Posted: October 17th, 2013













Criminology involves the scientific study of criminal behavior in terms of its nature, extent and causes. The study goes ahead to research on how to control the vice and curtail future occurrences. Intense and invaluable research on future directions of crime has been conducted as a means of controlling criminal behavior in both the individual and the society. One research on future directions of crime that is of particular interest is the move of policy evaluation to a medical model. This future direction on research is of particular interest because it tends to compare medical curative procedures as analogous models to efficient crime control in terms of incarceration regimes per se (Abbring, and Heckman, 2008).

The logic behind the idea is that medical research is considered effective because it is not based on the evaluation on whether a specific drug or procedure has effective or adverse effects in the treatment of a certain disease or whether the treatment or procedure have adverse effects on certain types of patients. The medial model is also comparative as it involves research on whether a given drug or procedure has more benefits as opposed to the status quo alternative. This is related to the current concern that undue consideration has been accorded to marginal benefits versus marginal cost calculations at the expense of incarceration regimes per se (Gilboa, 2009).

The medial model analogy tends to emphasize on the need for more studies. The similarity is that both medical treatment procedures and sanctions are heterogeneous. Specific drugs and medical procedures are not effective in the treatment of any medical condition while there are those treatment procedures and medicines that end up failing to treat the medical condition originally intended. This premise is applied to the impacts of sanctions in crime. This gives rise to the need for additional research on the prediction of the various crime reduction impacts caused by sanctions. The main sources for heterogeneity in sanctions are previous encounters with the criminal system, demographics and the mode of communication of sanction threats to the individuals. With this regard, the use of the medical model as an analogy to an efficient crime control procedure.


Abbring, J. & Heckman, J. (2008). “Econometric Evaluation of Social Programs, Part III: Distributional Treatment Effects, Dynamic Treatment Effects, Dynamic Discrete Choice, and General Equilibrium Policy Evaluation”. Handbook of Econometrics. Amsterdam: North Holland. J. Heckman and E. Leamer.

Gilboa, I. (2009). Theory of Decision Under Uncertainty, New York, NY: Cambridge University


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