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NCJ Number: 90660 Find in a Library
Title: Crime in America - Myth and Reality
Author(s): R Threlkeld
Corporate Author: ABC News
United States of America
Project Director: B Roy; C C Stuart; P Friedman; S Schutzman
Date Published: 1983
Sponsoring Agency: ABC News
New York, NY 10023
Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: ABC News
7 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States of America

Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Most of the so-called solutions to the crime problem in the United States are myths: people want to believe that simplistic answers to a very complex problem will work, but they do not.
Abstract: Common myths are that tougher punishment will deter crime, that putting juveniles in adult correctional facilities will scare them into being good, and that judges are soft on criminals. Criminologists, police officers, victims, violent adult offenders, judges, parole officers, and juvenile offenders discuss their experiences and perspectives concerning the crime problem in America. When quick solutions are sought to crime, more problems often result. For example, mandatory sentences for specific crimes have been legislated in some States so that no judicial discretion is allowed. This can result in overcrowded prisons if no arrangements are made to hold the increased prisoner population through additional funding for prison construction or for alternatives to imprisonment. Numerous examples of how 'quick fixes' do not stop crime are discussed. Some long-range solutions to the crime problem are noted, such as increased cooperation between the police and communities in street patrols and Neighborhood Watch programs, more attention to victims' rights, and the development of alternatives to incarceration (community service, restitution to victims, etc.). Concerning juvenile offenders, rehabilitative approaches such as those used in wilderness camps seem to bring more positive long-term results than the tougher punishment approach, which only causes juvenile offenders to turn into hardened adult criminals.
Index Term(s): Community crime prevention programs; Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Public Opinion of Crime
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