When crime spikes upward, as it did after World War II, we wonder whether to blame the institutions of criminal justice. Today, crime appears to be falling sharply, and we wonder whether to credit those same institutions. In this collection of essays, fifteen leading historians, sociologists, criminologists, and legal scholars examine the capacity of the criminal justice system to contain the plague of crime. The essays explore what we can learn from our past errors and ask how social theories and empirical data can help to shape the anti-crime policies of the future.
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