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Criminal Contemplation, National Context, and Deterrence

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 27 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 225-249
Charles R. Tittle; Ekaterina V. Botchkovar; Olena Antonaccio
Date Published
June 2011
25 pages
This study examined deterrence effectiveness against criminal activities in three European countries.
Using random samples of adults from three European countries rarely surveyed about crime-related issues, this study seeks to identify, with more extensive indicators than is typical, individuals who are likely to contemplate the commission of criminal acts. Then, it assesses the contextual universality of deterrence claims by estimating the deterrent effectiveness of perceived formal and informal sanctions for theft and violence among crime contemplators in Greece, Russia, and Ukraine. With criminal contemplation taken into account, the findings confirm the patterns established in past research. Whereas the threat of formal punishment shows little deterrent effect, perceptions of informal sanctions appear to influence projected crime. However, supportive findings hold only in Russia and Ukraine. Overall, it appears that the deterrent effectiveness of sanctions may be to some extent contingent on cultural or contextual characteristics. (Published Abstract)