SOCI 2450 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: List Of Countries By Intentional Homicide Rate, Homicide

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13 Apr 2012
Criminology 2450- Deterrence
There are 6 common goals of sentencing (DDARRS):
Specific Deterrence: reducing the probability that an offender will reoffend in the future.
General Deterrence: reducing the probability that other members of society will reoffend in the
Absolute Deterrence: a particular punishment will deter a particular crime completely.
Marginal Deterrence: a particular punishment will reduce a particular crime.
Denounce: to say that we don’t approve of a specific behaviour (e.g., by publishing it in the
Assist: to assist the offender with rehabilitation.
Planned Interventions: programs that help offenders get back on the right path (e.g., CBT,
employment programs, skills training)
Reparations/Restitution: to pay back money or society.
Includes remediation programs – also known as reintegrative justice.
Retribution: balancing the harm done by the offender with punishment (the punishment must fit
the type and severity of the crime) – also known as the Just Desserts Model.
Separation/Incapacitation: remove the offender from society to protect them and society.
Deterrence: the certainty of detection and conviction is more important. There are 4 major
assumptions of deterrence:
Risk: offenders have to believe in the risk of arrest, conviction, and punishment.
Consequences: offenders have to view the consequences as something to be avoided.
Awareness: offenders have to be aware of the consequences.
Rational: offenders must be rational and weigh the costs and benefits of their actions in order to
make decisions.
A Police Officers’ Role in Deterrence
Police officers as a deterrent: increasing the number of police officers arguably does not reduce
crime in a community. From the perspective of a police officer:
Resources (police officers) are spread thin over a large area.
A lot of crime is impulsive.
Many crimes cannot be suppressed by police presence (e.g., rape).
For non-impulsive crimes that could be controlled by police, the target audience would need
to perceive the threat of arrest, calculate the risk of arrest, understand that the consequences will
be unpleasant, and make a rational decision not to commit a crime. This is unlikely.
Though problem-oriented policing can be effective. This is where police officers target hotspots
in the community (a large percentage of 911 calls are made from the same individuals). This
Careful planning, scanning, analysis, response, and assessment.
Partnerships with other government agencies and private groups.
Targeting individuals with restraining orders against them and using legal actions against
community nuisances.
Independent and rigorous evaluation.
There are four reasons why we should be sceptical about deterrence policies (PLEC):
Psychology: we know little about the processes and perceptions of how risks are formed.
Long-Term Effects: we know little of the long-term effects of crime policies related to deterrence.
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