The Tough-On-Crime Myth: Real Solutions to Cut Crime


"The Tough-on-Crime Myth: Real Solutions to Cut Crime persuasively argues that an increasing reliance on prisons, as the primal weapon in fighting crime, has not only proven ineffective but has also increased crime and endangered the public. Peter Elikann, a noted criminal defense attorney and policy analyst, attests that violent criminals certainly should be incarcerated; however, the unprecedented use of prisons to punish first-time nonviolent offenders is severely depleting local and national crime-fighting dollars. According to a recent American Psychological Association study, 94 percent of violent crime-fighting funds is spent, not on prevention, but on punishment - back-end versus front-end spending - which does little to assure frightened citizens of their safety and even less to satisfy the victims and their embittered families. As a cost-effective alternative to incarcerating nonviolent offenders, the author proposes a stringent policy whereby offenders report for a rigorous daily regimen of community service work, job training, rehabilitation, and civic restitution. This alternative suggests - not with regard to the rights or comfort of criminals - that there is a way to lower the rearrest rate at a fraction of the cost of imprisonment, increase public safety, and make more prison space available for violent or repeat offenders. Mr. Elikann arrives at this premise by weaving together available research and listening to those on the frontline of crime-fighting: the police, the prison wardens, and the prosecutors." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1996


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