ERIC Number: ED059509
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: 0
Perceived Penal Sanction and Self-Reported Criminality: A Neglected Approach to Deterrence Research.
Waldo, Gordon P.; Chiricos, Theodore G.
Interviews with 321 university students were used to determine relationships between admitted marijuana use and theft and perceptions of the severity and certainty of punishment. Use of marijuana and theft activity were expected to be least frequent among those who: (1) perceive the harshest penalties for marijuana possession and petty larceny; (2) perceive the greatest likelihood of receiving the maximum penalty upon conviction for those offenses; (3) expect that law violaters are, generally, caught by the police; (4) have the greatest familiarity with others who have been arrested for theft or marijuana possession; and (5) perceive the greatest chance of being arrested themselves, should they steal or use marijuana. The data suggest that (1) perceptions of severe punishment are largely unrelated to admitted theft or marijuana use; (2) "general" deterrence appears not to be working for either offense -- that is, punishment of "other" when perceived by "ego" appears unrelated to "ego's" admitted criminality; (3) the expectation that arrest or maximum penalties upon conviction would be likely (certain) for oneself appears somewhat related to lower levels of marijuana use and larceny. However, these latter relationships are stronger for marijuana use than they are for theft. (Author)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Florida State Univ., Tallahassee. Southeastern Correctional and Criminological Research Center.
Note: Paper presented at American Sociological Association convention, Denver, Colo., August 30 - September 2, 1971