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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77595 Find in a Library
Title: Cops and Dollars - The Economics of Criminal Law and Justice
Author(s): H Reynolds
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 261
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Written primarily as a text for criminology and sociology courses, this book presents criminal law and justice from an economist's perspective.
Abstract: Basic principles of economics are presented in the opening chapter, followed by an examination of their application to both legal and illegal markets, such as prostitution, drugs, and gambling. The economic consequences of legalizing some aspects of these currently illegal supply and demand transactions are considered. Beyond the standard type of supply-and-demand economics, however, is a set of economic ideas that can help explain why people commit crime and how best to counter such behavior. Economic incentives and risks are discussed for property crime in general, white-collar crime, and organized crime, followed by a chapter on economic conditions and crime rates. The criminal justice system is considered from the perspective of allocating scarce public revenues for criminal justice budgets, and the trade-offs involved in trying to make the system fair to all citizens are identified. Attention is given to victimization and the costs of crime, equity versus efficiency in criminal justice processing, and whether the neighborhood police patrol is worth the cost. Topics considered in the areas of courts and corrections are bail, plea bargaining, the economic dynamics of defense services, jury trials, streamlining the courts, selecting judges, whether prisons punish or correct, and capital punishment. References accompany each chapter, and an index is provided.
Index Term(s): Bail/Financial Release; Capital punishment; Course materials; Crime costs; Decriminalization; Defense counsel; Drug laws; Drug regulation; Economic analysis; Economic influences; Gambling; Incarceration; Judge selection; Organized crime; Patrol; Plea negotiations; Police resource allocation; Prostitution; Victim compensation; Victimization; White collar crime
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