Results of the Penalties Study

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


The emphasis in this chapter is on the responses of individuals who have already been punished to threats of further legal sanctions. The first part of the chapter is devoted to an examination of reconviction rates over the 3 years of the study, and the relationship between reconviction rates and the relative severity of penalty measures described in the last chapter. The purpose of this analysis is to test the hypothesis of a marginal specific deterrent impact of punishment, using the relative severity measures as proxies for perceived severity. It is shown that the evidence for marginal deterrence is rather weak, with the exception of “good risk” offenders, for whom tougher penalties corresponded to lower reconviction rates for traffic offenses less serious than drinking and driving.


Criminal Offense Criminal Offender Appeal Rate Relative Severity Traffic Offense 
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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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