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NCJ Number: 156905 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Punishment and the Willingness To Engage in Criminal Behavior: A Research Note
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:(1995)  Pages:377-384
Author(s): M G Gertz; L C Gould
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 8
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study aimed to replicate and extend the findings of previous investigations into the relationship between crime and punishment; these earlier studies generally measured respondents' perceptions of risk and severity of sanctions at the time of their arrest and correlated those measures with the reported incidence of criminal behavior before the interview.
Abstract: A sample of 611 undergraduates completed a questionnaire in which they rated 12 kinds of criminal behavior in terms of its relative morality, their behavior had they been involved in the given scenario, and the risk they perceived being caught, arrested, and imprisoned. Like previous studies, these findings showed little support for the notion that there is a correlation between fear of punishment and personal-level criminal inhibitions. Small, negative, zero-order correlations between perceived formal and informal sanction probability and reported willingness to engage in criminal activities disappeared when controls were introduced for prior criminal behavior and respondent's belief that the activity was morally wrong. 5 tables, 2 notes, and 21 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Corrections; Criminality prediction; Deterrence; Punishment
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