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NCJ Number: 91445 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Control in the 1980s - A Progressive Agenda
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:19  Dated:(Summer 1983)  Pages:13-23
Author(s): R J Michalowski
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After stating the basic principles that should underlie progressive strategies for dealing with crime, this paper discusses steps that can be taken to reduce crime in capitalist societies through reduced socioeconomic inequality and the communalization of social control.
Abstract: The following are the two basic principles of progressive thinking about addressing the crime problem: (1) crime in its broadest sense is based in class conflict, and only a reduction in class divisions and their associated forms of inequality can produce crime reduction; and (2) the more bureaucratic, formal, and distant (both temporally and socially) the form of social control, the less effective it will be. Although progressive crime prevention strategies cannot strike at the heart of the cycle of class domination due to the private ownership of the means of production in the United States, there are possibilities for reducing or slowing the growth rate of crime and demonstrating the criminogenic nature of class society. Practical steps in this direction include (1) reducing the capacity of capital to displace labor by passing laws that punish private businesses for work force reduction and require them to bear the cost of retraining and placement when workers are laid off, (2) shrinking the body of the working poor by increasing the minimum wage, and (3) establishing full employment. Further, crime can be reduced by placing more and more of social control activities in the hands of local citizens in the form of citizen crime patrols, community crime prevention programs, and the use of neighborhood courts operated by community residents. Nineteen references are provided.
Index Term(s): Citizen patrols; Class discrimination; Community involvement; Neighborhood justice centers; Radical criminology; Unemployment
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