Concept of Crime Deterrence

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Concept of Deterrence Erin Hayter PBS 300 – Introduction to Crime and Deviance Colorado State University – Global Campus Patricia Goforth January 26, 2014 The Concept of Deterrence The concept of deterrence falls under the “Classical Theory” of criminology theories. Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794), along with Jeremy Bentham (1748-1821), were both advocates of the classical theory in viewing an individual acting as a result of “free will” (Hagen, 2013). Beccaria believed that criminal decisions were based on a few simple factors, being that humans have free will; humans are rational creatures and able to weigh prospective outcomes of their actions, seeing which may benefit or detract from the quality of their lives; human decisions are based on the simplest views of man; finally that an organized system of laws and punishment which catered to these human traits is necessary to help keep society compliant (Winfree & Abadinsky, 2003). The main purpose is to maximize pleasure while minimizing pain. These classical ideas laid the foundation for many justice systems, including the United States. Forms of Deterrence Initially there were two forms of deterrence: general and individual. Later, two more major types were added, being absolute and restrictive (Winfree & Abadinsky, 2003). All four target different types of offenders. Results seen from different methods are usually dependent upon a secondary factor. General deterrence is the most proactive as it aims to stop crime before it takes place. Simply by issuing a law and making it known there are consequences, one should be deterred with that knowledge. Examples of daily deterrence are surveillance cameras, electronic tags on clothing, metal detectors, and police visibility. All aimed to deter crime and common knowledge to the public. Individual deterrence is aimed at first time offenders that may
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