skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 163467 Find in a Library
Title: Street Gangs and Deterrence Legislation (From Three Strikes and You're Out: Vengeance as Public Policy, P 203-221, 1996, David Shichor and Dale K Sechrest, eds. -- See NCJ-163458)
Author(s): M W Klein
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three strikes laws represent one of several types of legislation being brought to bear on gang members, and the effectiveness of these laws is considered in the context of deterrence and gang dynamics.
Abstract: With regard to three strikes laws, if certainty, severity, and swiftness of punishment are the key prongs of deterrence, it is clear that most gang suppression legislation is ineffective. Severity is increased for second and third strikes, but severity essentially takes the form of belated incapacitation. Certainty of punishment is only slightly increased because three strikes laws do nothing to affect the likelihood of detection, apprehension, and court conviction. In addition, three strikes laws do not encourage alternative behavior. Disjunctures between legal provisions and behavioral realities mean law enforcement will often apply three strikes laws inappropriately, inaccurate depictions of gangs will become widespread and further decrease the deterrent credibility of three strikes laws, and numerous defense challenges will needlessly be upheld. Provisions of California's Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act and gang dynamics that affect suppression legislation such as three strikes laws are discussed. Gang issues in court cases are addressed according to the categories of gang suppression and gang dynamics. 16 references and 3 notes
Main Term(s): Gang Prevention
Index Term(s): California; Corrections effectiveness; Courts; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Deterrence effectiveness; Habitual offenders; Recidivism; Recidivists; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.