Crime Reduction: Reality or Illusion

Archive Report

Criminal Activity in America

Perplexity Over Drop in Reported Crimes

The age-old problem of how to deal with crime continues to plague American society. With the last decade's “war on crime” declared a failure, old truisms such as rehabilitation, probation, parole and indeterminate sentencing are being reexamined and questioned. In searching for new ways to reduce the number of criminal acts committed in this country, criminologists and law-enforcement officials have entered an era of lowered expectations.

“Perhaps the most important thing we have learned in the last few years is that crime is not the kind of problem that is amenable to breakthrough—as in health, with the Salk vaccine, or the technology that put a man on the moon,” Gerald M. Caplan, ex-director of the National Institute ...

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