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.
Midgette, Gregory, Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime: The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2014. https://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD339.html.
Midgette, Gregory, Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime: The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RGSD-339, 2014. As of June 22, 2022: https://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/RGSD339.html