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NCJ Number: 62634 Find in a Library
Title: LINKING ACTUAL AND PERCEIVED CERTAINTY OR PUNISHMENT - AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF AN UNTESTED PROPOSITION IN DETERRENCE THEORY
Journal: CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:366-379
Author(s): J PARKER; H GRASMICK
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY EXAMINES THE EFFECTS OF TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON PEOPLE'S PERCEPTION OF THE CERTAINTY OF ARREST IN A COMMUNITY.
Abstract: THIS UNTESTED PROPOSITION IN DETERRENCE FOCUSES ON (1) NEWSPAPER CRIME STORIES AND (2) PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH CRIME AS THE CHANNELS OF INFORMATION INDIVIDUALS MIGHT USE TO FORM PERCEPTIONS. USING THE TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION IDENTIFIED ABOVE AS INDEPENDENT VARIABLES, THIS STUDY RESTRICTED DATA TO A SINGLE AGGREGATE (A COUNTY IN THE MIDWEST), WITH THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE AS INDIVIDUALS' ESTIMATES OF THE OFFICIAL ARREST RATE FOR A PARTICULAR CRIME (BURGLARY). RESEARCHERS OBTAINED 356 INTERVIEWS IN 1976 AFTER SELECTING A SAMPLE OF 360 ADULTS, STRATIFIED ACCORDING TO THE CENTRAL CITY AND SUBURBAN DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION. RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED TO INDICATE HOW MANY BURGLARIES HAD BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE IN THE COUNTY IN 1975 AND TO ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF THESE FOR WHICH AN ARREST WAS MADE. ALTHOUGH THE OFFICIAL ARREST CLEARANCE RATE FOR REPORTED BURGLARIES IN THE COUNTY WAS 13 PERCENT, RESPONDENTS TENDED TO OVERESTIMATE THE CERTAINTY OF ARREST. THEIR ESTIMATES OF THE ARREST RATE FOR BURGLARY WAS INFLUENCED TO SOME EXTENT BY THEIR EXPERIENCES AND THEIR ACQUAINTANCES' EXPERIENCES WITH CRIMES WHICH DID NOT RESULT IN ARREST. HOWEVER, NEWSPAPER CRIME COVERAGE PROBABLY IS NOT THE MECHANISM THROUGH WHICH CRIMES AND ARRESTS INFLUENCE PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS OF THE CERTAINTY OF ARREST IN A COMMUNITY. THE STUDY DOES NOT DEMONSTRATE THAT THE AVERAGE PERCEIVED CERTAINTY OF ARREST AMONG OFFENDERS AND POTENTIAL OFFENDERS IS HIGHER IN COMMUNITIES HAVING A RELATIVELY HIGH ARREST RATE, BUT THE RESULTS PROVIDE A RATIONALE FOR ASSUMING THAT SUCH A RELATIONSHIP EXITS. NOTES AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Clearance rates; Comparative analysis; Deterrence; Estimated crime incidence; Media coverage; Perception; Public Attitudes/Opinion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62634

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