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: 78880 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Crime Control Corps - An Invisible New Deal Program
Author(s): J A Pandiani
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues that the decrease in crime rates during the Great Depression of the 1930's was largely due to the removal of a significant segment of those at risk for serious crime from the population at large via the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) relief program.
Abstract: The extreme economic hardship and social dislocation of the Great Depression were widely expected to produce a crime wave of major proportions. From the mid-1920's until 1933, crime rates rose, but then the trend mysteriously reversed itself. Between 1933 and 1941, large numbers of poor young men were institutionalized in work camps far from population centers as part of the CCC relief program. They were thereby effectively removed from the crime-committing population. The crime control function of the CCC was probably intended, but remained unrecognized by the public. The expressed purpose of the program was to provide economic relief for enrollees and their dependents and to perform various conservation projects, such as flood control and reforestation. At its peak in 1935, CCC operated 2,650 camps with a total enrollment of over 500,000 men. Thus, it appears that from 1932 to 1940 between one-quarter and one-third of the Nation's poor young men were in the CCC. This failure to recognize the important social control function as well as the program's overall success must be attributed to its striking correspondence with American values and traditions surrounding free enterprise. The paper concludes that the basic ideology of a society profoundly affects not only the kind of crime it will experience but the social control mechanisms it will use. A comparison of Soviet and American responses to economic and social crisis between 1930-40 support this interpretation. A total of 35 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Cultural influences; Federal aid; Federal programs; Indigents; Society-crime relationships; Unemployment; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); Work camps
Note: This is a revised version of a paper presented at the meetings of the Society of Social Problems, September, 1978.
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.