Crime in the United States has fluctuated considerably over the past thirty years, as have the policy approaches to deal with it. During this time criminologists and other scholars have helped to shed light on the role of incarceration, prevention, drugs, guns, policing, and numerous other aspects to crime control. Yet the latest research is rarely heard in public discussions and is often missing from the desks of policymakers. This book accessibly summarizes the latest scientific information on the causes of crime and evidence about what does and does not work to control it. Thoroughly revised and updated, this new version of Crime and Public Policy will include twenty chapters and five new substantial entries. As with previous editions, each essay reviews the existing literature, discusses the methodological rigor of the studies, identifies what policies and programs the studies suggest, and then points to policies now implemented that fail to reflect the evidence. The chapters cover the principle institutions of the criminal justice system (juvenile justice, police, prisons, probation and parole, sentencing), how broader aspects of social life inhibit or encourage crime (biology, schools, families, communities), and topics currently generating a great deal of attention (criminal activities of gangs, sex offenders, prisoner reentry, changing crime rates). With contributions from trusted, leading scholars, Crime and Public Policy offers the most comprehensive and balanced guide to how the latest and best social science research informs the understanding of crime and its control for policymakers, community leaders, and students of crime and criminal justice.
Crime in the United States has fluctuated considerably over the past thirty years, as have the policy approaches to deal with it. During this time criminologists and other scholars have helped to shed light on the role of incarceration, prevention, drugs, guns, policing, and numerous other aspects to crime control. Yet the latest research is rarely heard in public discussions and is often missing from the desks of policymakers. This book accessibly summarizes the latest scientific information on the causes of crime and evidence about what does and does not work to control it. Thoroughly revised and updated, this new version of Crime and Public Policy will include twenty chapters and five new substantial entries. As with previous editions, each essay reviews the existing literature, discusses the methodological rigor of the studies, identifies what policies and programs the studies suggest, and then points to policies now implemented that fail to reflect the evidence. The chapters cover the principle institutions of the criminal justice system (juvenile justice, police, prisons, probation and parole, sentencing), how broader aspects of social life inhibit or encourage crime (biology, schools, families, communities), and topics currently generating a great deal of attention (criminal activities of gangs, sex offenders, prisoner reentry, changing crime rates). With contributions from trusted, leading scholars, Crime and Public Policy offers the most comprehensive and balanced guide to how the latest and best social science research informs the understanding of crime and its control for policymakers, community leaders, and students of crime and criminal justice.
In 1982 the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation created a small committee-the Justice Program Study Group (whose membership is listed at the end ofthis preface)-and posed to it what can hardly be regarded as an easy ques tion: "What ideas, what concepts, what basic intellectual frameworks are lack ing" to understand and to more effectively deal with crime in our society? Those who are acquainted with the work of the members of the Study Group will appreciate how many divergent views were expressed-divergent to the degree that some of us came to the conclusion that we were not a Study Group at all but rather a group being studied, an odd collection of ancient experimental animals serving some dark purpose of the Foundation. Eventually, however, a surprisingly strong concurrence emerged. We found we were impressed by the extent to which in our discussions we placed heavy reliance on the products of two types of research: first, those few longitudinal studies related to juvenile delinquency and crime that had been pursued in this country and, second, a few experimental studies that had sought to measure the consequences of different official interventions in criminal careers. These two research strategies had taught us much about crime and its control. Other strategies-case studies, cross-sectional surveys, participant observations, and similar techniques-had indeed been productive, but it was the longitudinal and experimental designs that firmed up the knowledge that the others helped to discover.
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