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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134880 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Pays, But So Does Imprisonment
Journal: Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies  Pages:259-300
Author(s): M O Reynolds
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 42
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This author maintains that the crime rate in the United States is increasing because the cost to the criminal, even if apprehended and punished, is so low.
Abstract: Using data from the National Crime Survey, the author tabulates figures related to expected time in prison for various crimes; these figures rest upon the probabilities of being arrested, indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to prison. As a result of these factors, a criminal's overall probability of imprisonment has fallen dramatically in the past 40 years and the effectiveness of deterrence has deteriorated. The author explores the impact of the Warren Court and the crime fighting policies of the past few Presidential administrations in understanding the virtual collapse in the probability of imprisonment. The U.S. must create more crime deterrence in order to lower the crime rate. But first, prison costs should be reduced through better management practices, early release of elderly prisoners, boot camps, electronic monitoring systems, and privatization of prison construction and operations. Finally, the laws obstructing productive employment of inmates must be relaxed to take full advantage of the benefits of privatization. 7 tables, 3 figures, 37 notes, and 1 appendix
Main Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness; Incarceration
Index Term(s): Correctional industries; Corrections management; Privatization in corrections; Sentencing trends
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