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: 98914 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Crime by Choice - An Economic Analysis
Author(s): M O Reynolds
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 235
Sponsoring Agency: US Postal Inspection Service
Washington, DC 20260
Sale Source: US Postal Inspection Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Written by an economist, this book argues that crime in the United States is closely bound to the government's role as provider of all things and makes recommendations for both short-term and long-term actions that would change the incentives that presently exist to commit crime.
Abstract: Strong evidence exists that imposing greater costs on criminals will reduce crimes. However, the underlying problem is the thinking that has changed from one of responsibility for one's actions to the acceptance that crime is the product of society's influence on the behavior of people. The result has been a spiral in which the government's increasing role has accompanied greater risks to personal security and the need for increasing measures for self-protection. Five actions are needed in the short run to stop this downward spiral. Society should avoid worsening the problem by increasing community rehabilitation and other therapeutic treatments at the expense of prison terms. It should also repeal drug laws and gun control laws, because they make the crime problem worse than necessary. Also needed are legal changes like revision of the exclusionary rule, greater use of market incentives and private contractors in running the criminal justice system, and sentencing that fits the crime rather than the criminal. In the long run, greater reliance on tne market system and less reliance on the government will help rebuild individuals' internal constraints on committing crime. Individuals must accept the moral responsibility for their own actions, fulfill their duties as parents, and take action to restore civic courage. Chapter reference notes and an index are supplied.
Index Term(s): Citizen crime tolerance; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system reform; Economic influences; Economic models; Public Opinion of Crime
Note: Price includes shipping.
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.