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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119860 Find in a Library
Title: Greatest Correctional Myth: Winning the War on Crime Through Incarceration
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:53  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:21-28
Author(s): J W Rogers
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The punitiveness and increasing use of incarceration that dominates current political attitudes and policies toward corrections are based on myths regarding the effectiveness of incarceration and should be reassessed through the establishment of a President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice and through consideration of a moratorium on State and Federal prison construction.
Abstract: Imprisonment is not a solution to crime, because 99 percent of those entering prison eventually return to society. In addition, the actual time served is generally much less than the maximum sentence length and averages 15 to 30 months. Moreover, most offenders are never caught, much less convicted or imprisoned. Furthermore, recidivism occurs among one-third to two-thirds of prison inmates. The current emphasis on incarceration should also take into account at least eight major prison issues: overcrowding, cost, litigation, the disproportionate imprisonment of racial and ethnic minorities, the increasing numbers of long-term stays, AIDS, correctional officer stress, and the effects of the war on drugs. These issues need consideration through informed and balanced debate that would generate productive and acceptable solutions. Establishing a national commission and funding its efforts with the money saved through the construction moratorium might generate imaginative, innovative, and comprehensive policies on behalf of the nation's citizens. 69 references.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence effectiveness; Incarceration; Sentencing trends
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