Capital and punishment:supporting the death of deterrence
Cook, Amanda Paige
Previous research has examined certainty and severity of punishment as serving a deterrent function. This research examines the effects of economic, cultural, and social capital, as well as the effects of certainty, severity, and prior punishment on likelihood of re-offending. Data collected at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility suggest that traditional deterrence indicators are insufficient for predicting likelihood of re-offending. This research finds that prior punishment increases likelihood of re-offending, a finding completely counter to that of traditional deterrence. Re-offending may be best understood by considering the effects of punishment on increasing prison capital and decreasing real world capital. The argument is that inmates consider their potential in the real world as compared to that in a prison when reporting likelihood of re-offending. Such considerations should better explain likelihood of re-offending as compared to traditional deterrence indicators, such as certainty, severity, and prior punishment.