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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 90527 Find in a Library
Title: Thinking About Crime - Revised Edition
Author(s): J Q Wilson
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 293
Sponsoring Agency: Basic Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Basic Books
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This assessment of American crime trends and crime control policies espouses the argument that criminal activity is largely rational, i.e., shaped by the rewards and penalties it offers versus the outcomes of other available activities; thus, society's responses to crime should be based on designing policies that will minimize criminal rewards and increase the rewards of noncriminal behavior.
Abstract: The book describes the 1960's and 1970's experience with crime and its impact on the community and offers a general perspective on how to think about crime control policies. The author argues that it is possible to consider anticrime policies without first discovering a cure for the causes of crime. He focuses on the police struggle with crime and neighborhood disorder, and discusses five major issues in the debate over crime control policies -- penalties and opportunities (i.e., deterrence), incapacitation, rehabilitation, capital punishment, and drug control. The concluding section places crime in the context of American history and culture to reveal some of the fundamental forces affecting its incidence. Finally, a hypothetical description of an adequate crime control policy is offered, together with reasons why it would be difficult to implement. Chapter notes and an index are provided. A short comment on gun control is appended. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Corrections effectiveness; Crime control policies; Deterrence; Police community relations; Police effectiveness
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