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NCJ Number: 81644 Find in a Library
Title: US v Crime in the Streets
Author(s): T E Cronin; T Z Cronin; M E Milakovich
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 221
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University Press
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
Sale Source: Indiana University Press
Promotion Manager
601 N. Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book traces the national 'war on crime' from its birth in the early 1960's through its troubled implementation in the 1970's, to its current decline, marked by the dismantling of LEAA.
Abstract: Based on hundreds of interviews with Department of Justice officials, congressional representatives and staff, White House aides, and law enforcement officials around the country, the book seeks to clarify the Federal Government's role in fighting crime. The emerging thesis is that the increase in violent crime during the 1960's and 1970's was real and that the LEAA response to it was positive in many respects. However, the national 'war on crime' as a whole appears to have been poorly conceived, ill managed, and ineffective. The authors contend that about half of the federally allocated monies have been wasted, another quarter eaten up by costly overhead such as the growing bureaucracy and grant writing apparatus, and that only about 25 cents on the dollar went into a potentially worthwhile investment. In tracking the national effort through the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations, the authors try to convey the perspectives of the decisionmakers of the time, who had to plan, grapple, legislate, implement, and evaluate under intense political pressures. Their decisions affected the nature of power and justice in America. The book describes the early 1960's by reviewing law enforcement in relation to the civil rights movement, the Goldwater nomination, and the ensuing presidential campaign in which the issue of crime in the streets first received political articulation. Johnson's response in the form of the President's Crime Commission and the administration's proposals for legislation are then reviewed and followed through congressional battles over block grants and get-tough amendments. Intensification of the law-and-order issue and the launching of the 'war on crime' by New Federalism implementation efforts are discussed. The gradual decline of LEAA is noted beginning with early budget cuts of the Ford administration. Concluding chapters question what went wrong and analyze lessons learned from the experience. An index and a bibliography of over 200 entries are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; Failure factors; Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA); Political influences
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