Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Volume: 77 Issue: 4 Dated: (Winter 1986) Pages: 1159-1182
This 1983 evaluation of the Metropolitan Police Department's (Washington, D.C.) Repeat Offender Project (ROP) used a field experiment to determine whether ROP increased the arrest probability for targeted recidivists, observation of an interviews with ROP officers over 8 months to determine how the unit operated, and a quasi-experiment.
ROP aims to identify, arrest, and successfully prosecute recidivists using vice, surveillance, investigative, and intelligence tactics. The quasi-experimental design compared ROP officers' performance prior to and during their assignment to ROP with a sample of officers in other assignments. ROP officers significantly increased the seriousness of arrestees' criminal histories, the seriousness of the instant arrest charge, and the probability of the case being prosecuted and a felony conviction being obtained. ROP has indirectly increased incarceration rates and sentence lengths for ROP arrestees. ROP has significantly reduced officers' total number of arrests without affecting and often increasing the number of arrests for serious offenses. Further research is needed on ROP's target selection procedures and its crime control effects. 7 tables and 34 footnotes.
Date Published: January 1, 1986