The Impact of Sanctions on Recidivism

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In the past three decades, the U.S. has seen a significant expansion of the cirrectional system which has prompted the policymakers to suggest tougher sanctioning to reduce offending. However, as Cochran, Mears, and Bales (2014) explain, there is limited knowledge about the efficiency of the commonly used sanctions on recidivism which the paper examines.

Literature Review

            There has been tremendous growth of the population in the U.S. jails and prisons which has attactes massive scholarly and policy attention. The key question has been whether severe sanctions reduce recidivism. The focus on determining the appropriate counterfactual condition emanates from te idea that any expected effect of a sanction is relative to aother factor (Cochran, Mears, & Bales, 2014). It is not always clear the sanction which comprises the counterfactual condition. For convicted felons, there is is a probability a sanction will occur but is not always clear about the type of sanction. There is no specific impact of any given sanction and it is dependent on the types od individuals involved.


            The data in this study was collected from the Florida Department of Corrections database. Recidivism was connected to individual offenders based on a similar database which was perceived as a felony reconviction within a 3 year follow up. The propensity score matching analyses was used to give estimates on the relative impact of each sanction.


            The research made use of logistic regression models to depict the probability of the likelihood of an offender to receive a sanction. The finding was that across a majorty of the sanction, tougher sanctioning was linked to recidivism. Again, it proved the idea that there was a possibility of revealing matches between different groups.


            Convicted felons who resemble each other as regards the nature of the offense, the previous record, and other qualities receive varying sanctions. The less sebere sanctions result in a limited exposire to crime where jails and prisons are great environments where deprivations may occur. Also, less severe sanctions are related to improved perceptions of te certainty of the punishment.


Cochran, J. C., Mears, D. P., & Bales, W. D. (2014). Assessing the Effectiveness of Correctional Sanctions. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 30(2), 317-347. Retrieved from

December 12, 2023

Crime Law

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