Crime and Punishment: Yes, the Inmate Population Is Growing-But That Has Given Us Safer Streets. A Texas Scholar Argues for Tough Sentences in Prisons Better Designed to Rehabilitate

By Reynolds, Morgan | Newsweek, November 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

Crime and Punishment: Yes, the Inmate Population Is Growing-But That Has Given Us Safer Streets. A Texas Scholar Argues for Tough Sentences in Prisons Better Designed to Rehabilitate


Reynolds, Morgan, Newsweek


Byline: Morgan Reynolds

The point seems obvious to most Americans: punishment reduces crime. Yes, prison takes a toll on the family the convict leaves behind. But crime also takes a toll on its victims and society at large. And crime rates have fallen by one third over the past decade while the prison and jail population have risen to 2 million. Most people are able to connect these dots.

True, our violent-crime rate remains too high, concentrated on inner-city victims. But we no longer have high property-crime rates by international standards; our burglary rate, for example, is below average for industrial nations. And the improved trends have come as we have handed out more and longer prison sentences. There is a connection.

Some history is in order. In the 1960s and early 1970s, prison was considered backward and too harshly retributive. Prison populations fell as we channeled convicts into community rehabilitation programs. But Americans became so fed up with criminals and criminality that they virtually forced their governments into incarcerating more people. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the prison population was growing by up to 9 percent a year. This raised the risk of prison, but the time actually served remained relatively short. Only in recent years, when both the prison population and sentences have increased, has the threat of prison begun to deter crime. Deterrence depends on fear, and that can be increased by meting out punishment swiftly, certainly and severely, consistent with justice.

We've seen this trend at work in Texas, where crime rocketed during the 1980s as expected punishment plunged.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Crime and Punishment: Yes, the Inmate Population Is Growing-But That Has Given Us Safer Streets. A Texas Scholar Argues for Tough Sentences in Prisons Better Designed to Rehabilitate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.