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Patterns Of Recidivism Related To Case Dispositions Of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Offenses. Harsher Punishment Means Less Recidivism Theory - Thesis Example

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Harsher Punishment Means Less Recidivism.
Criminal recidivism is a problem with no easy answers. In the realm of the driving while intoxicated offenses, there has been evidence regarding recidivism rates for different kinds of circumstances…
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Patterns Of Recidivism Related To Case Dispositions Of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Offenses. Harsher Punishment Means Less Recidivism Theory
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Download file to see previous pages This should act as a specific deterrence, whiche means that the offender is less likely to offend again. This is both because the greater charge will necessarily bring greater punishment, and the greater charge may be used to enhance penalties for future charges. If an offender pleads guilty to a driving while intoxicated, as opposed to pleading guilty to some other charge, like a driving while ability impaired, then that person has to contend with the harsher sentence of the DWI in comparison to the DWAI. He or she also has to contend with the consequences that radiate from this higher insurance rates, license revocation, etc. And, the offender must also know that, if he or she gets arrested again, he or she already has one DWI on his or her record, as opposed to having a DWAI on his or her record, so the penalties will be enhanced. Therefore, the basic premise of this study is that harsher penalties will result in less recidivism. The study at hand will hopefully illuminate whether this hypothesis is correct, as well as look at the effect that harsher penalties has on specific deterrence for the offender. Another basic premise is that plea bargaining to a lesser offense does not provide the proper deterrence to DWI offenders. The literature review will look at studies which shed light on this hypothesis, although whether or not harsher penalties, actually reduces recidivism or is the best method of reducing recidivism, is an open question. There are studies ( Moffatt & Poynton, 2007; Salzburg & Paulsrude, 1984; Yu, 1994) which state that harsher penalties do in fact reduce recidivism, but the literature also suggests that other methods may also reduce recidivism, perhaps to the extent that harsher penalties do or even more than harsher penalties. For instance, studies (Streff et al., 2001; Guerin & Pitts, 2002) suggest that a pre-trial diversion, which means that the offender does not plead guilty to any charge, but, rather, agrees to enter a rehabilitation program and, upon successful completion, will have the charges against him dropped, are successful in preventing repeat offenders. Ignition interlock is another method which has shown promise in this regard(Popkin et al., 1992 ). Therefore, harsher penalties are not necessarily the final word on whether or not an offender recidivates, and the challenge of this study is to determine if the harsher penalties, and lack of plea bargaining, offers a better outcome for recidivism then do alternative methods. Literature Bolstering The Theory that Harsher Punishment Means Less Recidivism One of the theories regarding criminal recidivism is that it is generally reduced when the punishment is swift, certain, and severe (Moffatt & Poynton, 2007). However, it is unclear whether swift, certain, and severe punishment actually do deter repeat offenses. For instance, Nichols & Ross examined the literature surrounding whether actual incarceration results in less recidivism. They looked at several studies which tracked recividism rates for offenders who were incarcerated at either a general facility, like a jail or prison, or a special facility, such as an intensive treatment lockup. In reviewing these studies, Nichols & Ross found that, in five of the studies, there was no reduction in recividism. One study which found that traditional lockups did not reduce recividism, but special facilities did. One study which found that a traditional prison and a special facility showed no difference in recividism. And one study which found that incarceration reduced recividism for first-time offenders. Since ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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