Crime in a Free Society

Crime in a Free Society

Crime in a Free Society

Crime in a Free Society

Excerpt

The readings in this book are drawn from the ten-volume report of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, a nineteen-man commission appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The most comprehensive study of crime and criminal justice undertaken in the Nation's history, the report is based upon eighteen months' work with one hundred and seventy-five consultants and hundreds of advisers representing a broad range of opinions and professions; countless visits to courts, prisons, and police stations; three national conferences; five national surveys; hundreds of meetings; and interviews with tens of thousands of people.

In the choice of materials for this volume, selections have been drawn both from the General Report: The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society and from the various task force reports--The Police, The Courts, Corrections, Organized Crime, Science and Technology, Assessment of Crime, Narcotics and Drug Abuse, and Drunkenness.

This book, designed for the academic study of criminology, does not duplicate the Commission's General Report, which is primarily intended for the lay reader. Moreover, although the General Report contains lengthy discussions of plans for controlling crime, one must refer to the task force reports for the research on which these plans are based. By contrast, Crime in a Free Society deals extensively with both the :research studies and the generalizations and conclusions. In addition, the book covers research findings from over 300 surveys, polls, and research projects, whereas the General Report discusses only a few field surveys. Special attention has been given to national surveys-- conducted by Gallup, Harris, the National Opinion Research Center, the Bureau of Social Science Research, and the President's Commission itself--of victimization; unreported crime; and public attitudes toward causation, methods of correction, and police practices. These surveys represent a significant contribution to the study of crime in the United States, being both recent and unprecedented in scope and magnitude.

Chapter 1 discusses the widespread nature of crime in America, its costs, its victims, public attitudes, and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Chapter 2 assesses the incidence of major . . .

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