SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Stafford, M., & Warr, M. (1993). A reconceptualization of general and specific deterrence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(2), 123–135. Retrieved from

The distinction between general and specific deterrence is widely recognized and accepted by deterrence researchers, and is used commonly to classify deterrence studies. However, the logical and empirical grounds for the distinction are not as clear as they might appear, and the conventional conception has done more to obfuscate than to clarify the deterrence process. Following a discussion of these issues, the authors propose a reconceptualization of general and specific deterrence, and apply it to several current controversies in the deterrence literature.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. What is the difference between general and specific deterrence?
  2. What are some of the issues concerning this distinction?
  3. What is the reconceptualization the authors discuss?

Article 2: Beauregard, E., Leclerc, B., & Lussier, P. (2012). Decision making in the crime commission process: Comparing rapists, child molesters, and victim-crossover sex offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39(10), 1275–1295. Retrieved from

Based on a rational choice approach, this study compares the decision making involved in the crime commission process of rapists (n = 30), child molesters (n = 17), and victim-crossover sex offenders (n = 22). Using a mixed-methods framework and following Clarke and Cornish’s decision-making model, the authors organized offenders’ narratives collected during semistructured interviews into three major areas: (a) offense planning (i.e., premeditation of the crime, estimation of risk of apprehension by the offender, and forensic awareness of the offender); (b) offense strategies (i.e., use of a weapon, use of restraints, use of a vehicle, and level of force used; and (c) aftermath (i.e., event leading to the end of crime and victim release site location choice). Results emphasize the important role of situational factors and age of the victim on the decision-making process of serial sex offenders. Moreover, results show that because of particular choice-structuring properties, the decision making varies across different groups of serial sex offenders.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. For this study, the authors classified the offenders’ narratives into three major areas, or in this case, three phases of the crime commission process. Why is it important to identify differences in decision making during each of these three phases?
  2. What is the main hypothesis of the study? Did the findings support the hypothesis?
  3. What policy implications do the authors offer?

Article 3: McNeeley, S. (2015). Lifestyle-routine activities and crime events. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 31(1), 30–52. Retrieved from

This article presents a review of the theoretical and empirical status of lifestyle-routine activities theory, along with a discussion of its utility for policy and practice. The article covers multiple theoretical applications of the theory at different levels of analysis, along with an overview of the empirical status of the theory for each of these applications. Particular focus is given to the lifestyle-routine activities explanations of individual victimization and offending, and the research on crime and place. Then, policy implications and existing practices based on the theory are presented. Finally, it is suggested that scholars and practitioners begin to focus on (a) the interaction of lifestyle with other factors, such as gender or delinquent values; (b) virtual places and online routine activities; and (c) the use of convergent settings to facilitate co-offending.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. Based on the article, what is the empirical status of lifestyle-routine activities theory at each of the levels of analysis?
  2. What suggestions does the author make for future research?