Criminal Laws and Criminal Justice
In fashioning a criminal justice system, Congress confronts one of its most challenging tasks. It must not only make the most delicate social and philosophical choices, but it must make these choices in the absence of much factual information bearing on the most basic questions. What are the various causes of crime and what is their relative importance? Which kinds of crimes can be deterred and which cannot? Why do juveniles commit such a large proportion of major crimes? What effects do procedural safeguards in the courtroom have on the incidence of crime in the streets? What is the precise relationship between reported crime and actual crime? What methods of rehabilitation work? Will pouring more money into the criminal justice system materially affect the crime rate, and if so, what are the critical points of leverage?
NOTE: This part was prepared by Peter H. Schuck and Michael E. Ward.