Cover: Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime

Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime

The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program

Published Dec 15, 2014

by Gregory Midgette

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.5 MB

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

Cesare Beccaria first theorized 250 years ago that crime can be deterred by some combination of speed, certainty, and severity of sanctions. He further posited that the severity of punishment was least important of the three factors, as an uncertain and delayed punishment is unlikely to be a deterrent, no matter its severity. The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program (hereinafter 24/7) is novel among programs targeting alcohol-related crime in its adherence to these principles. Rather than face traditionally uncertain, delayed, and possibly expensive or lengthy sanctions for a crime, individuals arrested for an alcohol-related crime are subjected to high-frequency testing and an immediate, but short, stay in jail if they violate. After encouraging initial anecdotal evidence, RAND began a systematic review of the program's structure, effectiveness, and cost. This document informs all three components.

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2014 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Paul Heaton (Chair), Beau Kilmer, and Jonathan Caulkins.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND 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.