Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: The Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions

30 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2005  

Ehud Guttel

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Barak Medina

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2005

Abstract

Harsh sanctions are conventionally assumed to primarily benefit vulnerable targets. Contrary to this perception, this article shows that augmented sanctions serve principally the less vulnerable targets. While decreasing crime, harsher sanctions also induce the police to shift enforcement efforts from more to less vulnerable victims. When this shift is substantial, augmented sanctions exacerbate (rather than reduce) the risk to vulnerable victims. Based on this insight, this article suggests several normative implications concerning the efficacy of enhanced sanctions, the importance of victims' funds, and the connection between police operation and apprehension rates.

Keywords: deterrence, enforcement, distribution of crime, vulnerable targets, enhanced sanctions, victims' compensation, apprehension rates

Suggested Citation

Guttel, Ehud and Medina, Barak, Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: The Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions (September 1, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=797764 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.797764

Ehud Guttel (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel

Barak Medina

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus, 91905
Israel

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