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November 19, 2010

Notable new publication on deterrence from The Sentencing Project

Today I received an e-mail about a new publication about deterrence from the folks at The Sentencing Project.  Here is the text:

We are pleased to let you know of our new publication, Deterrence in Criminal Justice: Evaluating Certainty versus Severity of Punishment by Valerie Wright, Ph.D. The report addresses a key concern for policy makers regarding whether deterrence is better achieved by increasing the likelihood of apprehension or increasing the severity of sanctions. Overall, the report concludes that:
  • Enhancing the certainty of punishment is far more likely to produce deterrent effects than increasing the severity of punishment.
  • Particularly at high levels of incarceration, there is no significant public safety benefit to increasing the severity of sentences by imposing longer prison terms.
  • Policies such as “three strikes and you’re out” and mandatory minimum sentences only burden state budgets without increasing public safety.
  • Evidence-based approaches would require increasing the certainty of punishment by improving the likelihood of detection.
At a time when fiscal concerns have propelled policymakers to consider means of controlling corrections budgets, the findings on deterrence suggest that a focus on examining harsh sentencing practices is long overdue.  In many cases prison terms could be shortened without having any adverse effects on public safety.  I hope you find this publication useful in your work.

November 19, 2010 at 01:52 PM | Permalink


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When the Supremacy was in traffic court, there were several people addressed from there via closed circuit TV in the jail. They may have owed $2000 in unpaid fines and penalties. They were made offers of paying $25 a month. Without exception all took jail time. The severity of punishment in the US is too mild. They get up when they want. They can choose a variety of activities or choose to do nothing at all. All worries about the next meal and indoor living are over.

There are no severe punishments in the US. Corporal punishment should be allowed again. Horrible pro-criminal lawyers on the bench have made prison time an upgrade in lifestyle for the underclass.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 21, 2010 1:40:03 AM

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