Week 6 Lecture Notes for CCJ 3011 Continued

VII. General deterrence

A. Concept holds that crime rates will be influenced and controlled by the threat of criminal
I. if people fear apprehension and punishment, they will not risk breaking the law
2. factors of severity, certainty , and celerity influence one another

B. Policy and practice in criminology: Reducing subway crime
I. D.C. Metro designed with situational crime prevention in mind
2. Metro's crime rates have been stable or lower than other subways
C. Certainty of punishment and deterrence
1. some research shows inverse relationship between crime and certainty
2. most research found little relationship between the likelihood of being arrested
or imprisoned and corresponding crime rates

D. Increasing police activity
I. more cops should equal less crime
2. difficult methodology
3. recent research supports hypothesis
4. crackdowns have short-term effect

E. Severity of punishment and deterrence
1. Green's research on unauthorized cable service
2. some support for fIrearm sentencing laws

F. Capital punishment
I. immediate impact
a. effect of an execution on the murder rate
b. brutalization effect
c. criminologists argue whether executions increase murder rate or
lower the murder rate
2. comparative research
a. studies have shown no real deterrent effect
3. times series
a. tells researchers how the murder rate changes when death penalty
statutes are created or eliminated
4. no deterrent effect
5. rethinking the death penalty

G. Perception and deterrence
I. several studies indicate that the certainty and not the severity of punishment may
have a deterrent effect on behavior
2. experienced criminals may be less deterred

H. Informal sanctions
1. informal sanctions may have a crime-reducing impact
a. perception of informal sanctions was a more effective determinant of
deterrence than perception of formal sanctions
b. effect of informal sanctions may vary according to the cohesiveness of
community structure and type of crime

I. Shame and humiliation
I. shame and humiliation in a public setting may deter crime
2. anti-crime campaigns play on fear of shame

J. Critique of general deterrence
1. some experts believe that the purpose of the law and justice system is to create a
threat system
2. few studies actually show that perceptions of deterrence actually reduce the
propensity to commit crime or lower the crime rate
3. rationality is missing in the offender
4. needy people commit crimes
5. severity and speed are missing in the criminal justice system

VIII. Specific deterrence

A. Does specific deterrence deter crime
I. chronic offenders do not seem to be deterred
2. some research shows that punishment increase recidivism rates

B. Pain versus shame
I. Newman's book Just and Painful embraces traditional concepts of specific
a. return of corporal punishment as alternative sanction
b. advocates electric shock

C. Race, culture, gender, and criminology: Deterring domestic violence
I. Sherman and Berk's ground breaking research of the effect of police action on
domestic dispute cases
2. spouse abuse replication projects fail to duplicate Sherman and Berk's fmdings
3. use ofshort-term custody

D. Reintegrative shaming
I. Braithwaite's Crime, Shame and Reintegration discusses reintegrative shaming
2. shame is a powerful tool of informal social control
3. stigmatization and reintegrative shaming are two distinct types of shame

E. Rethinking deterrence
I. general and specific deterrence may be interactive
2. effects of vicarious deterrence may negate effects of general deterrence

IX. Incapacitation

A. The current decline in crime rates
I. a result of increased incarceration -the incapacitation effect
2. a result of more complicated explanations

B. Can incapacitation reduce crime?
I. studies have not supported a strict incarceration policy
2. no compelling evidence that imprisonment substantially increases or decreases
the likelihood of subsequent criminal involvement

C. The logic behind incarceration
I. more prior incarceration experiences increase likelihood of recidivism within 12
months of their release
2. criminal labeling keeps bars entrance into legitimate occupations
3. always someone to take the place of an incarcerated offender
4. cost of incarceration is terribly expensive

D. Selective incapacitation: three strikes and you're out
I. Greenwood's study found that the selective incapacitation of chronic offenders
could reduce robbery and inmate population
2. three strikes and you're out don't work

X. Policy implications of choice theory

A. Idea that the threat of punishment can control crime
I. tough mandatory criminal sentences
2. study showed that 9 % of all inmates on death row had prior convictions of

B. Just dessert
I. theoretical model to guide justice policy
2. Von Hirsch's views on punishment as social equity
3. punish for current offense not future offending
4. belief that punishment should be the same for all people who commit the same


I. Compare and contrast the basic ideas of choice theory with classical theory .
2. Describe the basic tenets of classical criminology and identify the major proponents of classical thought.
3. Can violence be rational? Do violent crimes fit within the rational choice perspective?
4. What factors are considered when rationally choosing crime?
5. Discuss three methods to prevent crime situationally. What are the potential consequences of these tactics?
6. Discuss at least two different methodological approaches used to test the theory of general deterrence.
7. Using the concept of defensible space design a plan to prevent crime in an apartment or dorm room.
8. Within the rational choice theory what is the difference between offense and offender specific crime? Why is this distinction important?
9. According to Katz seductions of crime influence criminal behavior. How?
10. Defme the tem1S displacement, extinction, discouragement and diffusion.
11. What does research regarding deterrence and capital punishment indicate?
12. Distinguish between specific and general deterrence. Give an illustration of policy based on each concept.
13. How would you design an effective crime control policy considering the misunderstanding criminals have about their own vocation?
14. Was your last crime rational? What did you gain from it? What were your chances of getting caught? What would have stopped you from committing it?
15. How is the drug business similar to retail business?
16. What effective strategies have police used to reduce domestic violence?