Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less Is More When Fighting Crime

Date:
November 26, 2007
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Both crime and prison populations could be reduced dramatically by focusing on the 'power few' criminals who commit the most crime. Using data across a wide range of research, scientists show that most crime is committed by a small fraction of all criminals, at a tiny fraction of all locations, against a tiny fraction of all victims, during a few hours a week.

A new study suggests that too much money is wasted on low-risk crime targets. Both crime and prison populations could be reduced dramatically by focusing on the “power few” criminals who commit the most crime, according to Lawrence Sherman, Director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania and Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University, UK.

Related Articles


Using data across a wide range of research, Sherman shows that most crime is committed by a small fraction of all criminals, at a tiny fraction of all locations, against a tiny fraction of all victims, during a few hours a week. By focusing police, probation, parole, rehabilitation, security and prison resources on these “power few” units with the most crime, the study shows how society could stand a far better chance at crime prevention without raising costs.

“Billions of dollars in criminal justice costs are wasted each year on people and places with almost no risk of serious violent crime,” said Sherman, “while the high-risk targets receive far too little attention.” Citing rising homicide rates in Philadelphia since 2002, his research shows how more rehabilitation for a tiny number of offenders may have been able to prevent many of the murders.

The study shows that the key to making the most out of these extreme concentrations of crime would be to test prevention strategies aimed only at these few crime locations, times, situations, victims or offenders. By investing more effort in experiments aimed at finding effective solutions to the predictably serious crime problem caused by the “needles in the haystack,” governments around the world could move much quicker to reducing crime and violence. By investing equal effort in low-risk and high-risk offenders, these strategies now yield unequal results − wasting most of the money on targets unlikely to cause serious harm.

Journal article: Sherman, LW (2007) The Power Few: Experimental Criminology and the Reduction of Harm Journal of Experimental Criminology, Journal of Experimental Criminology. (DOI 10.1007/s11292-007-9044-y)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Less Is More When Fighting Crime." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119113913.htm>.
Springer. (2007, November 26). Less Is More When Fighting Crime. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119113913.htm
Springer. "Less Is More When Fighting Crime." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119113913.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sundance Films Tap Into Virtual Reality

Sundance Films Tap Into Virtual Reality

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — Virtual reality headsets offer more experiences for viewers and filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Earlier this week, a Google exec made headlines for saying "the Internet will disappear," but that doesn&apos;t quite mean what it sounds like. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Tim Cook&apos;s total compensation more than doubled in 2014 to $9.2 million, but his pay was still less than four other Apple executives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins