When Is Violence Planned?

Richard B. Felson, Michael Massoglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We examine what types of violent offenses tend to be planned using self-report data from a nationally representative sample of state and federal inmates. We find mixed support for the idea that predatory offenses are more likely to be planned than dispute-related offenses. As expected, robbery offenders are much more likely to report that they planned their crime ahead of time than homicide and physical assault offenders. However, sexual assault offenders are no more likely to report planning than homicide offenders. We also find mixed support for the idea that domestic violence-the supposed crime of passion-is less likely to be planned than violent offenses involving strangers. Finally, we find substantial demographic variation depending on type of crime. Robberies involving offenders of lower socioeconomic status and homicides and assaults involving African American offenders and victims are less likely to involve planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-774
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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