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Specifying Specific Deterrence: The Influence of Arrest on Future Criminal Activity

NCJ Number
American Sociological Review Volume: 54 Issue: 1 Dated: (February 1989) Pages: 94-105
Date Published
12 pages
This paper assesses the effect of arrest on future criminal activity using data on the police contact histories for a cohort of males born in 1949 until they reached age 25.
It examines in particular if the arrest amplifies or deters future criminal conduct of those arrested, whether it influences different dimensions of future offending, and whether these factors vary according to point of arrest in developmental sequence of offending as with a novice or persistent offender. Drawing on the criminal career perspective, future offending is partitioned into distinct components, such as rate of future offending, duration of a criminally active period, and desistance from future offending. Evidence emerges that is more consistent with a specific deterrence position than a labeling perspective. 42 references, 8 tables. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1989