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Lawrence Sherman Institute of Criminology University of Cambridge . Al Capone, The Sword of Damocles & the Police: Prisons Budget Ratio . Very Harmful No evidence to prove his murdering Prosecution on tax evasion Died in Prison. Al Capone.
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Institute of Criminology
University of CambridgeAl Capone, The Sword of Damocles & the Police: Prisons Budget Ratio
Average Charges for MURDER or Attempted Murder Within Two Years of Probation Start: Philadelphia
Richard Berk, Lawrence Sherman, Geoffrey Barnes, Ellen Kurtz and Lindsay Ahlman 2009 “Forecasting murder within a population of probationers and parolees: a high stakes application of statistical learning” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 172: 191–211
Lawrence Sherman (2011) “Al Capone, the Sword of Damocles, and the Police–Corrections Budget Ratio” Criminology & Public Policy 10: 195-206.
Lawrence Sherman (2010). Less Prison, More Police, Less Crime: How Criminology Can Save the States from Bankruptcy. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice Video posted at http://nij.ncjrs.gov/multimedia/video-sherman.htm .
10 murders X 200 = 2,000
50 car thefts X 5 = 250
1,000 shop thefts X 1 = 1,000
TOTAL = 3,250
(key role of police)
(main role for prisons)
Nieuwbeerta, Paul, Daniel Nagin and Arjan A. J. Blokland (2009). “Assessing the Impact of First-Time Imprisonment on Offenders’ Subsequent Criminal Career Development: A Matched Samples Comparison” Journal of Quantitative Criminology.
Immediate jail time
Steadily rising with repeats
Pew Trust Report
Parole Guidelines on Release
Virginia sentencing Guidelines—risk, not desert
RAND 1982 Report on Selective Incapacitation
Idea rejected by 1986 NAS Report on Error
False positives too high for values
But prison rate has tripled
False positives are embedded in sentencing
Actuarial Risk could keep them out, not put them in
Whether they went back to their “hood”
Unrelated to their choice
Most US states require same community
Louisiana does not
“A Natural Experiment on Residential
Change and Recidivism:
Lessons from Hurricane Katrina”
American Sociological Review 2009
If re-imprisonment rates differ
“Returners” higher than “Relocaters”
Likely to be caused by relocation
Not self-selection bias
But were they unknown to police?
QUESTION: long-term effects—not 1-year
Would three years be convincing?
Four-Year Re-imprisonment Rates
(Louisiana or other states)
Returners = 26% 65%
Relocators = 11% 35%
1-year Difference = 15% raw, 58% relative
3-year Difference = 30% raw, 54% relative
For every ten miles they moved from their old neighbourhood, at one year out,
One Percent Less
--not associating with other offenders
Lawrence W. Sherman
Jerry Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology
University of Cambridge