Assessing the celerity of arrest on 3-year recidivism patterns in a sample of criminal defendants

Haley R. Zettler, Robert G. Morris, Alex R. Piquero, Stephanie M. Cardwell

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In an effort to build on celerity research, we use longitudinal data to examine whether celerity, as measured by the amount of time from the commission of an offense to the time of arrest, impacts the likelihood for recidivism. Methods: Propensity score matching is used to examine how the effects of several different measures of celerity are related to subsequent arrests. Results: Findings were consistent with assumptions of deterrence theory; experiencing a shorter time between offense and arrest date was related to a significantly lower risk of recidivism, while the effect diminished beyond thirty days. Conclusions: Results suggest that celerity of arrest may have a small, short-term deterrent effect-a finding that is similar to one from the research on sanction certainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrest
  • Celerity
  • Deterrence
  • Punishment
  • Recidivism

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