trafficking, robbery, property crime and female crime. As the institute's reputation grows year by year, we receive requests from more and more places, including research at the request of the Ministry of Justice, the National Courts Office, the Ministry of the Interior and the Crime Prevention Council. We recently compiled an investigation into money laundering for the Ministry of Finance and are currently preparing material for the Wallet to prevent hunting accidents.
– I know that in addition to your responsibilities as a director and as a university professor, you also do research. What topic are you studying today?
– I'm currently dealing with repeat offenders. It can be said that the number of repeat offenses is generally reduced, but the number of repeat offenses is not reduced in the case of multiple offenders. One example of this is the American example: the so-called supermax prisons have been set up in the United States as the crux of the criminals' hard core, which are terribly strict institutions. There is hardly any recession among those who escape from here.
– The number of registered crimes has decreased significantly in Hungary in recent years. What might be behind the welcome trend?
– The causes of the decline in crime are being investigated in an ongoing study, and a study on the results is expected to be completed in the first half of the year. One of the reasons for the improving trend across Europe is the tightening of penalties, but we also see that convictions get worse when executed. In Belgium, for example, electronic supervision is offered instead of imprisonment for sentences of up to 3 years. In this case, the convict may, subject to certain restrictions, continue to live his daily life, but must report every minute through a digital device. This is a much cheaper solution than incarceration, and it can reduce the clutter of prisons, which is much more significant in Belgium than in our country. In Hungary, prisons are currently at a 112 percent occupancy rate, which we are in the middle of Europe, but I do not know that this is why they do not prosecute the state with tens of thousands. However, e-supervision also raises doubts: it may not apply to everyone, such as the homeless, and the inmate does not have the human relationship he or she had previously with the probation officer. Furthermore, its deterrent effect is also questionable.
– To what extent are domestic criminals influenced by the fact that even offenders can be released after receiving two-thirds of their sentence?
– There are countries where lifelong violent offenders are excluded from conditional release, but in that case they must be encouraged by some other means to engage in cooperative behavior within the prison. Previously, in Hungary, convicted prisoners were released after serving four-fifths, three-quarters in prison and two-thirds in prison. The current domestic legislation that all, except for repeat offenders, who are sentenced to a limited term of imprisonment, is condemned to release one third of their sentence, is a particularly mild solution by European standards. This, in my opinion, undermines the prestige of the judiciary through its frequent use and also reduces the deterrent effect of punishment. In addition, only a small proportion of those on parole are under probation, even though they are still in custody. In essence, they spend their imprisonment imposed, only on parole.