I’m working to verify a fairly simple intuition: that in managing a population of deterrable potential violators of some rule with only a limited amount of sanctions capacity, in a the key is to concentrate attention on a small group of offenders until their violation rates fall, then work outward, rather than using either an equal-opportunity approach (where every violator faces the same risk of sanction if he violates the rule) or a problem-solving approach (where the most frequent violators get priority for sanctioning).
I’m just about certain the intuition is right under some circumstances, and fairly sure those circumstances are close enough to some real-world situations to make this an important insight for crime control. This is part of a larger book project with the working title When Brute Force Fails.
In this connection, I’m looking for someone who can write a program (probably in JAVA) to implement a fairly simple agent-based simulation illustrating the dynamics of deterrence. Any reader who knows someone who could handle such an assignment could do me a great service by having that person email me.