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Chapter 1

Crime and Policy: A Complex Problem Learning Objectives: By the end of each section students should be able to: CRIME AT A 30-YEAR LOW Explain why the recent nationwide crime decline is accepted as a genuine decline Comprehend the various explanations given for the recent crime decline Differentiate between contextual and policy factors that together affect crime rates THE NEW STANDARD: EVIDENCE-BASED CRIME POLICY Define the requirements of evidence-based crime policy Understand how evidence-based crime policymaking differs from traditional CJS policymaking Recognize potentially negative consequences of not employing evidencebased practices in crime control efforts UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN CRIME PROBLEM Differentiate between Americas two crime problems; differentiate between Americas two drug problems Understand why most American crime policies are nonsense and why Americans have fallen for the bait and switch in regard to crime policy WAGING WAR ON CRIME Explain the consequences of targeting minority communities in our crime and drug wars Understand the unintended consequences of waging war on crime Explain why war is a poor metaphor for understanding crime control THE GROUND RULES Recognize and understand the need for reasonable goals of crime control policy List the common elements of community crime control Provide examples of CJS policies that focus on community crime control efforts Compare and contrast the contribution that our nations social and economic health have made on crime rates relative to the contribution of individual CJS policies CRIME CONTROL THEOLOGY Define crime control theology Differentiate between conservative and liberal theology in terms of their relative emphases, assumptions of offenders and explanations for crime causation, policy recommendations and ambivalence Recall conservative and liberal preference for substantive or procedural law

Identify which of Packers models along which liberals and conservatives align themselves Discussion Questions: 1.) 2.) 3.) Pick five criminal justice policies and evaluate them as to whether they are liberal or conservative. Have you ever read or heard of any scientific research that would support or defeat those policies? What is crime control theology? Where do you fall in the crime control v. due process models? Where does our government, society fall? Has the rehabilitation craze been an effective crime control method? What about longer sentences?

Homework: 1. Defend the suggestion that the recent crime decline is most likely due to a combination of contextual and criminal justice policy factors. Compare and contrast traditional crime policy with evidence-based crime policy. Summarize Americas two crime and/or problems and explain the implications of fighting one war on crime against two distinct crime problems. Evaluate the usefulness and impact of waging war on crime. Based on what you learned in the Walker chapter, draft a reasonable crime policy goal and justify your stated goal. Differentiate between conservative and liberal theology.

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Outline: I. CRIME AT A 30-YEAR LOW A. NCVS data from 2003 show lowest levels of both violent and property crime since first collection of NCVS data in 1973 B. Crime rates began increasing in 1963 and which hurt our social fabric as people fearing crime moved out of their neighborhoods and crime became a major political issue and one tied to race C. Is It Genuine?: Evidence indicates it is real as NCVS is a reliable measure of criminal victimization, crime has been down for 10 years, the UCR and NCVS data agree and the trend parallels positive changes in other social indicators around the same time

D. A Notable Exception: Camden, New Jersey is not enjoying crime declines; murders have increased as Camden suffers from drug dealing, gangs and violent crime rates similar to comparable cities at the height of the crack epidemic E. Explaining the Crime Drop 1. Possible explanations provided by Blumstein and Waller: changes in policing and/or sentencing, rejection of crack, strength of economy and new jobs, gun control while Rosenfeld suggests a cultural shift away from violence 2. Other explanations: Community policing, addition of 70,000 new police officers due to the Violent Crime Control Act, problem-oriented policing strategies and NYPDs zero-tolerance policy 3. Experts also explain the drop as being due to the following: tough sentencing laws, increased incapacitation of repeat offenders and deterrence of potential criminals, changes in drug use and drug markets with the decline in crack use and sales and a healthy economy F. Contextual vs. Policy Factors 1. Crime rates are affected by both contextual factors (demographic changes, crack epidemic, labor market) and policy factors (gun control, increased use of incarceration, innovations in policing) 2. Contextual and policy factors likely combined to explain recent crime drop II. THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK A. Search for effective crime policies and to find out B. What did work? Certain policies? Which ones and why? III. THE NEW STANDARD: EVIDENCE-BASED CRIME POLICY A. New and higher standards based on health care policies in England require evidence that policies work, that research assessing them meets highest scientific standards and that findings have been replicated 1. New standards are prolific as they have been adopted by England along with states like Oregon 2. Recommendations call of the development of principles of rigorous evidence and demonstration of evidence-based interventions in grant proposals B. Why the Need for Evidence-Based Crime Policy? 1. There has been a lack of evidence-based policymaking as CJ practitioners have not traditionally relied on science in policy recommendations. 2. Evaluations including the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study and of programs including the Michigan Volunteers in Probation program and Scared Straight suggest that rather than being simply ineffective, some costly policies may actually be harmful in terms of increasing arrests and convictions C. The New Standards of Evidence-Based Crime Policy

1. New standards demand empirical evidence of effectiveness and assessment of research design quality including random assignment to control and treatment groups 2. Additional requirements include replicated results and use of metaanalyses to review all available studies D. Our Approach to Evaluating Crime Policies 1. Bad crime policies were partially the result of rising crime rates, citizens desperate for solutions and politicians promising policies with dramatic results 2. Proposition 1: Most current crime control proposals are nonsense IV. UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN CRIME PROBLEM A. Most crime policies are nonsense because people dont understand the crime problem or how the CJS works B. The public consistently misjudges trends in crime and believes CJS is more lenient that it really is C. Americas Two Crime Problems 1. One affects white middle-class Americans and the other affects young people of color and the poor 2. America also has two drug problems as use has been declining among general population while abuse problems have escalated in urban areas 3. Americas crime problem is with lethal violence as property crimes in U.S. are comparable to other English speaking countries D. The Bait and Switch Problem 1. Policies are advertised as targeting violent crimes but end up impacting less serious crimes 2. War on crime promised to attack violent crime, but resulted in increased imprisonment of nonviolent offenders V. WAGING WAR ON CRIME A. Intro 1. Wars declared in 1965 (Lyndon Johnson), 1969 (Richard Nixon), 1989 (George Bush-drug war) have resulted in increased use of incarceration 2. Imprisonment boom is due to punitive attitude of public (especially against drugs) and largest impact has been on minority communities B. Race, Ethnicity, and the War on Crime 1. Some believe the cure is worse than the disease: crime is not deterred, the war is racially biased and has contributed to the destruction of inner-cities thereby increasing juvenile violence and stereotyping Latinos as gang members, drug dealers and illegal immigrants 2. War has been waged primarily against young African American males 3. Consequences: targets of war have lost their right to vote due to felony convictions, a substantial proportion of African Americans are under correctional control and this has resulted in distrust of the system

4. Discrimination and sense of unfairness contributes to crime problem as people who feel alienated disrespect the law and are more likely to violate laws C. The War on Crime and the CJS 1. The war on crime has overburdened CJS and hampered its ability to deter and incapacitate by generating a backlog of court cases, being unable to return FTAs to court, and relieving overcrowding via early release 2. The war has been costly and drained tax dollars from education, public health, roads and bridges D. The Futility of Waging War on Crime 1. War is a poor metaphor. Since we cannot eliminate crime a more realistic goal is a respectable decline to a tolerable level 2. The presumption of fighting a foreign enemy in this war has demonized criminals and encouraged racial and ethnic stereotypes that polarize American society 3. Proposition 2: Waging war is the wrong way to fight crime 4. Weight loss is better analogy than war as we must make serious longterm changes in social policies that affect families, employment and neighborhoods. There is no miracle cure; rather we must remain dedicated to a healthy lifestyle E. Crime Policy: A Plague of Nonsense 1. Americans have trouble thinking clearly about crime, because we have been overwhelmed by violent crime 2. Fear of crime has a corrosive effect on interpersonal relations, distorts our political process and leads to irrational thinking VI. THE GROUND RULES A. Goal: identify sensible and effective crime policies through a disciplined focus on control of serious crimes like robbery and burglary that are committed by adults B. We will consider other crimes including drunk driving, domestic violence and drug abuse to provide insights into the effectiveness of specific policies C. Thinking Clearly about Crime Prevention 1. University of Maryland report on Preventive Crime (1997) highlights the false dichotomy of prevention and punishment 2. All policies seek to prevent crime, there are simply different means to that end D. The Question of Reasonable Goals 1. What do we mean by effective? 2. Kleck advises that we think in terms of modest goals that can be achieved by using a series of different policies that each focus on different aspects of the larger problem E. The New Focus on Communities and Crime

1. The focus on communities can be seen in theorizing on the collective efficacy of communities, community policing, community prosecution programs and offender reentry programs 2. Common elements of community-focused programs include careful planning, working with community groups, partnering CJ and non-CJ agencies and conducting rigorous evaluations of effectiveness F. Contextual Factors: Recent Social Trends 1. The importance of contextual factors affecting crime is highlighted by positive trends in social indicators such as reduced rates of unemployment and welfare caseloads, lower rates of new AIDS cases, fewer births to teenage women and a slow and steady decline in the divorce rates 2. American society is not in a state of moral and social collapse; rather, social trends parallel crime declines as they have moved in the same (positive) direction around the same time 3. The hypothesis is that crime declines are due to social and economic health more so than particular crime policies VII. GUILTY: LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES A. Nonsense about crime is politically nonpartisan B. Proposition 3: Both liberals and conservatives are guilty of peddling nonsense about crime C. Crime policies are guided by the differing assumptions about crime, administration of justice and human nature adhered to by conservatives and liberals

VIII. CRIME CONTROL THEOLOGY A. Crime control theology refers to the tendency for both liberal and conservative assumptions to be believed in religiously, despite the absence of empirical evidence B. Proposition 4: Most crime control ideas rest on faith rather than facts. C. Conservative Theology 1. Conservative theology envisions a world of discipline and self-control that emphasizes personal responsibility. Criminals lack self-control and self-discipline 2. Free will, rational choice, and moral responsibility reign supreme as wicked people exist and they weigh the relative risks and rewards of committing crime 3. Punishment is moral in that offenders deserve retribution or just desserts while it is practical in that it is designed to deter both specifically (offenders) and generally (the population) 4. Conservatives are ambivalent about the governments role in controlling crime as it is the job of strong parents, religious training and social institutions to instill right values; however, the government must hold people responsible for behavior through swift and certain punishment





5. Conservative theology imagines the government as a patriarchal family that corrects behavior through progressively harsher sanctions. This is theology, because many alienated members of society do not respect authority and experience arrest and imprisonment with such frequency that they no longer deter 6. Policies such as reintegrative shaming that are based on this image require healthy communities that provide programs directed toward families, schools and labor-market s Liberal Theology 1. Liberal theology emphasizes social influences such as family, peers, neighborhood, economic opportunities and discrimination on crime 2. Liberals seek to rehabilitate offenders, provide job counseling, substance abuse treatment and favor community-based alternatives as they believe behavior can be changed, despite a lack of demonstrated effectiveness 3. Liberals see the U.S. as the most punitive country in the world and are guilty of blaming everything on overly harsh punishments 4. They are ambivalent on individual responsibility but believe that individuals can make better choices as a result of rehabilitation programs Applying the New Evidence-Based Policy Standard 1. Wishful thinking is no longer sufficient 2. Every recommended policy should be supported by high-quality research evidence A Word about Rules 1. Conservatives and liberals disagree over whether to emphasize substantive (laws and penalties) or procedural (due process) criminal law 2. Conservatives emphasize substantive criminal law while liberals emphasize criminal procedure 3. Conservatives embrace the crime control model and prioritize effective control of crime, while liberals prefer the due process model of fair treatment and the presumption of innocence Ideological Confusion: Switching Sides 1. Understanding the basic assumptions that underlie policy is useful, but the dichotomy is no longer as sharp 2. Drug decriminalization has traditionally been favored by liberals, but prominent conservatives have begun to endorse this policy 3. Conservatives are also supporting liberal reentry programs while liberals have adopted conservative policies in their calls for more police and longer sentences

IX. CONCLUSION A. Despite, dramatic crime declines we still have a problem of violence that is far worse than that experienced by other industrialized countries B. We have few good ideas about controlling this complex crime problem C. Many existing crime policies are worthless

D. We first need to understand how the CJS actually words before we focus our attention on specific crime proposals with the goal of finding crime control policies that make sense and are supported by persuasive evidence Key Terms: NCVS: National Crime Victimization Survey of criminal victimization conducted by the Bureau of Justice in conjunction with the Census Bureau UCR: Uniform Crime Report crime data collected from local police agencies and analyzed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and reported as numbers, rates and changes over time Index Crimes: (AKA Part I offenses) Violent (murder, rape, robbery and assault) and property (burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson) crimes Contextual Factors: Factors including demographic changes, drug preferences and the labor market that are suspected to affect crime rates Policy Factors: Individual crime control policies including gun control, increased use of incarceration, community and problem-oriented policing that are suspected to affect crime rates Evidence-Based Crime Policy: Policy based on research evidence that meets the highest scientific standards and has been replicated DARE: Drug Abuse Resistance Education program; a highly popular schoolbased drug prevention initiative Michigan VIP: Volunteers in Probation program that involved volunteers who counseled probationers in juvenile court Scared Straight: A popular program designed to frighten kids out of criminal behavior by exposing them to the terrible conditions in prison Experimental Research Design: A research design involving independent and dependent variables and random assignment to control and treatment groups in order to assess a cause and effect relationship Random Assignment: Assignment to a control or a treatment group randomly or lacking intent Control Group: A group in an experiment that does not receive the treatment. Control groups are used to rule out alternative factors than the independent variable(s) that may have produced the change in the dependent variable Treatment Group: A group in an experiment that receives the treatment or stimulus. Changes in this group on the dependent variable are compared to a control group that does not receive the treatment or stimulus in order to assess a causal relationship Replication: Repeating a research study in a different place and/or using different research participants in order rule out the possibility that the effect noted in an experiment was limited to a certain time, place or to certain people Meta-analysis: A systematic review of all available studies in a particular area Three-Strikes law: Mandatory life prison sentences to persons convicted of a third felony Underclass: Very poor neighborhoods that have been overwhelmed by crime and drugs

DAWN: Drug Abuse Warning Network surveys hospital emergency rooms regarding admissions associated with drugs Bait and Switch: A term from the area of consumer fraud where a retailer advertises a low-priced item to draw customers but then will not sell the item to them usually claiming that it is sold out. As it relates to crime, Americans have taken the bait as the war on crime promised to attack violent crime, but have experienced the switch since policies have mainly resulted in the imprisonment of nonviolent offenders. War on Crime: A metaphor for crime policies that promises a victory and an end to the war Community-Focused Programs: Programs implemented in communities that share common elements including careful planning, partnering criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and using nontraditional and non-CJS responses Social Indicators: Contextual factors affecting crime including unemployment rates, welfare caseloads, new AIDS cases, births to teenage women and the divorce rate Crime Control Theology: The phenomenon of adhering to liberal or conservative assumptions about crime and criminals like religious beliefs though they are not supported by empirical evidence Crime Control Theology: The tendency for both liberal and conservative assumptions to be believed in religiously, despite the absence of empirical evidence Retribution: (AKA Just Desserts) Holding offenders morally responsible for their actions and seeing them as deserving of punishment Specific Deterrence: Punishment directed at an individual offender designed to teach him or her that bad actions have unpleasant consequences in order to shape future behavior General Deterrence: Punishment directed at the general population designed to teach by example in order to prevent crime Substantive Criminal Law: A set of rules that defines certain behavior as criminal and specifies the penalty for breaking the rules Criminal Procedure: A set of rules governing criminal justice officials and telling them what they may not do and what they must do in their treatment of suspected offenders Crime Control Model: Puts the highest priority on effectively controlling crime and is embraced by conservatives Due Process Model: Puts the highest priority on fair treatment and the presumption of innocence and is embraced by liberals