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.
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Publication information: Book title: The Crime Conundrum:Essays on Criminal Justice. Contributors: Lawrence M. Friedman - Editor, George Fisher - Editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 124.
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