The Penalties Study: Research Questions and Method

  • Ross Homel
Part of the Research in Criminology book series (RESEARCH CRIM.)


In Chapter 6 the focus was on the evidence for general deterrence through RBT. By contrast, the analysis reported in Chapter 8 is addressed to one part of the question posed by Andenaes (1974): How does the actual experience of punishment influence the deterrent effect of the legal threat—a deterrent effect that has proved, in at least one instance, insufficient to prevent the offense? According to the deterrence model, motorists who have been punished should be more responsive to the threat of punishment than offenders without a conviction (absolute specific deterrence), and those who have received severe penalties should be more responsive than those who received light penalties (marginal specific deterrence). As we saw in Chapter 6 there is some evidence for the absolute specific deterrent effect of punishment for drink-driving, since motorists with a conviction tended to be more responsive to RBT than drink-drivers without a conviction. However, the evidence was not strong, probably because the small number of respondents with a conviction reduced the power of statistical tests.


Canonical Correlation Analysis Blood Alcohol Concentration Sentencing Process Penalty Severity Appeal Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Homel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Behavioural SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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