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NCJ Number: NCJ 241651     Find in a Library
Title: Sometimes Ignorance is Bliss: Investigating Citizen Perceptions of the Certainty and Severity of Punishment
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2012  Pages:630 to 646
Author(s): Alex R. Piquero ; Nicole Leeper Piquero ; Marc Gertz ; Jake Bratton ; Thomas A. Loughran
Date Published: 2012
Page Count: 17
Document: HTML 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined public knowledge of punishment for certain crimes.
Abstract: Deterrence lies at the heart of the criminal justice system and policy. There is a lack of information on citizen’s perceptions regarding a critical element of the deterrence process as it manifests through the communication of sanction threats. This study uses data from over 400 adults to examine their knowledge regarding the probability of detection and the average punishments for DUI, and also assesses the contribution of demographic and theoretical variables in predicting perceptions of detection probabilities and punishment estimates. Results show that persons over-estimate the likelihood of detection and provide higher estimates for average sentence lengths, but very few variables predict deterrence perceptions. An investigation of the resetting effect shows that persons tend to lower the estimated likelihood of punishment after experiencing a punishment. Deterrence may work better if researchers and policy officials understand what influences these perceptions and how they may be modified. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Attitudes ; Punishment ; Perception ; Policy ; Deterrence ; Citizen legal knowledge
   
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=263742

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