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Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Repeat Offenders

Thomas Miceli

No 2008-44, Working papers from University of Connecticut, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper develops an economic model of criminal enforcement that combines the goals of deterrence and incapacitation. Potential offenders commit an initial criminal act if the present value of net private gains is positive. A fraction of these offenders become habitual and commit further crimes immediately upon release from their initial prison term (if any). The optimal punishment scheme in this setting generally involves a finite prison term for first-time offenders (based on the goal of deterrence), and an infinite (life) sentence for repeat offenders (based on the goal of incapacitation).

Keywords: Deterrence; incapacitation; prison; repeat offenders (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K14 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2008-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-44

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