skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 242161     Find in a Library
  Title: Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 37
  Editor(s): Michael Tonry
  Date Published: 2008
  Page Count: 510
  Annotation: Seven of the nine essays in this volume address penal punishment policies and their effects, with a focus on America; and the other two essays examine how successfully economists and criminologists have explained crime, criminality, and the operations of the criminal justice system.
  Abstract: One of the nine essays that critique American penal policies argues that a country’s punishment policies for offenders result, not from crime trends or public opinion, but from the deliberate policy choices of governments; these, in turn, are related to income distribution, social welfare spending, and citizens’ trust in one another and in government. Two of the nine essays on American penal policy focus on reasons why Black Americans are disproportionately involved in and punished under American penal policy. One explanation is that sentencing for drug and violent crimes are racially disproportionate between Blacks and Whites, both in terms of their proportion of the population and the rate of their involvement in these types of crimes. Blacks are six to seven times more likely than Whites to be in prison. The second of these two essays on racial issues in American penal policy notes that surveys of the public’s support for capital punishment have found that Whites are significantly more likely to support capital punishment in America than Blacks. The author argues that these differing attitudes are racially related. Another of the nine essays demonstrates that recent American crime-control policies generally cannot be justified on the basis of their deterrent effect. The other essays in the group of nine address the detrimental effects of imprisonment on certain communities and on inmates’ families, and one examines the effects of recent punishment policies on California prisons. The two essays that critique the contributions of economists and criminologists to explanations of crime in general are limited. Chapter references and data tables and figures
  Main Term(s): Criminology
  Index Term(s): Capital punishment ; Black/African Americans ; Effects of imprisonment ; Cost effectiveness analysis ; Sentencing disparity ; Economic analysis ; Deterrence effectiveness ; Racial discrimination ; Corrections effectiveness ; Research uses in policymaking ; Crime control policies ; Corrections policies ; Criminal justice system effectiveness ; Black/White Attitude Comparisons ; Crime control theory ; Black/White Crime Comparisons ; Crime causes theory ; California
  Publication Number: ISBN 0-226-80875-0
  Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
  Publisher URL: 
  Type: Research (Applied/Empirical) ; Literature Review
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: For additional chapters in this volume see NCJ-242162-70.
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.