When Brute Force Fails How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment

ISBN-10: 0691148643
ISBN-13: 9780691148649
Edition: 2009
List price: $22.95
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Description: Since the crime explosion of the 1960s, the prison population in the United States has multiplied fivefold, to one prisoner for every hundred adults--a rate unprecedented in American history and unmatched anywhere in the world. Even as the prisoner  More...

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/1/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792

Since the crime explosion of the 1960s, the prison population in the United States has multiplied fivefold, to one prisoner for every hundred adults--a rate unprecedented in American history and unmatched anywhere in the world. Even as the prisoner head count continues to rise, crime has stopped falling, and poor people and minorities still bear the brunt of both crime and punishment.When Brute Force Failsexplains how we got into the current trap and how we can get out of it: to cut both crime and the prison population in half within a decade.Mark Kleiman demonstrates that simply locking up more people for lengthier terms is no longer a workable crime-control strategy. But, says Kleiman, there has been a revolution--largely unnoticed by the press--in controlling crime by means other than brute-force incarceration: substituting swiftness and certainty of punishment for randomized severity, concentrating enforcement resources rather than dispersing them, communicating specific threats of punishment to specific offenders, and enforcing probation and parole conditions to make community corrections a genuine alternative to incarceration. As Kleiman shows, "zero tolerance" is nonsense: there are always more offenses than there is punishment capacity. But, it is possible--and essential--to create focused zero tolerance, by clearly specifying the rules and then delivering the promised sanctions every time the rules are broken.Brute-force crime control has been a costly mistake, both socially and financially. Now that we know how to do better, it would be immoral not to put that knowledge to work.

Mark Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy in the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He teaches courses on methods of policy analysis and on drug abuse and crime control policy. His current focus is on design of deterrent regimes to take advantage of positive-feedback effects, and the substitution of swiftness and predictability for severity in the criminal justice system generally and in community-corrections institutions specifically. He is the author of Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control and Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results , and is now at work on When Brute Force Fails: Strategy for Crime Control . He edits the Drug Policy Analysis Bulletin and blogs at The Reality-Based Community. His interests include political philosophy and the study of imperfectly rational decision-making and how to make policy to accommodate it. In addition to his academic work, Mr. Kleiman provides advice to local, state, and national governments on crime control and drug policy. Before coming to UCLA in 1995, Mr. Kleiman taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and at the University of Rochester. Outside of academia, he has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, for the City of Boston, for Polaroid Corporation, and on Capitol Hill (as a legislative assistant to Congressman Les Aspin). He graduated from Haverford College and did his graduate work (M.P.P., Ph.D.) at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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