General Deterrence

Robert Apel and Daniel S. Nagin

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395082
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 General Deterrence

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This article begins with a discussion of key concepts of deterrence. Section II turns to empirical research on general deterrence. It considers the deterrent effect of the penultimate and ultimate legally prescribed sanctions, imprisonment, and execution. Section III discusses the deterrent effect of police, and reviews studies of aggregate police presence in addition to police deployment strategies. Section IV evaluates the strength of the evidence for perceptual deterrence, and the interplay of sanctions, perceptions, and behavior among individuals. The article concludes with some general remarks, a cautionary message about the limits of deterrence as a crime-control policy, and recommendations concerning future deterrence-based inquiry.

Keywords: deterrent effect; legal sanctions; imprisonment; execution; police presence; perceptual deterrence; crime control policy

Article.  12464 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Courts and Procedure ; Penology and Punishment

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