Crime in the United States has fluctuated considerably over the past thirty years, as have the policy approaches to deal with it. During this time criminologists and other scholars have helped to shed light on the role of incarceration, prevention, drugs, guns, policing, and numerous other aspects to crime control. Yet the latest research is rarely heard in public discussions and is often missing from the desks of policymakers. This book accessibly summarizes the latest scientific information on the causes of crime and evidence about what does and does not work to control it. Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition of Crime and Public Policy will include twenty chapters and five new substantial entries. As with previous editions, each essay reviews the existing literature, discusses the methodological rigor of the studies, identifies what policies and programs the studies suggest, and then points to policies now implemented that fail to reflect the evidence.
The chapters cover the principle institutions of the criminal justice system (juvenile justice, police, prisons, probation and parole, sentencing), how broader aspects of social life inhibit or encourage crime (biology, schools, families, communities), and topics currently generating a great deal of attention (criminal activities of gangs, sex offenders, prisoner reentry, changing crime rates). With contributions from trusted, leading scholars, Crime and Public Policy offers the most comprehensive and balanced guide to how the latest and best social science research informs the understanding of crime and its control for policymakers, community leaders, and students of crime and criminal justice.