Deterrence research finds mixed support for the effect of sanction, potentially due to differences in deterrability across individuals. We assessed differential deterrabilty within a known offender sample (n = 428), and examined consistency in deterrability across multiple offense types: drunk driving, aggravated assault and commercial robbery. Using Pogarsky's (2002) classification method, inmates were categorized as acute conformist, deterrable, or incorrigible for each scenario. These classifications varied by scenario, suggesting little intra-individual consistency across offenses. Regression analyses uncovered little consistency in predictors of deterrability across offense types. Results suggest policies to increase certainty, swiftness and/or severity of formal sanctions will not have uniform deterrent effects, but may have differential impacts across individuals as they contemplate different crimes.
Journal of Criminal Justice – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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