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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222067 Find in a Library
Title: Deterrent Effects of Disciplinary Infraction Disposition Times in a Community Corrections Center
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:January/February 2008  Pages:7,8,10,11
Author(s): Kevin W. Whiteacre
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 4
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tests the swiftness element of deterrence theory (the effectiveness of any punishment is contingent upon celerity (swiftness), severity and certainty) through an investigation of the disciplinary system of a Federal community corrections center.
Abstract: The findings support the swiftness or celerity element of deterrence theory. The finding further suggests that in order to maximize the deterrent value of celerity, disposition of infractions at the corrections center should occur within 48 hours of the incident and no later than 3 days after. With regard to the Federal community corrections center (CCC) under study, swiftness matters. Swift dispositions of disciplinary infractions were associated with fewer new infractions. Policies are recommended that ensure quick responses to disciplinary infractions, providing an efficient means of reducing problem behavior and increasing the safety of both residents/inmates and staff. Disciplinary infractions can be costly to a correctional program, its clients, and the staff. Correctional facilities maintain disciplinary systems to deter infractions by punishing violators through a series of graduated sanctions. However, according to deterrence theory, the effectiveness of any punishment is contingent upon three factors: celerity or swiftness, severity, and certainty. This study examined the swiftness element of deterrence theory by investigating the disciplinary system of a Federal CCC. It tests the hypothesis that the disposition time for disciplinary infractions will have a positive relationship with the rate of subsequent disciplinary infractions; meaning, as disposition times increase so will new infractions. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Deterrence; Discipline
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence effectiveness; Inmate discipline; Inmate misconduct; Punishment
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