This article verifies the different effects of legal repression over homicide rates across Brazilian states. We analyze the impacts of two different kinds of legal repression: incapacitation (rate of individuals serving time in jail in relation to 100,000 inhabitants) and deterrence (rate of police officers in relation to 100,000 inhabitants). We use both official homicides rate and the adjusted homicides rate estimated by Cerqueira (2013). Our econometric results suggest that different police strategies can have different impact over the homicide rate, which contradicts the study of Levitt (2004). Furthermore, we find evidence that the new Anti-Drug Law of 2006 had as an unintended consequence the decrease of the impact of incarceration rate over homicide rate.
criminality homicide incarceration rate number of police officers