CRIMES, CRIME RATES, ARRESTS, AND ARREST RATIOS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DETERRENCE THEORY

SCOTT H. DECKER, CAROL W. KOHFELD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between crimes and arrests is one of the central issues in deterrence theory. There are several conceptual difficulties in attempting to assess whether arrests deter crimes or the number of crimes determine the number of arrests. These problems are compounded when rates are used to measure both variables. The issue is whether criminals respond to arrests or the police respond to changes in crime. The present analysis compares regression results when the variables are measured both as rates and raw numbers for three offenses: homicide, robbery, and burglary. The results indicate that arrests follow crimes. This suggests the need to reexamine some studies that argue that criminals’perceptions of arrest rates are an indication of deterrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalCriminology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'CRIMES, CRIME RATES, ARRESTS, AND ARREST RATIOS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DETERRENCE THEORY'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this