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This report describes the results of a research project designed to determine the potential benefits of selective incapacitation. The data for this research consist of a survey administered to approximately 2,100 male prison and jail inmates in three states — California, Michigan, and Texas. They also include information from official records for the prison inmates. Section II reviews prior research on criminal careers and then describes the survey data on which this study is based. Section III introduces and describes the concept of selective incapacitation. Section IV summarizes findings on the distribution of individual offenses and describes a predictive scale for identifying high-rate offenders. Section V estimates the potential impacts of selective incapacitation policies. The final section summarizes what the authors think they have learned about selective incapacitation and suggests the kind of research that remains to be done.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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.