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: 182178 Find in a Library
Title: Minimizing Harm: A New Crime Policy for Modern America
Editor(s): Edward L. Rubin
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 222
Sponsoring Agency: Westview Press, Inc
Boulder, CO 80301
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8133-6804-9
Sale Source: Westview Press, Inc
Marketing Director
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The 15 authors of this book present and explain a pragmatic crime policy for America that combines academic insights about crime prevention with the realities of contemporary politics.
Abstract: The studies collectively outline a coherent policy that centers on "minimizing harm," as opposed to retribution, eliminating crime, or solving the social problems that generate criminal behavior. Minimizing harm implies a compromise between the best current research and the concerns of citizens. The book consists of four principal studies that focus on public attitudes toward crime, prevention, alternative sanctions, and drug policy. The four principal studies speak simultaneously to the need for rational public policy and the need to address citizen concerns. One paper argues that criminal justice resources should be directed toward violent crime, because this is the real source of citizen concern, even if the citizens themselves displace that concern to other areas. Another paper argues that policymakers should focus on prevention programs that are directed at potentially violent individuals and that produce reasonably fast results. A third paper reasons that alternative sanctions should be explored only for those offenders who have not committed violent crimes that anger citizens, and that even these nonviolent criminals must be subjected to a regime that citizens regard as punitive. A fourth paper argues that policymakers should seek ways to treat addicts, decreasing the harm they do to themselves and others, within the current framework of criminal sanctions for drug selling and drug use. 9 tables, 12 figures, and chapter references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Crime control policies; Political influences; Public Opinion of Crime; Violent crimes; Violent offenders
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.