The Crime Conundrum: Essays on Criminal Justice

By Lawrence M. Friedman; George Fisher | Go to book overview

So, once again, we return to the theme of ignorance. As Friedman and Fisher have noted, theories of the relationship between crime and criminal justice must explain four major gaps: the gender gap, the age gap, the culture gap, and the history gap. 14 Sherman, 15 citing Zimring, 16 identifies a fifth gap: the gap in theory itself. Notwithstanding the crying need for more and better theory and information, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of criminal justice in America. Despite the "nothing works" culture that criminal justice researchers espouse, there have been a number of policy successes in policing in recent American history, such as the recent decline in police use of deadly force that Sam Walker17 has documented, and the dramatic decline in physically coerced confessions in the last halfcentury that I have documented elsewhere. 18 With more and better knowledge about the relationship between police strategies and the incidence of crime, we should be able to improve not only the quality of policing, but also our general understanding of the relationship between crime and criminal justice in America.


Notes
1.
Lawrence M. Friedman and George Fisher, "Some Thoughts about Crime and Punishment" (this volume, 1997), pp. 14-15.
2.
David Bayley, Police for the Future ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 3.
3.
Richard A. Leo, "Police Scholarship for the Future: Resisting the Pull of the Policy Audience", in Law & Society Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1996, pp. 865-79; Lawrence W. Sherman, "Attacking Crime: Police and Crime Control", in Michael Tonry and Norval Morris, eds., Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Vol. 15, 1992, pp. 159-230.
4.
Lawrence W. Sherman, "From Whodunit to Who Does it: Fairness and Target Selection in Deceptive Investigations", in Gerald M. Caplan, ed., Abscam Ethics: Moral Issues and Deception in Law Enforcement ( Cambridge: Ballinger, 1983), pp. 118- 34; James Q. Wilson and Barbara Boland, "The Effect of the Police on Crime", in Law & Society Review, Vol. 12, No. 3, Spring 1978, pp. 367-90.
5.
Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, "Transnational Patterns" (chapter from an unpublished manuscript presented at the Criminal Justice Research Conference, Stanford Law School, October 1995).
6.
Richard Lacayo, "Law and Order", in Time, January 15, 1996, pp. 48-54; Eric Pooley , "One Good Apple", in Time, January 15, 1996, pp. 54-56.
7.
Lacayo, "Law and Order", pp. 48-54; Pooley, "One Good Apple", pp. 54-56.
8.
See Thomas D. Cook and Donald T. Campbell, Quasi-Experimentation: Design & Analysis Issues for Field Settings ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979).

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