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# In each of the past five years,

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In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 07:58
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In each of the past five years, Barraland's prison population has increased. Yet, according to official government statistics, for none of those years has there been either an increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial, or an increase in the rate at which convictions have been obtained. Clearly, therefore, the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. In Barraland the range of punishments that can be imposed instead of a prison sentence is wide.
B. Over the last ten years, overcrowding in the prisons of Barraland has essentially been eliminated as a result of an ambitious program of prison construction.
C. Ten years ago, Barraland reformed its criminal justice system, imposing longer minimum sentences for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory.
D. Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent.
E. The number of people in Barraland who feel that crime is on the increase is significantly greater now than it was five years ago.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 11:44
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This is a good weaken question:
C1: In each of the past five years, Barraland's prison population has increased.
P1: Yet, according to official government statistics, for none of those years has there been either an increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial, or an increase in the rate at which convictions have been obtained
Conclusion: the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

We need to find the statement what will weaken the conclusion which claims that % of people convicted of crimes is on increase.

Lets look at the answer choices:

A. In Barraland the range of punishments that can be imposed instead of a prison sentence is wide.
This does not directly deal with or tell us why the % of people convicted of crimes is on the rise. It deals with prisons, but does not directly deal with the conclusion. So not it.

B. Over the last ten years, overcrowding in the prisons of Barraland has essentially been eliminated as a result of an ambitious program of prison construction.
Out of scope. Overcrowding is not mentioned in the passage and does not deal with the conclusion

C. Ten years ago, Barraland reformed its criminal justice system, imposing longer minimum sentences for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory.
Now this is a good choice which claims that something that started 10 years ago is a result for more attendance in prison. It clearly states that the % of people in prison is increasing, not because of people convicted of crimes, but because of something (imposing longer minimum sentence for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory) that started 10 years ago. This weakens the conclusion and is the correct answer!

D. Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent.
Parole deals with people already out of prison and is out of scope, Not it

E. The number of people in Barraland who feel that crime is on the increase is significantly greater now than it was five years ago.
It does not matter how many people 'feel' that crime is on the increase. Does not relate to our conclusion. Too broad to be the correct answer.

Hope this helps!
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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 20:15
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igotthis wrote:
D. Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent.
Parole deals with people already out of prison and is out of scope, Not it

I liked your elimination, however I feel that the reason for eliminating is not because it is out of scope but because it is a strengthener. It is giving you a reason that people who are on parole are not likely to come back, and hence crowding in the prison could be because of the percentage of people getting convicted is on increase.
And.. remember Answer choices in Weaken and Strengthen questions are likely to be Out of Scope.
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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2014, 21:33
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Premise: Prison person increased, Criminal cases not increased, Convictions not increased.
Conclusion: So, Prisoners/convicts must have increased.

If I prove that prisoners increased not because of convicts but because of something else, then that would weaken the conclusion.

In each of the past five years, Barraland's prison population has increased. Yet, according to official government statistics, for none of those years has there been either an increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial, or an increase in the rate at which convictions have been obtained. Clearly, therefore, the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. In Barraland the range of punishments that can be imposed instead of a prison sentence is wide.
If range is high, then why prisoners increased?
B. Over the last ten years, overcrowding in the prisons of Barraland has essentially been eliminated as a result of an ambitious program of prison construction.
Even if a program has been eliminated, its relation with the convict-prisoner hasn't been mentioned.
C. Ten years ago, Barraland reformed its criminal justice system, imposing longer minimum sentences for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory.
Bingo ! Prisoners are living longer than they used to before.
D. Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent.
Violations less frequent-> low number of convicts-> then why prisoner population increased?
E. The number of people in Barraland who feel that crime is on the increase is significantly greater now than it was five years ago.
Irrelevant.
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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2015, 14:28
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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2016, 22:28
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2016, 03:39
In each of the past five years, Barraland's prison population has increased. Yet, according to official government statistics, for none of those years has there been either an increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial, or an increase in the rate at which convictions have been obtained. Clearly, therefore, the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

X year
criminal case brought to trial =100
Convicted people =50
Prison population = 25
the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences = 50 %

Y year
criminal case brought to trial =100
Convicted people =50
Prison population = 40
the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences = 80 %

Conclusion ->
the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

Logical Gap :-
1> Prison population can be increased if Not convicted people also stay in Prison for the duration as they await for trial. (Some are on bail and some are not) that can mess up with prison population.
2> Prisoner stay for a longer time now.
So let's say if 10 years back, 5 years sentence were given, prisoner convicted at that time, left the prison 5 years back. But if 10 years back, 10 years sentence were given, prisoner convicted at that time are still in the prison. THis doesn't mean that people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.It is just that time of prison sentence made a difference.

C. Ten years ago, Barraland reformed its criminal justice system, imposing longer minimum sentences for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory.
Correct

D. Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent. => Strengthen the conclusion.

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Re: In each of the past five years, [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2017, 07:52
Argument ->
In each of the past five years, Barraland’s prison population has increased. Yet, according to official government statistics, for none of those years has there been either an increase in the number of criminal cases brought to trial or an increase in the rate at which convictions have been obtained.
1- Prison population has been increased during the last five years.
2- Number of criminal cases has not been increased.
3- Rate at which the conviction has been obtained has not increased.

Conclusion ->
Clearly, therefore, the percentage of people convicted of crimes who are being given prison sentences is on the increase.

Question type -> Weaken
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

Prethinking ->
1-Rate at which people leave the prison has been decreased.
2-Criminals who were somehow living outside of the prison have been brought back to the prison.

A- In Barraland the range of punishments that can be imposed instead of a prison sentence is wide.
<A general fact about Barra : Red flag - the choice doesn't hurt the conclusion in any sense; Range of Punishment - out of scope - incorrect >
B- Over the last ten years, overcrowding in the prisons of Barraland has essentially been eliminated as a result of an ambitious program of prison construction.
<Somewhat strengthening the conclusion - incorrect >
C- Ten years ago, Barraland reformed its criminal justice system, imposing longer minimum sentences for those crimes for which a prison sentence had long been mandatory.
< As per prethinking 1 - fit answer option - correct >
D- Barraland has been supervising convicts on parole more closely in recent years, with the result that parole violations have become significantly less frequent.
< out of scope- incorrect ; if someone argue that it is close to the argument premise, then it is opposite to the Prethinking-2; incorrect >
E- The number of people in Barraland who feel that crime is on the increase is significantly greater now than it was five years ago.
< The number of people who FEEL something is out of scope - incorrect >
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Re: In each of the past five years,   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2017, 07:52
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