Does an Arrest Deter Crime?. Refers to the article in the American Sociological Review. Lawrence W. Sherman and Douglas A. Smith

Essay by Jim PistilliUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 1996

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The police are known sometimes to be intimidating, influential, and authoritative. The reaction of civilians to the police intervening with them, or their direct orders can vary with individuals. A study was done in 1981 in Minneapolis, to find out if the act of arresting or the threat to arrest all domestic violence offenders or possible offenders, deters further crime. Four different cities were used in this experiment, Milwaukee, Omaha, Dade County in Florida, and Colorado Springs. Three different strategies were used by the police: arresting the suspect, ordering the suspect from the premises for 24 hours, and trying to restore order (Berk, 1992). Lawrence W. Sherman and Douglas A. Smith have written an article in the American Sociological Review which states that despite deterrence theories, arrest had no overall crime reduction effect in repeat domestic violence offenders. Race nor record of prior arrests prove any effect of restrain for further domestic violence (Sherman 1992).

Subsequently, Richard Berk, Alec Campbell, Ruth Klap, and Bruce Western, all from the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote an article that promotes that arresting an offender does have diversified effects. Depending on their racial background, employment, and previous arrest records, increased crime did occur. Both articles were written about

the same study.

Sherman and Smith's article depict different case studies on arrests in a period of time. Sherman, from a previous article (1984, p.78), explains that people who are more 'socially bonded people are more deterrable'. Which suggests that people who are unemployed, not married, or not happily married may be more unlikely to be deterred by an arrest. This is so due to possibly a socially bonded person might show stronger effects of wanting to stay outside of a jail while a person who isn't as socially bonded might show

less of restraint...