Incapacitation : Penal Confinement and the Restraint of Crime

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The one, sure way that imprisonment prevents crime is by restraining offenders from committing crimes while they are locked up. Called "incapacitation" by experts in criminology, this effect has become the dominant justification for imprisonment in the United States, where well over a million persons are currently in jails and prisons, and public figures who want to appear tough on crime periodically urge that we throw away the key. How useful is the modern prison in restraining crime, and at what cost? How much do we really know about incapacitation and its effectiveness? This book is the first comprehensive assessment of incapacitation. Franklin E. Zimring and Gordon Hawkins show the increasing reliance on restraint to justify imprisonment, analyze the existing theories on incapacitation's effects, assess the current empirical research, report a new study, and explore the links between what is known about incapacitation and what it tells us about our criminal justice policy. An insightful evaluation of a pressing policy issue, Incapacitation is a vital contribution to the current debates on our criminal justice more

Product details

  • Hardback | 201 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 21mm | 428g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • line figures, tables, bibliography
  • 0195092333
  • 9780195092332

Review quote

"Zimring and Hawkins have over the years, together and individually, shown a remarkable ability to offer insightful, timely, and practical opinions and research. That knack is continued in Incapacitation: Penal Confinement and the Restraint of Crime."--The Criminologist"In this volume, Zimring and Hawkins bring intellectual vigor to describing the history of incapacitation as a concept, detailing previous research on incapacitation, and estimating the economic crime control and other impacts of incapacitation on the state of California. Incapacitation is an important addition to the literature for those who have concerns about the direction of American crime policy."--The IARCA Journal"Incapacitation does everything that a book on this neglected subject should do, and does it brilliantly. The authors are masters not only of penology and empirical research methods but also of economic theory and jurisprudence. Using data derived from recent increases in prison and jail populations, they skewer overly optimistic estimates of the gains of increased incarceration."--Albert W. Alschuler, University of Chicago"At a time when long imprisonment is being advanced by pundits and politicians as America's answer to its crime problem, Zimring and Hawkins offer a brilliantly conceived, sharply analytical and badly needed examination of the topic."--Jerome H. Skolnick, University of California, Berkeley"Zimring and Hawkins, two highly respected scholars, review and critique all of the evidence on the costs and benefits of prison, and tackle the toughest question of all: why hasn't the growth of prison populations reduced crime significantly? Their answer is well-reasoned and empirically informed, and should be must reading for analysts, students, and policymakers interested in crime policy."--Joan Petersilia, University of California at Irvine and former President, American Society of Criminologyshow more

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