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NCJ Number: 135950 Find in a Library
Title: Limits of Punishment as Social Policy (From Correctional Theory and Practice, P 12-28, 1992, Clayton A Hartjen and Edward E Rhine, eds. -- See NCJ-135949)
Author(s): D C Gibbons
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Nelson-Hall Publishers
Chicago, IL 60606
Sale Source: Nelson-Hall Publishers
111 North Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of current crime control policy in the United States concludes that the punitive policies of the last decade have produced few positive results and that alternative and less harsh measures are urgently needed.
Abstract: Punitive measures have been urged as the way to deal with offenders who commit petty theft, burglary, or larceny and who usually come from the underclass in society. Such policies have much less often been urged for white-collar offenders. However, the recent data indicate that the increasing use of imprisonment has neither rehabilitated nor deterred most of those imprisoned. In addition, proposals for the selective incapacitation of career criminals overlook the lack of a method of identifying these offenders before they have become frequent offenders. Thus, the massive use of imprisonment is an ineffective social policy and cannot be defended as a social control policy in a society that believes itself to be both decent and a model for the world. Therefore, alternative approaches, along with the sparing use of imprisonment are needed. Such programs include intensive supervision, electronic monitoring, fines, restitution programs, community service programs, and community-based residential centers. Even more important is to establish a society that prevents crime by providing meaningful social and economic rewards for all citizens. Footnotes and 36 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies; Punishment
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Custody vs treatment conflict; Incarceration
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