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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76421 Find in a Library
Title: Annual Report to the American Bar Association by the Chief Justice of the United States
Journal: American Bar Association Journal  Volume:67  Dated:(March 1981)  Pages:290-293
Author(s): W E Burger
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The text of the annual report of the Chief Justice of the United States, delivered at the midyear meeting of the American Bar Association on February 8, 1981, is presented.
Abstract: This report focuses on a single subject, although one of large content: the failure of the American justice system to deter crime and what should be done to reverse this pervasive trend. A recent survey indicates that 46 percent of the women surveyed and 48 percent of blacks are significantly frightened by crime in America. In speaking of crime and punishment, the Chief Justice considers the entire spectrum beginning with an individual's first contact with police through stages of arrest, investigation, adjudication, and corrective confinement. It is suggested that perhaps a dangerous imbalance in favor of the accused has been created by the U.S. criminal justice system. What the American people want is for crime and criminals to be brought under control; neither restitution nor State compensation of victims is the answer. Based upon the experiences of other countries, it is apparent that the greatest deterrent to crime is swift and certain consequences, including prompt arrest and trial, established penalties, and finality of judgment. To achieve deterrence, certain steps should be taken: (1) the local governments must have larger forces and better trained officers, (2) statutes on pretrial release at every level should be re-examined, (3) probation for nonviolent offenders must be used generously, and (4) programs of physical rehabilitation in penal institutions should be implemented. Moreover family visitation of prisoners should be encouraged, and all vocational and educational programs should be mandatory for inmates. Despite increased costs, these measures will yield benefits for our society.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Correctional reform; Corrections effectiveness; Crime Control Programs; Crime Rate; Inmate Programs; Law reform; Pardon; Pretrial release; US Supreme Court
Note: Annual Report delivered at the midyear meeting of the American Bar Association, Houston, Texas, February 8, 1981.
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