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.
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.
Lawrence M. Friedman and
George Fisher, "Some Thoughts about Crime and
Punishment" (this volume, 1997), pp. 14-15.
David Bayley, Police for the Future ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1994),
Richard A. Leo, "Police Scholarship for the Future: Resisting the Pull of the
Policy Audience", in Law & Society Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1996, pp. 865-79; Lawrence W. Sherman, "Attacking Crime: Police and Crime Control", in Michael Tonry
Norval Morris, eds., Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Vol. 15, 1992,
Lawrence W. Sherman, "From Whodunit to Who Does it: Fairness and Target
Selection in Deceptive Investigations", in Gerald M. Caplan, ed., Abscam Ethics:
Moral Issues and Deception in Law Enforcement ( Cambridge: Ballinger, 1983), pp. 118-
34; James Q. Wilson and
Barbara Boland, "The Effect of the Police on Crime", in Law
& Society Review, Vol. 12, No. 3, Spring 1978, pp. 367-90.
Franklin Zimring and
Gordon Hawkins, "Transnational Patterns" (chapter
from an unpublished manuscript presented at the Criminal Justice Research
Conference, Stanford Law School, October 1995).
Richard Lacayo, "Law and Order", in Time, January 15, 1996, pp. 48-54; Eric Pooley
, "One Good Apple", in Time, January 15, 1996, pp. 54-56.
Lacayo, "Law and Order", pp. 48-54; Pooley, "One Good Apple", pp. 54-56.
See Thomas D. Cook and
Donald T. Campbell, Quasi-Experimentation: Design & Analysis Issues for Field Settings ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979).