Terrorism Prevention Identify and Define Essay

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Outline the Minneapolis Domestic violence experiment, cite its findings and discuss the results of its replication studies. Compare and contrast collective and selective incapacitation with suitable examples

The Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment was an evaluation of how effective the Minneapolis police responded to various domestic violence calls. The experiment was conducted between 1982 and 1982 by Lawrence W. Sherman, and the Minneapolis Police Department. Funding was supported by the National Institute of Justice. From a pool of known domestic violence offenders who there was a possibility for arrest, the study required the officers to select randomly one third for arrest, one third for counseling, and one third for separation with their partners Buzawa and Buzawa ()

. From the three methods suggested for dealing with domestic violence offenders, arrest was found to be the most effective. Those arrested during the study had been deterred from committing the offence again. The offenders who were sent away temporarily and those who were counseled had a high rate of committing the crime again. Deterring the offenders was most effective with arrest and this was the conclusion that the report made in regards to domestic violence.

The findings of this study lead to the mandatory arrest of domestic violence offenders with probable cause. Some of the states that quickly implemented this report were New York, Dallas, and Houston police departments. In 1986, the National Institute of Justice sponsored independent studies that replicated the Minneapolis study. The studies included Nebraska, Omaha, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Miami-Dade, Colorado Springs, Charlotte, and Milwaukee. The studies had varied methods and measures although they were all replications of the Minneapolis experiment. The study was never completed in North Carolina. The studies differed in the results obtained depending on alternative treatments, repeat offending measures, and study site. There were some results that favored arrest, others indicated arrest led to repeated offense, and others reported no difference. There was no study that indicated the same effects as those reported by the Minneapolis experiment. This indicates that the adoption of the Minneapolis experiment by majority of police departments was not the right thing to do in the fight against domestic violence. There should have been other factors considered before the report was adopted, like was the case during the sponsored studies. Some critics of the study have also stated that the experiment was not conducted long enough, because the 6-month period that they analyzed the offenders after arrest, counseling or time away was not enough to receive conclusive results.

Collective and selective incapacitation differs mainly depending on the extent to which they focus on an offender prediction of committing a crime again. Collective incapacitation deals with sentencing offenders without analyzing their previous records. Providing long imprisonment terms to deter repeat offenders is the main aim of collective incapacitation. Collective incapacitation also hands the same sentence term to criminals who are convicted of committing the same crime regardless of their nature. It does not consider first time offenders and repeat offenders. For example, an offender who has been arrested severally for petty theft should not be handed the same sentence as a first time offender. The repeat offender should be given a harsh sentence in order to deter him/her form repeating the crime again.

Selective incapacitation promotes long-term imprisonment of criminals who have a likelihood of committing repeat crimes. This is determined by analyzing the criminals past records. Though, the information might not be easily obtained as a criminal becomes old the chances of them repeating of offense reduces. There is also the moral issue of determining if a criminal has the probability of repeating the offence. If it could be possible to determine the offenders who have the probability of repeating a crime, then those offenders are the ones who should be given longer prison terms. Selective incapacitation does not believe in imprisonment depending on the crime committed.

Compare and critique basic problems of relying exclusively on the "hard line" approach toward dealing with terrorism. Also compare and critique problems of relying exclusively on "soft line" approaches. How useful are economic sanctions as a counter-terrorist option? Explain your answer

Taking an uncompromising, sturdy, or inflexible approach towards dealing with terrorism could lead a country to major losses Wilkinson ()

. The losses will mainly be because the country is determined to fight terrorism, and it will do anything in its power to fight terrorists. Having a hard line approach, the country would not be ready to listen to others and instead will forge ahead with its mission. This would result in blunders due to lack of negotiation. There might be other reasons behind the hard line approach that are motivating the country towards this stance. There might be hate related concerns that the country is dealing with, which would not allow it to negotiate or come to an understanding with the terrorists. Having a hard line approach would mean a country will never listen or back down from its stance towards terrorists.

The soft line approach requires the various parties to treat each other as friends and be prepared to listen to each other. The main issue with taking this stance exclusively is that the other party might not be prepared to back down on its demand. This would leave one party to compromise while the other does not. The soft line approach is the best way to resolve conflicts especially involving terrorists. Terrorists would be treated as friends in the hopes that they will not perform any terror activities. This would leave a country vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Economic sanctions are very useful in countering terrorism. This is because when the assets of the terrorist group are frozen they will not have the finances to promote their activities. Economic sanctions also prohibit other companies from dealing with terrorists because if they are discovered their businesses may be affected as they would also be put under sanctions. With economic sanctions been placed against specific individual or nations, it becomes hard for them to access any funds they might have in foreign banks or accounts. This demoralizes the terrorists. Countries that had been placed under sanctions like Libya were finally forced to negotiate with the United States in order to have their sanctions lifted. This benefited the United States as it was able to ensure that Libya would not be involved in any terrorism activities.


Buzawa, E.S., and C.G. Buzawa. Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice Response. 1 Oliver's Yard: SAGE Publications, 2003. Print.

Lab, S.P. Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations. Maryland Heights, MO 63043: Elsevier Science, 2013. Print.

Wilkinson, P. Terrorism vs. Democracy. Abingdon, Oxon OX14…[continue]

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