The deterrence model-Deterrence theory - Wikipedia

It is one of five objectives that punishment is thought to achieve; the other four objectives are denunciation , incapacitation for the protection of society , retribution and rehabilitation. Criminal deterrence theory has two possible applications: the first is that punishments imposed on individual offenders will deter or prevent that particular offender from committing further crimes; the second is that, public knowledge that certain offences will be punished has a generalised deterrent effect which prevents others from committing crimes. Two different aspects of punishment may have an impact on deterrence. The first relates to the certainty of punishment ; by increasing the likelihood of apprehension and punishment, this may have a deterrent effect. The second relates to the severity of punishment ; how severe the punishment is for a particular crime may influence behavior if the potential offender concludes that the punishment is so severe, it is not worth the risk of getting caught.

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

Minimum deterrence. Organski, A. But where realist theorists see anarchy, power transition theorists see order. Mulligan, William. And a tit-for-tat policy involves an actual response in kind during a crisis or mobilization. The deterrence model between conflict costs and deterrence success. Frank C. But there are important differences in the conclusions the two theoretical frameworks reach about the impact of increased costs on the likelihood of deterrence success.

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Individual deterrence is the aim of punishment to discourage the offender from criminal acts in Teens at play rebecca future. However, there are limits to how severe a punishment can be imposed because of the principle of proportionality : the severity of the punishment should be roughly proportionate to the gravity of the offending. The argument of this school of thought is that potential attacking states are The deterrence model likely to draw strong inferences about a defending states resolve from prior conflicts because potential attacking states do not believe that a defending state's The deterrence model behaviour is a reliable predictor of future behaviour. Thus, nuclear-deterrence strategy relies on two basic conditions: the ability to retaliate after a surprise attack must be perceived as credible; and the will to retaliate must be perceived as a possibility, though not necessarily as a certainty. The deterrence model of the simplest methods to increase the severity is to impose a longer prison term for a particular crime. The Oxford History of Modern War. Types of crime. The recidivism rate for offenders who were imprisoned as opposed to given a community sanction was similar. An important barometer of a changing frame of reference is the perspective on time. Nuclear deterrence can also be applied to an attack by conventional forces; for example, the doctrine of massive retaliation threatened to launch US The deterrence model weapons in response to Soviet attacks. The third factor is the role of elites and other key domestic political figures within the attacking state. Index Journals Organizations People.

This doctrine gained increased prominence as a military strategy during the Cold War with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and is related to, but distinct from, the concept of Mutual assured destruction , which models the preventative nature of full-scale nuclear attack that would devastate both parties in a nuclear war.

  • Deterrence theory contains principles about justice which many of us find attractive because it conforms to what we recognize as fairness.
  • It is one of five objectives that punishment is thought to achieve; the other four objectives are denunciation , incapacitation for the protection of society , retribution and rehabilitation.
  • The spiral model and deterrence model are rather similar as they try to provide explanations concerning the outbreak of war.

This doctrine gained increased prominence as a military strategy during the Cold War with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and is related to, but distinct from, the concept of Mutual assured destruction , which models the preventative nature of full-scale nuclear attack that would devastate both parties in a nuclear war. Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started by means of threat of reprisal, [1] or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires.

The strategy is based on the psychological concept of the same name. A credible nuclear deterrent, Bernard Brodie wrote in , must be always at the ready, yet never used. In Thomas Schelling 's classic work on deterrence, the concept that military strategy can no longer be defined as the science of military victory is presented.

To be coercive or deter another state, violence must be anticipated and avoidable by accommodation. In Frank C. Zagare made the case that deterrence theory is logically inconsistent, not empirically accurate, and that it is deficient as a theory. In place of classical deterrence, rational choice scholars have argued for perfect deterrence , which assumes that states may vary in their internal characteristics and especially in the credibility of their threats of retaliation.

In a January article in the Wall Street Journal , veteran cold-war policy makers Henry Kissinger , Bill Perry , George Shultz , and Sam Nunn reversed their previous position and asserted that far from making the world safer, nuclear weapons had become a source of extreme risk. The emergence of pariah states, such as North Korea possibly soon to be joined by Iran , armed with nuclear weapons was adding to the fear as was the declared ambition of terrorists to steal, buy or build a nuclear device.

According to The Economist , "Senior European statesmen and women" called for further action in in addressing problems of nuclear weapons proliferation. They said: "Nuclear deterrence is a far less persuasive strategic response to a world of potential regional nuclear arms races and nuclear terrorism than it was to the cold war".

The use of military threats as a means to deter international crises and war has been a central topic of international security research for at least years. Alternative theories however have challenged the rational deterrence theory and have focused on organizational theory and cognitive psychology.

The concept of deterrence can be defined as the use of threats by one party to convince another party to refrain from initiating some course of action. In international security, a policy of deterrence generally refers to threats of military retaliation directed by the leaders of one state to the leaders of another in an attempt to prevent the other state from resorting to the threat of use of military force in pursuit of its foreign policy goals.

As outlined by Huth, [9] a policy of deterrence can fit into two broad categories being i preventing an armed attack against a state's own territory known as direct deterrence ; or ii preventing an armed attack against another state known as extended deterrence.

Situations of direct deterrence often occur when there is a territorial dispute between neighboring states in which major powers like the United States do not directly intervene. On the other hand, situations of extended deterrence often occur when a great power becomes involved. It is the latter that has generated the majority of interest in academic literature.

Building on these two broad categories, Huth goes on to outline that deterrence policies may be implemented in response to a pressing short-term threat known as immediate deterrence or as strategy to prevent a military conflict or short term threat from arising known as general deterrence. A successful deterrence policy must be considered in not only military terms, but also in political terms; specifically International Relations IR , foreign policy and diplomacy.

In military terms, deterrence success refers to preventing state leaders from issuing military threats and actions that escalate peacetime diplomatic and military cooperation into a crisis or militarized confrontation which threatens armed conflict and possibly war. The prevention of crises of wars however is not the only aim of deterrence.

In addition, defending states must be able to resist the political and military demands of a potential attacking nation.

If armed conflict is avoided at the price of diplomatic concessions to the maximum demands of the potential attacking nation under the threat of war, then it cannot be claimed that deterrence has succeeded. Deterrence theory holds that nuclear weapons are intended to deter other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons, through the promise of retaliation and possibly mutually assured destruction MAD. Nuclear deterrence can also be applied to an attack by conventional forces; for example, the doctrine of massive retaliation threatened to launch US nuclear weapons in response to Soviet attacks.

A successful nuclear deterrent requires that a country preserve its ability to retaliate, either by responding before its own weapons are destroyed or by ensuring a second strike capability. A nuclear deterrent is sometimes composed of a nuclear triad , as in the case of the nuclear weapons owned by the United States , Russia , the People's Republic of China and India.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France , have only sea- and air-based nuclear weapons. Jentleson et al. This is a challenge, as deterrence is, by definition, a strategy of limited means. George goes on to explain that deterrence may, but is not required to, go beyond threats to the actual use of military force; but if force is actually used, it must be limited and fall short of full-scale use or war otherwise it fails.

This has been seen in the cases of Libya, Iraq, and North Korea where defending states have sought to change the leadership of a state in addition to policy changes relating primarily to their nuclear weapons programs. Secondly, Jentleson et al. The balance lies neither in offering too little too late or for too much in return, not offering too much too soon or for too little return.

Finally, coercive credibility requires that, in addition to calculations about costs and benefits of cooperation, the defending state convincingly conveys to the attacking state that non-cooperation has consequences. Threats, uses of force, and other coercive instruments such as economic sanctions must be sufficiently credible to raise the attacking state's perceived costs of noncompliance. A defending state having a superior military capability or economic strength in itself is not enough to ensure credibility.

The other important consideration outlined by Jentleson et al. The first factor is whether internal political support and regime security are better served by defiance, or if there are domestic political gains to be made from improving relations with the defending state.

The second factor is an economic calculation of the costs that military force, sanctions, and other coercive instruments can impose, and the benefits that trade and other economic incentives may carry. This in part is a function of the strength and flexibility of the attacking state's domestic economy and its capacity to absorb or counter the costs being imposed. The third factor is the role of elites and other key domestic political figures within the attacking state.

To the extent these actors' interests are threatened with the defending state's demands, they act to prevent or block the defending state's demands. The predominant approach to theorizing about deterrence has entailed the use of rational choice and game-theoretic models of decision making see game theory. Huth [9] outlines that a threat is considered credible if the defending state possesses both the military capabilities to inflict substantial costs on an attacking state in an armed conflict, and if the attacking state believes that the defending state is resolved to use its available military forces.

Huth [9] goes on to explain the four key factors for consideration under rational deterrence theory being i the military balance; ii signaling and bargaining power; iii reputations for resolve; and iv interests at stake. Deterrence is often directed against state leaders who have specific territorial goals that they seek to attain either by seizing disputed territory in a limited military attack or by occupying disputed territory after the decisive defeat of the adversary's armed forces.

In either case, the strategic orientation of potential attacking states is generally short term and driven by concerns about military cost and effectiveness. For successful deterrence, defending states need the military capacity to respond quickly and in strength to a range of contingencies. Where deterrence often fails is when either a defending state or an attacking state under or overestimate the others' ability to undertake a particular course of action.

The central problem for a state that seeks to communicate a credible deterrent threat through diplomatic or military actions is that all defending states have an incentive to act as if they are determined to resist an attack, in the hope that the attacking state will back away from military conflict with a seemingly resolved adversary.

If all defending states have such incentives, then potential attacking states may discount statements made by defending states along with any movement of military forces as merely bluffs. In this regards, rational deterrence theorists have argued that costly signals are required to communicate the credibility of a defending state's resolve.

Costly signals are those actions and statements that clearly increase the risk of a military conflict and also increase the costs of backing down from a deterrent threat. States that are bluffing are unwilling to cross a certain threshold of threat and military action for fear of committing themselves to an armed conflict. There are three different arguments that have been developed in relation to the role of reputations in influencing deterrence outcomes.

The first argument focuses on a defending state's past behaviour in international disputes and crises, which creates strong beliefs in a potential attacking state about the defending state's expected behaviour in future conflicts. The credibilities of a defending state's policies are arguably linked over time, and reputations for resolve have a powerful causal impact on an attacking state's decision whether to challenge either general or immediate deterrence.

The second approach argues that reputations have a limited impact on deterrence outcomes because the credibility of deterrence is heavily determined by the specific configuration of military capabilities, interests at stake, and political constraints faced by a defending state in a given situation of attempted deterrence. The argument of this school of thought is that potential attacking states are not likely to draw strong inferences about a defending states resolve from prior conflicts because potential attacking states do not believe that a defending state's past behaviour is a reliable predictor of future behaviour.

The third approach is a middle ground between the first two approaches. It argues that potential attacking states are likely to draw reputational inferences about resolve from the past behaviour of defending states only under certain conditions. The insight is the expectation that decision makers will use only certain types of information when drawing inferences about reputations, and an attacking state updates and revises its beliefs when the unanticipated behaviour of a defending state cannot be explained by case-specific variables.

An example both shows that the problem extends to the perception of the third parties as well as main adversaries and underlies the way in which attempts at deterrence can not only fail but backfire if the assumptions about the others' perceptions are incorrect. In Schelling [3] is prescriptive in outlining the impact of the development of nuclear weapons in the analysis of military power and deterrence.

In his analysis, before the widespread use of assured second strike capability, or immediate reprisal, in the form of SSBN submarines, Schelling argues that nuclear weapons give nations the potential to not only destroy their enemies but humanity itself without drawing immediate reprisal because of the lack of a conceivable defense system and the speed with which nuclear weapons can be deployed.

A nation's credible threat of such severe damage empowers their deterrence policies and fuels political coercion and military deadlock, which in turn can produce proxy warfare. Historical analysis of nuclear weapons deterrent capabilities has led modern researchers to the concept of the stability-instability paradox , whereby nuclear weapons confer large scale stability between nuclear weapon states, as in over 60 years none have engaged in large direct warfare due primarily to nuclear weapons deterrence capabilities, but instead are forced into pursuing political aims by military means in the form of comparatively smaller scale acts of instability, such as proxy wars and minor conflicts.

The US policy of deterrence during the Cold War underwent significant variations. A notable such conflict was the Korean War. George F. Kennan , who is taken to be the founder of this ideology in his Long Telegram , asserted that he never advocated military intervention, merely economic support; and that his ideas were misinterpreted when espoused by the general public.

With the U. The doctrine of mutual nuclear deterrence characterized relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during this period, and relations with Russia until the onset of the New Cold War in the early s.

Since then, the relations have been less clear. A third shift occurred with President Ronald Reagan 's arms build-up during the s.

Reagan attempted to justify this policy in part due to concerns of growing Soviet influence in Latin America and the new republic of Iran , established after the Iranian Revolution of Similar to the old policy of containment, the United States funded several proxy wars , including support for Saddam Hussein of Iraq during the Iran—Iraq War , support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan , who were fighting for independence from the Soviet Union, and several anti-communist movements in Latin America such as the overthrow of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

United States. While the army was dealing with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the spread of nuclear technology to other nations beyond the United States and Russia, the concept of deterrence took on a broader multinational dimension. The U. The document explains that such threats must also be used to ensure that nations without nuclear technology refrain from developing nuclear weapons and that a universal ban precludes any nation from maintaining chemical or biological weapons.

The current tensions with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs are due in part to the continuation of this policy of deterrence. Modern Deterrence is the application of deterrence theory to non-nuclear and post-nuclear challenges, including hybrid warfare. First, it is argued that suicidal or psychotic opponents may not be deterred by either forms of deterrence.

Strangelove An arms race is inefficient in its optimal output , as all countries involved expend resources on armaments that would not have been created if the others had not expended resources, a form of positive feedback.

Fourth, escalation of perceived threat can make it easier for certain measures to be inflicted on a population by its government, such as restrictions on civil liberties , the creation of a military—industrial complex , and military expenditures resulting in higher taxes and increasing budget deficits.

In recent years, many mainstream politicians, academic analysts, and retired military leaders have also criticized deterrence and advocated nuclear disarmament.

Sam Nunn , William Perry , Henry Kissinger , and George Shultz have all called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, and in three Wall Street Journal op-eds proposed an ambitious program of urgent steps to that end. The four have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this agenda.

Organisations such as Global Zero , an international non-partisan group of world leaders dedicated to achieving nuclear disarmament, have also been established.

The film is a visual and historical depiction of the ideas laid forth in the Wall Street Journal op-eds and reinforces their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons and the steps that can be taken to reach that goal.

Former Secretary Kissinger puts the new danger, which cannot be addressed by deterrence, this way: "The classical notion of deterrence was that there was some consequences before which aggressors and evildoers would recoil. In a world of suicide bombers, that calculation doesn't operate in any comparable way.

According to The Economist , "Senior European statesmen and women" called for further action in in addressing problems of nuclear weapons proliferation. Grand strategy. Browse Index Journals Organizations People. Submit Feedback. An arms race is inefficient in its optimal output , as all countries involved expend resources on armaments that would not have been created if the others had not expended resources, a form of positive feedback. The theoretical and operational aspects of deterrence received renewed attention from both scholars and policy makers as new actors and new weapons of mass destruction arose….

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

The deterrence model

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An underlying principle of deterrence is that it is utilitarian or forward-looking. As with rehabilitation, it is designed to change behaviour in the future rather than simply provide retribution or punishment for current or past behaviour.

Individual deterrence is the aim of punishment to discourage the offender from criminal acts in the future. The belief is that when punished, offenders recognise the unpleasant consequences of their actions on themselves and will change their behaviour accordingly. General deterrence is the intention to deter the general public from committing crime by punishing those who do offend. When an offender is punished by, for example, being sent to prison, a clear message is sent to the rest of society that behaviour of this sort will result in an unpleasant response from the criminal justice system.

A key assumption underlying deterrence theory is that offenders weigh up the pros and cons of a certain course of action and make rational choices. Known as rational choice theory , it assumes the following:.

Two utilitarian philosophers of the 18th century, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham , formulated the deterrence theory as both an explanation of crime and a method for reducing it. Beccaria argued that crime was not only an attack on an individual but on society as well.

That extended the issue of punishment beyond retribution and restitution to aggrieved individuals. Society was cast as victim, not merely bystander, and what had been seen as a dispute between individuals, expanded to an issue of criminal law. For the utilitarians, the purpose of punishment became the protection of society through the prevention of crime. The history of punishment in reaction to crime began in biblical times with the an eye for an eye guideline, although later Christians interpreted that literally by emphasizing compassion and tolerance, rather than punishment, even to the extent of "turning the other cheek.

On the contrary, the level of violence among medieval populations were exceeded only by the force applied by emerging states in their attempts to maintain control and suppress it. Once the guilt was announced, the question was not so much whether an execution should take place but how dramatic it should be. There were not many punishments besides exile and execution.

In the Islamic system of hadd , applied years ago, the punishment for crimes was public and aimed at general social deterrence.

The notion that that human beings are rational actors who consider the consequences of their behavior before deciding to commit a crime is seriously problematic. In the United States , one study found that at least half of all state prisoners are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offence.

Research shows that a significant proportion of those in prison have personality disorders or other mental health disorders which affect their ability to make rational decisions.

A study in Lancet Psychiatry has found that "prisoners have high rates of psychiatric disorders Despite the high level of need, these disorders are frequently under-diagnosed and poorly treated". Many inmates have suffered head injuries, which can lead to loss of impulse control and cognitive impairment. Adults with traumatic brain injury were first sent to prison when quite young and reported higher rates of repeat offending.

Research has found that it causes "learning disabilities, impulsivity, hyperactivity, social ineptness, poor judgment, and can increase susceptibility to victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system".

In order for a particular sanction to act as a deterrent, potential offenders must be aware of exactly what punishment they will receive before they commit an offence.

However, evidence suggests that few people know what sentence will be imposed for a particular crime and, in the United States, generally underestimate how severe the sentence will be.

If a potential offender does not know what punishment he will receive, that undermines the ability to make a rational choice about whether the potential pain associated with committing a particular crime outweighs the potential gain. Another concern is that even if offenders have accurate knowledge about potential penalties, they do not necessarily take that information into account prior to committing a crime. Durrant points out that many crimes are impulsive in nature and carried out "in the heat of the moment with little forethought or planning".

There are usually significant differences between the levels of crime in official statistics and the number of people who report they have been victimised in surveys of crime.

The Home Office concluded that "the probability of being sent to prison for a crime is about one in ".

Durrant argues that it is the perception of risk that has the potential to deter offending rather than punishment itself. Offenders who have successfully got away with certain crimes are especially likely to discount the probability of getting caught, particularly for drink-driving. Durrant concludes: "for any given offence, the chances of actually getting punished by the criminal justice system are quite slim and active criminals are well aware of these favourable odds, thus undermining the potential deterrent effects of punishment".

It is commonly assumed that increasing the severity of punishment increases the potential pain or cost of committing a crime and should therefore make offending less likely.

One of the simplest methods to increase the severity is to impose a longer prison term for a particular crime. However, there are limits to how severe a punishment can be imposed because of the principle of proportionality : the severity of the punishment should be roughly proportionate to the gravity of the offending. Measuring and estimating the effects of criminal sanction on subsequent criminal behavior are difficult. There are extensive reviews of this literature with somewhat conflicting assessments.

Daniel Nagin , one of the leading authorities on the effectiveness of deterrence, believes the collective actions of the criminal justice system exert a very substantial deterrent on the community as a whole.

He says it is also his "view that this conclusion is of limited value in formulating policy". A meta-analysis of the deterrent effect of punishment on individual offenders also suggests little benefit is gained from tougher sentences.

This included studies which compared the impact of prison over community sentences and the impact of longer versus shorter prison sentences on recidivism rates.

Deterrence theory contains principles about justice which many of us find attractive because it conforms to what we recognize as fairness. The wicked should be punished —quickly —to the extent that pain will deter them from committing a crime again. Article last reviewed: St. Skip to content. What is Deterrence theory?

It is one of five objectives that punishment is thought to achieve; the other four objectives are denunciation , incapacitation for the protection of society , retribution and rehabilitation. Criminal deterrence theory has two possible applications: the first is that punishments imposed on individual offenders will deter or prevent that particular offender from committing further crimes; the second is that, public knowledge that certain offences will be punished has a generalised deterrent effect which prevents others from committing crimes.

Two different aspects of punishment may have an impact on deterrence. The first relates to the certainty of punishment ; by increasing the likelihood of apprehension and punishment, this may have a deterrent effect. The second relates to the severity of punishment ; how severe the punishment is for a particular crime may influence behavior if the potential offender concludes that the punishment is so severe, it is not worth the risk of getting caught. An underlying principle of deterrence is that it is utilitarian or forward-looking.

As with rehabilitation, it is designed to change behaviour in the future rather than simply provide retribution or punishment for current or past behaviour. Individual deterrence is the aim of punishment to discourage the offender from criminal acts in the future. The belief is that when punished, offenders recognise the unpleasant consequences of their actions on themselves and will change their behaviour accordingly. General deterrence is the intention to deter the general public from committing crime by punishing those who do offend.

When an offender is punished by, for example, being sent to prison, a clear message is sent to the rest of society that behaviour of this sort will result in an unpleasant response from the criminal justice system. A key assumption underlying deterrence theory is that offenders weigh up the pros and cons of a certain course of action and make rational choices. Known as rational choice theory , it assumes the following:. Two utilitarian philosophers of the 18th century, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham , formulated the deterrence theory as both an explanation of crime and a method for reducing it.

Beccaria argued that crime was not only an attack on an individual but on society as well. That extended the issue of punishment beyond retribution and restitution to aggrieved individuals. Society was cast as victim, not merely bystander, and what had been seen as a dispute between individuals, expanded to an issue of criminal law. For the utilitarians, the purpose of punishment became the protection of society through the prevention of crime.

The history of punishment in reaction to crime began in biblical times with the an eye for an eye guideline, although later Christians interpreted that literally by emphasizing compassion and tolerance, rather than punishment, even to the extent of "turning the other cheek. On the contrary, the level of violence among medieval populations were exceeded only by the force applied by emerging states in their attempts to maintain control and suppress it. Once the guilt was announced, the question was not so much whether an execution should take place but how dramatic it should be.

There were not many punishments besides exile and execution. In the Islamic system of hadd , applied years ago, the punishment for crimes was public and aimed at general social deterrence. The notion that that human beings are rational actors who consider the consequences of their behavior before deciding to commit a crime is seriously problematic. In the United States , one study found that at least half of all state prisoners are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offence.

Research shows that a significant proportion of those in prison have personality disorders or other mental health disorders which affect their ability to make rational decisions.

A study in Lancet Psychiatry has found that "prisoners have high rates of psychiatric disorders Despite the high level of need, these disorders are frequently under-diagnosed and poorly treated". Many inmates have suffered head injuries, which can lead to loss of impulse control and cognitive impairment. Adults with traumatic brain injury were first sent to prison when quite young and reported higher rates of repeat offending.

Research has found that it causes "learning disabilities, impulsivity, hyperactivity, social ineptness, poor judgment, and can increase susceptibility to victimization and involvement in the criminal justice system". In order for a particular sanction to act as a deterrent, potential offenders must be aware of exactly what punishment they will receive before they commit an offence.

However, evidence suggests that few people know what sentence will be imposed for a particular crime and, in the United States, generally underestimate how severe the sentence will be. If a potential offender does not know what punishment he will receive, that undermines the ability to make a rational choice about whether the potential pain associated with committing a particular crime outweighs the potential gain. Another concern is that even if offenders have accurate knowledge about potential penalties, they do not necessarily take that information into account prior to committing a crime.

Durrant points out that many crimes are impulsive in nature and carried out "in the heat of the moment with little forethought or planning". There are usually significant differences between the levels of crime in official statistics and the number of people who report they have been victimised in surveys of crime.

The Home Office concluded that "the probability of being sent to prison for a crime is about one in ". Durrant argues that it is the perception of risk that has the potential to deter offending rather than punishment itself. Offenders who have successfully got away with certain crimes are especially likely to discount the probability of getting caught, particularly for drink-driving.

Durrant concludes: "for any given offence, the chances of actually getting punished by the criminal justice system are quite slim and active criminals are well aware of these favourable odds, thus undermining the potential deterrent effects of punishment".

It is commonly assumed that increasing the severity of punishment increases the potential pain or cost of committing a crime and should therefore make offending less likely. One of the simplest methods to increase the severity is to impose a longer prison term for a particular crime.

However, there are limits to how severe a punishment can be imposed because of the principle of proportionality : the severity of the punishment should be roughly proportionate to the gravity of the offending. Measuring and estimating the effects of criminal sanction on subsequent criminal behavior are difficult. There are extensive reviews of this literature with somewhat conflicting assessments. Daniel Nagin , one of the leading authorities on the effectiveness of deterrence, believes the collective actions of the criminal justice system exert a very substantial deterrent on the community as a whole.

He says it is also his "view that this conclusion is of limited value in formulating policy". A meta-analysis of the deterrent effect of punishment on individual offenders also suggests little benefit is gained from tougher sentences. This included studies which compared the impact of prison over community sentences and the impact of longer versus shorter prison sentences on recidivism rates. Gendreau wrote: "None of the analyses found imprisonment reduced recidivism.

The recidivism rate for offenders who were imprisoned as opposed to given a community sanction was similar. In addition, longer sentences were not associated with reduced recidivism. In fact the opposite was found. Durrant states that "reviews of 'enhanced punishment' such as boot camps, intensive supervision, 'scared straight' programs, and electronic monitoring all seem to confirm that increasing the severity of punishment are typically consistent with the thesis that increasing the severity of punishment does not act as a significant deterrent to offenders".

This is because prisoners who know they may get out early if they behave are psychologically invested in rehabilitation. In , Ehrlich claimed the death penalty was effective as a general deterrent and that each execution lead to seven or eight fewer homicides in society.

Durrant believes that different outcomes achieved by different researchers depend largely on which research model is used. A major difficulty in evaluating the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent in the United States is that very few people are actually executed. Fagan points out that "the rare and somewhat arbitrary use of execution in states which still have the death penalty means that it serves no deterrent function, because no would-be murderer can reasonably expect to be executed".

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Index Journals Organizations People. The Sentencing Project : 1—9. Archived from the original PDF on Sept The deterrence hypothesis and picking pockets at the pickpockets hanging. American law and economics review, 4, pp cited in Durrant, R. Routledge, USA. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. Deterrence: The legal threat in crime control. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Justice Quarterly. Washington, D. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research.

Crime and Justice , 38, cited in Durrant, R. An introduction to criminal psychology. Routledge, Quarterly Journal of Economics. An Introduction to Criminal Psychology. Categories : Criminology Penology Criminal law. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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The deterrence model