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NCJ Number: 76901 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Future of Crime
Author(s): G M Sykes
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 90
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Contract Number: 282-76-0409
Publication Number: ADM-80-912
Sale Source: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This sociological monograph charts the possible future course of crime and delinquency in the United States by focusing on six major aspects of the American social structure: the community, the family, the system of stratification, education, the economy, and values.
Abstract: Factors that illustrate the present crime crisis are considered, including the dramatic increase in the crime rate in the 1960's and in the early 1970's, the necessity of plea bargaining in the criminal courts, the disillusionment with imprisonment as a means of rehabilitation, the question of whether probation and parole directly influence recidivism, and the fact that a great many people view the law enforcement agencies themselves with suspicion. The monograph assesses current sociological perspectives on crime causation, theories of the special distribution of crime, the changing emphasis in criminology on the influence of family structure, the importance of economic factors such as unemployment as a crime cause, the influence of education upon crime and delinquency, and the role of values on social behavior. In addition, an enlarged concept of white-collar crime is examined that includes both criminal acts performed by corporate officials to benefit the corporation and property offenses committed by white-collar workers for their personal advantage. The concept of political crime is also described and analyzed, focusing on illegal acts to seize political power, refusals to obey the law because of ideological beliefs, and discriminatory enforcement of the law for political ends. The monograph briefly describes some encouraging signs that point to a possible reduction of criminal behavior in American society, including changes in the proportion of adolescents which will probably contribute to a drop in the crime rate for offenses such as larceny, burglary, and auto theft. On the other hand, this may be offset by an increase in the tendency for young adolescents to engage in criminal behavior. Moreover, the drop in the age structure may last only 10 or 15 years. Ominous signs include the failure to solve the problems of the large city, the flow of both legal and illegal migration, and the problem of chronic unemployment in advanced industrial societies, particularly for the unskilled. It is suggested that white-collar crime may increase as ownership becomes more impersonal in a bureaucratized mass society. Future modes of crime control may include additional deterrent sanctions such as fines for middle-class offenders and longer prison sentences and expanded police powers if serious crimes become more numerous. How crime is perceived in the United States will strongly influence the steps that are taken to solve it and, therefore, the incidence of criminal behavior. Tabular data and 208 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Citizen crime tolerance; Crime prediction; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminality prediction; Criminology; Cultural influences; Employment-crime relationships; Future trends; Home environment; Moral development; Politically motivated violent crimes; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency; White collar crime
Note: Crime and Delinquency Issues - A Monograph Series
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