Crime and Politics

Crime and Politics : Big Government's Erratic Campaign for Law and Order

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Description

Why has America experienced an explosion in crime rates since 1960? Why has the crime rate dropped in recent years? Though politicians are always ready both to take the credit for crime reduction and to exploit grisly headlines for short-term political gain, these questions remain among the most important - and most difficult to answer - in America today. In this text, journalist Ted Gest gives readers the inside story of how crime policy is formulated inside the Washington beltway and state capitols, explains why there has been cycle after cycle of ineffective federal legislation, and where promising reforms might lead us in the future. Gest examines how politicians first made crime a national rather than a local issue, beginning with Lyndon Johnson's crime commission and the landmark anti-crime law of 1968 and continuing right up to such present-day measures as "three strikes" laws, mandatory sentencing, and community policing. He exposes a lack of consistent leadership, backroom partisan politics, and the rush to embrace simplistic solutions as the main causes for why federal and state crime programmes have failed to make our streets safe.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 162.1 x 241 x 25.1mm | 617.08g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 line illustrations
  • 0195103432
  • 9780195103434

Review quote

"A unique contribution to understanding how criminal justice policies are fashioned at the national level. The book offers a compelling insider's view of the deals, political bargains, individual egos, and agency turf wars that shape the real world of federal criminal policy. The book spans several decades in which the modern criminal justice system was born and shaped. It is a must read for those who want to know how America lost its way in the war against crime--and how we might find a path back to enlightened and rational domestic policies."--Dr. Barry Krisberg, President, National Council on Crime and Delinquency"Gest is a distinguished journalist who has devoted his career to studying both crime and the political machinations it engenders. His book is filled with importatn insights into the problems of crime and its political battlegrounds. He highlights a number of intelligent approaches for dealing with both aspects."--Alfred Blumstein, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, National Consortium on Violence Research (NCOVR), Carnegie Mellon University"A stark portrait of a national problem that has no clear solution." --Library Journalshow more

About Ted Gest

Ted Gest directs the program on crime policy and the news media at the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is president of Criminal Justice Journalists. He also serves as Coordinator of the Council of Presidents of National Journalism Organizations. Previously, he was a senior writer for US News and World Report. He has won the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association and awards from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.show more

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2 20% (1)
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