Crime Control by the National Government

Crime Control by the National Government

Crime Control by the National Government

Crime Control by the National Government

Excerpt

If we are to judge by the amount of currently published material, crime and crime control are popular subjects. Detective and mystery fiction has reached flood tide and pours through all the available channels of communication--books, magazines, "pulp," comic-strips, motion-pictures, and the radio. So far as the material purports to deal with facts, it ranges from the cautious authoritativeness of detached criminological research, at one extreme, to the absurd exaggerations of mere sensationalism, at the other. Aside from its entertainment value, much of this current literature probably serves a beneficial social purpose. The same may be said even of that portion which is patent propaganda.

Nevertheless, the recent tendency seems to have been to throw public thinking out of perspective. Undue emphasis seems to have been given to certain spectacular types of crime, with the result that the entire range of anti-social behavior is not seen in proper proportion. The fascinating aspects of criminal apprehension appear to have obscured the problems of deterrence, protection, and prevention. Federal activity tends to divert attention from urgent situations in state and local governments; and the current interest in federal activity seems to be largely concentrated on one or two well-advertised agencies. The present study is based on the belief, therefore, that contemporary public opinion and recent governmental trends make it desirable that the essentials of the national problem of crime control should be presented from a detached point of view, in comprehensive and brief form, and in readable style.

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