Focused Deterrence Strategies and Crime Control: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Evidence

Anthony A. Braga*, David Weisburd, Brandon Turchan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research Summary: Focused deterrence strategies are increasingly being applied to prevent and control gang and group-involved violence, overt drug markets, and individual repeat offenders. Our updated examination of the effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime followed the systematic review protocols and conventions of the Campbell Collaboration. Twenty-four quasi-experimental evaluations were identified in this systematic review. The results of our meta-analysis demonstrate that focused deterrence strategies are associated with an overall statistically significant, moderate crime reduction effect. Nevertheless, program effect sizes varied by program type and were smaller for evaluations with more rigorous research designs. Policy Implications: The available empirical evidence suggests these strategies generate noteworthy crime reduction impacts and should be part of a broader portfolio of crime reduction strategies available to policy makers and practitioners. Investments still need to be made, however, to strengthen the overall rigor of program evaluations and improve our understanding of key program activities associated with observed crime reduction impacts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-250
Number of pages46
JournalCriminology and Public Policy
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society of Criminology

Keywords

  • Deterrence
  • drug markets
  • gang violence
  • problem-oriented policing
  • repeat offenders

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