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NCJ Number: 220672 Find in a Library
Title: Incapacitation: Revisiting an Old Question with a New Method and New Data
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:December 2007  Pages:303-326
Author(s): Gary Sweeten; Robert Apel
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, this study sought to estimate the number of crimes avoided through incapacitation of individual offenders.
Abstract: Results indicate that between 6.2 and 14.1 offenses are prevented per year of juvenile incarceration and between 4.9 to 8.4 offenses are prevented per year of adult incarceration. Despite its limitations, the technique of propensity score matching could profitably be applied to a number of additional research problems related to justice system involvement. A daunting challenge for any study of incapacitation is to estimate what would have happened had the incarcerated individual been free. In other words, on average, how many crimes the person would have committed if free. This study employs an approach that entails matching incarcerated individuals with non-incarcerated individuals on the basis of a propensity score created using information temporally prior to the treated individual’s first incarceration spell. Data were used from the first six waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. This is a nationally representative sample of 8,984 youths born during the years 1980 through 1984 and living in the United States during the initial interview year in 1997. Tables, figures, appendix, and references
Main Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence; Effects of imprisonment; Incapacitation theory; Incarceration; Longitudinal studies
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