Although perceived certainty was largely ineffective in predicting offending in late adolescence, its main effect and interaction with general criminal thinking predicted future offending in emerging adulthood. These variegated results suggest that perceived certainty of punishment may require a level of social-cognitive maturity not typically found in youthful offenders until they reach the early adult years. Consequently, while cognitive–behavioral interventions may achieve better results with juvenile offenders than policies designed to influence perceived certainty, such policies should have more impact once the individual transitions into adulthood. Studies show that it is possible to reduce offending by raising the objective and perceived certainty of getting caught. Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program and South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety curriculum have lowered recidivism rates in substance abusing probationers by applying swift and certain sanctions to rule violating behavior (Hawken & Kleiman, 2009; Larkin, 2015). A program in Zurich, Switzerland sought to elevate the certainty of punishment by increasing the number of attendants and the frequency of ticket checks on trains. Results indicated that by checking tickets during the evening hours, fare-dodging dropped significantly, not only during the evening hours but also during the day-time hours (Killias, Scheidegger, & Nordenson, 2009).
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