This paper briefly reviews the research on the crime control effectiveness of “pulling levers” focused deterrence programs. Focused deterrence strategies honor core deterrence ideas, such as increasing risks faced by offenders, while finding new and creative ways of deploying traditional and non-traditional law enforcement tools to do so, such as communicating incentives and disincentives directly to targeted offenders.
These evaluation designs permit the clearest assessment of “cause and effect” in determining whether hot spots policing programs prevent crime. These designs examine pre- and post-program measurement of crime outcomes in targeted locations relative to “control” locations. The control groups in the identified hot spots evaluations received routine levels of traditional police enforcement tactics. The deterrence message was a promise to gang members that violent behavior would evoke an immediate and intense response from law enforcement.