What's Known About Deterrent Effects of Police Activities

by Jan M. Chaiken

Download

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback20 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Several techniques have been used to estimate effect of police activities on incidence of crime: (1) cross-sectional analysis of reported crime rates compared with resources devoted to police functions, (2) longitudinal analysis of a time series of crime incidence where police deployment or operations changed over time, and (3) experimental manipulation of police activities. Nearly every study has one or more faults, such as failure to distinguish between true and reported crime rates, failure to specify or maintain the experimental conditions, apparent errors in the data, or confusion between cause and effect. This review indicates that most studies are consistent with the view that a substantial increase in police activity will reduce crime for a period of time, but in the real world increases in police manpower tend to follow increases in crime. The magnitude and duration of deterrence effects are essentially unknown.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.