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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162343 Find in a Library
Title: Seeking Justice: Crime and Punishment in America
Author(s): W M DiMascio
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 51
Sponsoring Agency: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
New York, NY 10177
Sale Source: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
250 Park Avenue
Room 900
New York, NY 10177
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Expenditures for corrections have substantially increased in recent years in response to a rise in the inmate population, yet effective crime prevention solutions remain elusive.
Abstract: Combined local, State, and Federal budgets for handling the inmate population totaled $24.9 billion in 1990 and reportedly reached $31.2 billion by 1992. Some policymakers cite increased incarceration as the reason why homicide rates and certain other crimes have recently declined in several U.S. cities, but criminal justice experts the cause of this decline is not so clear. Incarcerating offenders keeps them from committing more crimes while behind bars, although changes in policing, drug use, and demographics may have an even larger impact on overall crime rates. Each year, an estimated 400,000 individuals are discharged from State and Federal prisons back into the community. Some successfully manage the transition to community life, but many do not and the criminal justice system does not always prepare offenders to make the adjustment. To facilitate a better understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system, the author takes a detailed look at crime and punishment in the United States. He attempts to provide factual information and resources that can assist policymakers, stakeholders, the media, and others interested in a fair and affordable criminal justice system. He focuses on incarceration costs, characteristics of individuals who go to prison, reasons why the inmate population has increased, the link between drugs and crime, various sanction types, and public attitudes toward crime and punishment. References, tables, and figures
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections costs; Crime Causes; Crime prevention measures; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Drug Related Crime; Incarceration; Inmate characteristics; Inmate statistics; Public Opinion of Crime; Punishment; Social reintegration
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