RECIDIVISM OF JUVENILE BURGLARS: A PERCEPTUAL VIEW OF SPECIFIC DETERRENCE.
AuthorBURGESS, CAROL ANN.
KeywordsJuvenile delinquents -- Arizona -- Case studies.
Punishment in crime deterrence.
Burglary -- Arizona -- Case studies.
Recidivists -- Arizona.
AdvisorErickson, Maynard L.
Committee ChairErickson, Maynard L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study, a test of the specific deterrence in the area of juvenile delinquency, has three basic concerns. The first of these is to obtain perceptual measures of the primary components of the doctrine. Individual interpret reality, and it is this perception or interpretation of reality, rather than reality itself, that influences behavior. Second, the concern is to consider the pleasure aspect of delinquent involvement. Prior research has concentrated on punishment, virtually overlooking pleasure. And thirdly, the concern is to view specific deterrence in terms of its implicit temporal ordering, that perceptions be measured prior to the advent of subsequent delinquency. Specifically this study investigated recidivism of juvenile male first time burglary offenders. The data was drawn from police reports, probation officer's impressions and interviews with 127 boys who met the criteria of this study. The specific patterns found are both consistent and inconsistent with the deterrence doctrine. Consistent with the doctrine, pleasure is directly related to recidivism. The fact that pleasure is also one of the best predictors of recidivism suggests that its omission from most prior research may certainly have diminished the potential predictive power of the doctrine in those studies. Consistent with both the doctrine and prior research, certainty of apprehension (logarithm) is a primary deterrent to recidivism. The findings regarding the severity of punishment, on the other hand, are not so straightforward. Admittedly, the recidivists did not experience what they perceived as severe punishment. The court's response appeared to be irrelevant, and the response viewed as one of the most severe (grounding) by the recidivists was infrequently applied to them. Consistent with the doctrine, severity of apprehension (punishment) was inversely related to recidivism. However, the effect of punishment appears to be an indirect one through the condemnation of the act. This suggests that fear of punishment may not be the "deterring force"; rather, certain and severe sanctions may act to educate the one-time offender, specifying what is accepted as moral behavior. Obviously, further research is needed to uncover the interrelated effects of certainty of apprehension, moral condemnation and severity of punishment.