Security Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 903–921 | Cite as

A preliminary examination of the role of deterrence and target hardening on future recidivism risk among burglars in South Korea

  • MiRang Park
  • Nicholas Perez
  • Wesley G Jennings
  • Angela R Gover
Original Article


A significant amount of prior research has focused on the deterrent effects of punishment on the likelihood of recidivism. More recent research has also begun to examine the influence of target hardening strategies for deterring criminal behavior as well. Having said this, the lion’s share of this research has been conducted in Western societies and has evaluated the relevance of these factors separately. In recognition of the limitation, the current study relies on interview data from 163 incarcerated burglars in South Korea to assess the nature of the relationship between the elements of deterrence (for example, severity, certainty and celerity) and target hardening strategies (for example, window sills, secured door locks, CCTV and private security company monitoring) on burglars’ future expectations toward recidivating upon release. The results from a series of multinomial logistic regression models indicate that, while the majority of deterrence and target hardening strategies are ineffective at deterring future re-offending, the certainty of arrest and the presence of window sills and secured door locks do exhibit some deterrent effects. However, personal criminal experiences such as confidence toward criminal skills, and internal shame from criminal activity are also notably relevant. Study limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.


deterrence burglary South Korea cross-cultural situational crime prevention target hardening 



An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco, CA in November 2014. We wish to thank those in attendance at the panel as their suggestions and feedback have improved the article.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • MiRang Park
    • 1
  • Nicholas Perez
    • 2
  • Wesley G Jennings
    • 3
  • Angela R Gover
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Police Administration, Hannam UniversityDaedeok-guSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Criminology, College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Criminology, College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  4. 4.University of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

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