Minimizing Harm: A New Crime Policy for Modern America

By Edward L. Rubin | Go to book overview
than those in group care. Interestingly, the current total cost of six months of TFC per adolescent is about the same as the cost of one year of Greenwood and colleagues' hypothetical day treatment and home monitoring program: $10,808. This value includes the additional cost of training foster parents in behavioral management techniques.
Conclusion
Peter Greenwood and colleagues' work in "Diverting Children from a Life of Crime: Measuring Costs and Benefits" offers a straightforward, logical way to plan crime policy in a fiscally responsible way. Their analysis compares the costs and benefits of various approaches to crime prevention and intervention, and in the process, it points out a variety of important factors that policymakers need to consider as they budget for the future. Five key points that the RAND group's chapter highlighted for us are:
1. Prevention is a long-term investment.
2. Early preventive interventions do not have to break the bank.
3. Parent training is a bargain, especially if applied to families with children who are just beginning to display antisocial behaviors.
4. Providing incentives for high school graduation has quick and multiple payoffs.
5. Programs that bring delinquent youth together for treatment may actually result in increases in juvenile crime; treating delinquent youth separately appears to be a more effective long-term strategy.

In contrast to incarceration, the early childhood interventions hold a great deal of promise for a society that wants to reduce violence because they focus on many of the factors that are ultimately related to violence. By addressing such factors at the beginning of a process that may lead to criminal behavior (as well as other negative individual and societal outcomes), not only may problems in the current generation be averted, but problems in later generations as well.


References

Bank, L., J. H. Marlowe, J. B. Reid, G. R. Patterson, and M. R. Weinrott. 1991. "A comparative evaluation of parent-training interventions for families of chronic delinquents". Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 19:15-33.

Bell, G. B., and W. J. Bennett, eds. 1996. The state of violent crime in America: First report of the Council on Crime in America. New Citizenship Project publication.

Cairns, R. B., and B. D. Cairns. 1994. Lifelines and risks: Pathways of youth in our times.

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Minimizing Harm: A New Crime Policy for Modern America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Introduction: Minimizing Harm as a Solution to the Crime Policy Conundrum 1
  • References 32
  • 2 - Public Attitudes Toward Crime 35
  • References 57
  • References 61
  • Notes 66
  • 3 - Prevention 67
  • References 86
  • References 112
  • 4 - Alternative Sanctions 115
  • References 147
  • References 163
  • Notes 169
  • 5 - Drug Policy 171
  • References 195
  • Notes 207
  • References 208
  • About the Editor and Contributors 209
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