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NCJ Number: 62877 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: PANEL ON RESEARCH ON DETERRENT AND INCAPACITATIVE EFFECTS SUMMARY OF REPORT (FROM RESEARCH INTO CRIMINAL SENTENCING, 1978 - SEE NCJ-62872)
Author(s): A BLUMSTEIN
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Cmtte on Science and Technology
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES PANEL FOUND A NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIME RATES AND SANCTIONS AND SUGGESTS THAT RESEARCH CONCENTRATE ON INSTITUTIONAL PROCESSES WHICH AFFECT SANCTIONS.
Abstract: IN ESTIMATING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DETERRENT EFFECT, RESEARCHERS COMMONLY ANALYZE NATURAL VARIATIONS IN CRIME RATES AND SANCTION LEVELS ACROSS DIFFERENT UNITS OF OBSERVATION. STUDIES CONSISTENTLY REPORT A NEGATIVE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CRIME RATES AND RISK OF PUNISHMENT. THE VALIDITY OF RESEARCH WHICH PROVES THAT SANCTIONS DETER CRIME IS COMPROMISED BY THREE FACTORS: ERRORS IN REPORTING CRIME BY CITIZENS OR POLICE, THE FACT THAT IMPRISONED OFFENDERS WILL REDUCE CRIME BY INCAPACITATION AS WELL AS DETERRENCE, AND SIMULTANEOUS RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CRIME AND SANCTIONS, SUCH AS JURISDICTIONS WHICH IMPOSE LOWER PENALTIES BECAUSE THEIR SYSTEM IS OVERBURDENED BY A HIGH CRIME RATE. QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ARE FREQUENTLY DONE WHEN LAWS CHANGE OR NEW ENFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES ARE APPLIED, BUT RESULTS ARE USUALLY LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC LOCALE, TYPE OF CRIME, OR TACTIC AND CANNOT BE APPLIED TO GENERAL THEORIES ON DETERRENCE. EFFORTS TO ASSESS THE EFFECT OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON HOMICIDE USUALLY FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIOECONOMIC, AND CULTURAL FACTORS, AND NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRODUCED TO PROVE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS A DETERRENT. SINCE HIGH CRIME AREAS TYPICALLY HAVE A LOW RATE-OF-TIME-SERVED PER CRIME, THEY WOULD REQUIRE THE LARGEST INCREASE IN PRISON POPULATIONS. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESEARCH INCLUDE EXAMINATION OF THE EFFECTS OF WORKLOADS ON CASE DISPOSITIONS, USE OF TIME-SERIES TECHNIQUES, DECRIMINALIZATION OF CERTAIN OFFENSES, AND PATTERNS OF INDIVIDUAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. COMMON DATA BASES ON CRIME, JUDICIAL PROCESSES, AND CRIMINAL HISTORIES ARE NEEDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Convicted offender incapacitation; Deterrence; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62877

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