Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency http://jrc.sagepub.com/
Does the Perceived Risk of Punishment Deter Criminally Prone Individuals? Rational Choice, Self-Control, and Crime
Bradley R. E. Wright, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt and Ray Paternoster Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2004 41: 180 DOI: 10.1177/0022427803260263 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/41/2/180
Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of:
School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers – Newark
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Some careful scholarship has already been directed at the issue of the relationship between the deterrent effect of sanction threats and criminal propensity. For several reasons that we will discuss at greater length in the next section of the article, however, we think this important issue is still unsettled and warrants additional research. First, the findings from these studies have been contradictory—some report a weak deterrent effect for those least prone to crime whereas some a strong effect. Moreover, sometimes the magnitude of the deterrent effect in different groups varies for the certainty and severity of punishment. Second, many of these studies have relied on student samples, relatively minor offending, and outcome variables of self-reported intentions to
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