Great American Crime Decline

ISBN-10: 0195378989
ISBN-13: 9780195378986
Edition: 2009
List price: $25.95 Buy it from $3.99
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Description: Many theories--from the routine to the bizarre--have been offered up to explain the crime decline of the 1990s. Was it record levels of imprisonment? An abatement of the crack cocaine epidemic? More police using better tactics? Or even the effects  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/5/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

Many theories--from the routine to the bizarre--have been offered up to explain the crime decline of the 1990s. Was it record levels of imprisonment? An abatement of the crack cocaine epidemic? More police using better tactics? Or even the effects of legalized abortion? And what can we expect from crime rates in the future? Franklin E. Zimring here takes on the experts, and counters with the first in-depth portrait of the decline and its true significance. The major lesson from the 1990s is that relatively superficial changes in the character of urban life can be associated with up to 75% drops in the crime rate. Crime can drop even if there is no major change in the population, the economy or the schools. Offering the most reliable data available, Zimring documents the decline as the longest and largest since World War II. It ranged across both violent and non-violent offenses, all regions, and every demographic. All Americans, whether they live in cities or suburbs, whether rich or poor, are safer today. Casting a critical and unerring eye on current explanations, this book demonstrates that both long-standing theories of crime prevention and recently generated theories fall far short of explaining the 1990s drop. A careful study of Canadian crime trends reveals that imprisonment and economic factors may not have played the role in the U.S. crime drop that many have suggested. There was no magic bullet but instead a combination of factors working in concert rather than a single cause that produced the decline. Further--and happily for future progress, it is clear that declines in the crime rate do not require fundamental social or structural changes. Smaller shifts in policy can make large differences. The significant reductions in crime rates, especially in New York, where crime dropped twice the national average, suggests that there is room for other cities to repeat this astounding success. In this definitive look at the great American crime decline, Franklin E. Zimring finds no pat answers but evidence that even lower crime rates might be in store.

What Happened in the 1990s?
The Size and Character of the Crime Decline
The Environment for Optimism: Crime Trends and Attitudes about the Effectiveness of Crime Policies
The Search for Causes
The Usual Suspects: Imprisonment, Demography, and the Economy
Progeny of the 1990s: Three New Explanations of Decline
Two New Perspective
Which Twin Has the Toni? Some Statistical Lessons from Canada
New York City's Natural Experiment
Twenty-First Century Lessons
What Happens Next?
Seven Lessons from the 1990s
Crime and Abortion Policy in Europe, Canada, and Australia
Supplementary Statistics on Crime Trends in Canada during the 1990s
Trends for the City of New York and the United States during the 1990s
Measuring the Extent of Decline in Selected High-Decline Cities
References
Index

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