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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81809 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Policy Experiments in General Deterrence, 1970-1975 (From Deterrence and Incapacitation - Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates, P 140-186, 1978, Alfred Blumstein, Jacqueline Cohen, and Daniel Nagin, ed. - See NCJ-44669)
Author(s): F E Zimring
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 47
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Chicago Law School
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper surveys the results of a series of initiatives designed to enhance general deterrent effects in particular settings and analyzes four case studies.
Abstract: The approach implemented in the four case studies attempts to assess the impact of changes in law enforcement on punishment policy by closely following what happens after particular policy shifts occur. The four studies include the routine preventive patrol experiment conducted in Kansas City, the High-Impact Anti-Crime Program inaugurated by LEAA in eight cities, the Alcohol Safety Action Program, and the 'Rockefeller Drug Law.' Analysis of these intervention experiments reveals specific limitations to this research approach. These limitations include measurability, sensitivity, absence of theory, specificity of findings, and the marginal nature of politically possible shifts in independent variables. Students of deterrence at all levels need to pay more attention to the political science of punishment policy. The macrostatistical studies of deterrence document wide variation in criminal justice policy but reveal little about how the variations happen or why they occur. Concepts of crime and severity of sanctions are too broad and too vague to serve as the foundation for policy research. Two tables, 21 footnotes, 17 references, and an annotated bibliography of deterrence evaluations are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Deterrence effectiveness; Incarceration; Policy analysis; Punishment
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