Source: (2000) Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project.
Is there a correlation between the following two trends in the United States? Since the 1970s prison construction and rates of incarceration have increased dramatically. In the 1990s crime rates declined significantly. Some observers state, therefore, that increased incarceration has proven effective in reducing crime. In contrast, the authors of this study claim there is little to support the position that massive incarceration is the most effective way to reduce crime. In arguing this claim, they present and analyze relevant statistics on rates of crime and incarceration from the 1970s through the 1990s. They examine factors contributing to the growth of the prison population, factors contributing to reductions in crime, and consequences of mass incarceration. Additionally, in view of their claim about massive incarceration, they outline implications for public policy.
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