Does incapacitation reduce crime?

Alex R. Piquero, Alfred Blumstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Questions and answers about incapacitation abound in all discussions about criminal justice policy. They are among the most pressing of all research issues, yet estimates about the incapacitation effect on crime vary considerably, and most are based on very old and incomplete estimates of the longitudinal pattern of criminal careers. This paper provides an overview of the incapacitation issue, highlights information on recent estimates of criminal careers that are useful to the incapacitation model, and outlines an ambitious research agenda for continued and expanded work on incapacitation and crime that centers on developing better estimates of the characteristics of criminal careers and their relevance to policy choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Criminal careers
  • Criminal justice policy
  • Criminal offending
  • Incapacitation

Cite this