skip navigation


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 Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. 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: 157027 Find in a Library
Title: Debating Crime and Imprisonment in California
Journal: Evaluation and Program Planning  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(April-June 1994)  Pages:165-177
Author(s): J Petersilia
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper attempts to determine whether California's massive investment in crime control over the past two decades has had any effect on the State's crime rate, particularly violent crime.
Abstract: The author reviews California's crime and victimization data, imprisonment rates, and criminal justice expenditures over the past two decades. The data suggest that the massive investment in crime control, and the doubling and redoubling of the prison population in recent years, may have little effect on California's crime rate, particularly on violent crime. Additional investments are also unlikely to significantly reduce crime because the criminal justice system may have little impact on the amount of crime experienced in local communities. The article discusses: (1) the relationship between crime and imprisonment; (2) why expanded imprisonment has not reduced crime and why it is unlikely to do so in the future; (3) the costs of justice; (4) whether the investment in prisons has made society any safer; and (5) what policy options hold promise for addressing the crime problem more directly. References
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): California; Corrections costs; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Crime control theory; Crime costs; Crime prevention measures; Criminal justice evaluation; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Incarceration; Violent crime statistics
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.