Preventing Crime Through Selective Incapacitation

Ben Vollaard
2010 Social Science Research Network  
Making the length of a prison sentence conditional on an individual's offense history is shown to be a powerful way of preventing crime. Under a law adopted in the Netherlands in 2001, prolific offenders could be sentenced to a prison term that was some ten times longer than usual. We exploit quasi-experimental variation in the moment of introduction and the frequency of application across 12 urban areas to identify the effect. We find the sentence enhancements to have dramatically reduced
more » ... ically reduced theft rates. The size of the crime-reducing effect is found to be subject to sharply diminishing returns. JEL Classification: K42, K14
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1742345 fatcat:kty6d77icbaflkfuk2ciddqnfu