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NCJ Number: 236318 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Quantifying the Specific Deterrent Effects of DNA Databases
Author(s): Avinash Bhati, Ph.D.
Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 99
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
The Urban Institute
Washington, DC 20037
Grant Number: 2007-DN-BX-0001
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study quantified the specific deterrent effects of DNA databases by examining whether offenders’ knowledge that their DNA profile had been entered into a database deterred them from offending in the future.
Abstract: The study found evidence that offenders’ knowledge that their DNA was entered into a database for future reference significantly deterred them from committing robberies and burglaries. Regarding the deterrent effects for other categories of crime, however, there was less persuasive evidence that knowledge that one’s DNA is in a database restrained offenders from reoffending. Having such a database, however, did in fact increase the risk for the detection of recidivism. The study concludes that although DNA databases do not provide a powerful deterrent effect across the board for all offenses, DNA databases clearly increase the risk for detecting recidivism, in that those offenders who were not deterred from reoffending were more likely to be rearrested. These findings clearly favor the future expansion of the range of crimes and categories of offenders covered by DNA databases. The study examined the reoffending patterns of a large cohort of offenders released from custody under the Florida Department of Corrections between 1996 and 2004. Since the unfolding of a criminal career can most closely be associated with an individual’s choices, any positive changes that DNA databases bring to these unfolding careers is identified as the specific deterrent effect. Should recidivism continue or increase, along with increased detection of reoffending through DNA evidence, this suggests that the deterrent effect has not increased with the existence of a DNA database, but it has increased the risk for being detected for new crimes that lead to rearrest. 8 figures, 23 tables, and 57 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Databases; Deterrence effectiveness; DNA fingerprinting; Investigative techniques; NIJ final report; Recidivism
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