Deterrence Theory Of Punishment

Better Essays
Introduction
A central and enduring question in the study of criminal behavior concerns the extent to which punishment diminishes a convict’s likelihood of committing crimes in the future (Green et al., 2010). Many empirical studies over the years have explored the idea of the deterrence theory, but the results are mixed. Some studies suggest that those who are punished more severely become less likely to reoffend; others contend that they become more likely to reoffend; and still others find no relationship between punishment and recidivism (Green et al., 2010). Does the severity of the type of sentence, incarceration vs. another sentence, affect levels of recidivism? Based on studies within the last five years, it is hypothesized that
…show more content…
(2014) described the deterrence theory, which explains how sanctions were thought to be most effective when (1) swiftly following the crime, (2) highly probable, and (3) severe enough to deter future criminal acts, as written by Beccaria. Deterrence theory assumes that offenders are rational and choose to commit crimes when the perceived benefits of criminal behavior outweigh the potential costs (Budd et al., 2014). Deterrence theory quickly goes to the idea that every criminal thinks in logical steps. If there is too high of risk for severe punishment, the criminal will not offend. A few propositions made based on the deterrence theory is to give sex offenders longer prison sentences and serve more time (Budd et al., 2014), setting up mandatory alcohol checkpoints during periods of increased rates of alcohol consumption (Bachmann et al., 2014), and setting up Day Repoting Centers to make a collaboration between the criminal justice system and community treatment agencies (Champion et al., 2011). Looking at harsh sentences, such as deterrence theory suggests, compared to less severe sentences can help answer the question as to how the sentence affects …show more content…
Looking closer at first time DWI offenders, this study examines which punishment works best to lower recidivism. Bachmann et al. (2014) holds the hypothesis that the behavioral programming received during community supervision leads to lower recidivism rates for first time DWI offenders. The sample is first-time DWI offenders in Tarrant County, Texas who get to choose between the three options of probation, straight jail sentence, or labor detail sanction (Bachmann et al., 2014). The recidivism rates were compared differently depending on which punishment the offender chose, each from different departments, but they were all compared in a follow-up after 15 months. Recidivism in this study includes any subsequent charges for any type of criminal activity by the same offender (Bachmann et al.,

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Deterrence theory suggests that a person will not commit a crime if the perceived punishment outweighs the benefit they receive from committing the crime. The punishment usually has three components. The punishment must be swift. The punishment must be certain. The punishment must outweigh the benefit. The punishment must be swift, so the offender knows that they are being punished for. The offender is less likely to commit the crime if they believe they are certain to be caught and punished. If…

    • 100 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Deterrence Theory

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This paper has highlighted deterrence and power-control theory to provide insight into why shoplifting happens but fails to give an integrated approach to this behaviour. Situational Action Theory (SAT) is a promising theoretical approach to integrating both person-oriented and environment-oriented explanations to shoplifting. Hirtenlehner and Hardie (2016) address deterrence theory and Gottfredson and Hirschi’s self-control theory as influential theories that often represent inconclusive results…

    • 932 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Deterrence Theory

    • 724 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Deterrence Theory Deterrence of a crime is based on choice theory, which is the assumption that a person is making a conscious decision to commit a criminal act. Since the person is making a conscious effort to commit the crime, deterrence is meant to reflect the punishment for the crime based on that decision. In computer crime, since most computer users are aware of what constitutes as an illegal act (e.g. downloading music without paying for it), the assumption is that most people know when…

    • 724 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Deterrence Theory

    • 546 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Deterrence theory is a form of social control that is used to instill fear as a preventative measure to crime. This theory often makes an offender do a cost/benefits analysis prior to committing the crime: is doing this crime worth the time? An offender is “put on notice” that if they are caught there are certain things that society and the constitution mandates will happen as a result of non-conformity. I believe Deterrence can work, my issue is the varying degrees of non-conformity and the varying…

    • 546 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Deterrence of Capital Punishment There has been much controversy on whether or not capital punishment deters crime. Many may say it does but once we look at the statistics that is not what we see. The death penalty might have been a useful tool as a deterrent back when it first originated but not in today’s society. We often look at capital punishment as a cruel means of justice in the judiciary system and to many that is exactly what it is. One thing that is certain is that capital punishment…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Deterrence Theory Essay

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages

    This theory was popular during the cold war with regard to the use of nuclear weapons but overall it was a strategy intended to persuade an adversary from taking action first. Deterrence theory assumes that crime can be prevented if potential offenders weight the pros and cons of the crime (Zimring and Hawkins 1973). Three concepts that play an important role in deterrence theory are the certainty, severity, and swiftness of punishment. The deterrent effects of crime prevention…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Focused Deterrence Theory

    • 523 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The focused deterrence theory is having a direct approach with offenders to help prevent violence and have a stronger response to the ones committing crimes by pulling all legal levers against them. The focus tends to be for high offenders which are drug dealers and gang members. Gangs are notified that violence is not to be tolerated and if violence still happens then serious measures will bring a certain and immediate response. It is used to put a perimeter in the views of offenders. This helps…

    • 523 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    first example of justification for punishment that I will be discussing will be deterrence. What deterrence means that it is the attempt to discourage criminality through the use of punishment. (Macionis, 2006) one example of deterrence is that you know the outcome of the punishment before you decide to break any sort of law. It is believe that this concept was based on the thought that citizens will not break the law if they think that the pain of the punishment will outweigh the pleasure of the…

    • 921 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    which would not be otherwise, because the punishment was less punitive. In the late 70's the public began to demand harsher punishments for juveniles. Research indicates that a juvenile accused of a violent crime was more…

    • 657 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Philosophy of Punishment: Deterrence General and Specific Sentencing Model: Indeterminate Sentencing For the philosophy of punishment I chose deterrence, specifically because of the goals and benefit this philosophy. The deterrence punishment is divided in to two separate categories. First on is the general deterrence, the goal of general deterrence is to prevent non-offenders (those who’ve not committed a crime) from committing crimes by exposing non-offenders to the reality…

    • 1084 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays