Condensed Reading Notes "Perception amongst..."

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University of Toronto St. George
Candace K.

Week 3: Social Control as Deterrence Horney Risk Perception Among Serious Offenders - the Role of Crime and Punishment - P revious research on the perceived certainty of punishment indicates that individuals with experience in committing crimes perceive arrest as less certain than do those without such experience. - Most studies however, have not considered the experience of sanctions in conjunction with the frequency of criminal behavior. With a sample of 1,046 incarcerated felons, we examined relationships among perceived risk of arrest, arrest history, and frequency of committing crimes. INTRO - Numerous studies have found that individuals with experience in commit- ting an offense have lower estimates of the risk of punishment than those with no such experience (Claster, 1967; Jensen, 1969; Jensen et al., 1978; Teevan,1976; Tittle, 1977; Waldo and Chiricos, 1972). - This negative correlation has been viewed traditionally as evidence for a deterrent effect; that is, people who have higher estimates of risk are less likely to commit crimes. - The risk estimates were thus seen as a reflection of the delinquents distorted self-perception a delusion of arrest immunity. - Since most deviance actually goes unpunished, many rule-breakers find that their initial fear of sanctions was unrealistic. - These more recent interpretations suggest that the development of risk perceptions reflects a rational process rather than a delusional or irrational one. Viewing offenders as reasoning decision makers is a basic tenet of rational choice theory (Cornish and Clarke, 1986:13). (theory: implies that individuals have a realistic perception of both the probability of being sanctioned
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