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NCJ Number: 136097 Find in a Library
Title: American Behind Bars: One Year Later
Author(s): M Mauer
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
New York, NY 10177
J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation
Niles, IL 60648
Public Welfare Foundation
Washington, DC 20009-4443
Sentencing Project
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Sentencing Project
1705 DeSales Street, NW
8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This update of a 1991 study examines the effects of incarceration on the crime rate and compares the United States' crime rates with those of other leading nations with a particular emphasis on South Africa.
Abstract: The response to crime has generally been to create more prisons. Proponents of this policy cite crime rates that showed a decline in crime in the 1980's. Opponents argue that crime has not declined significantly despite the growth of incarceration. Demographics is a significant variable when measuring crime rates and explains how the decline in the crime rate in the 1980's was based on the decrease of population of the most "crime prone" age. With a record inmate population of 1.1 million and an estimated increase of 30 percent by 1995, the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. However, factors such as prison conditions of another country should be studied for a proper perspective of criminal justice. Still, alternatives to prisons need to be examined. South Africa introduced polices in 1991 to reduce prison populations and now African-American men are imprisoned at a rate almost 5 times that of South African black men. Recommendations for crime control include establishment of a national commission to examine the reasons for the high prison rate of African-American men and development of strategies to cope with drug abuse. 2 tables, 2 graphs, and 11 references
Main Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; International crime statistics
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Drug Related Crime; South Africa
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