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The Challenge of Crime: Rethinking Our Response

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0674021068
ISBN-10: 0674021061
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Having displaced both South Africa and the former Soviet Union as the world's top jailor, America urgently needs the kind of unflinching analysis offered by these two leading authorities on dealing with crime. The authors show why our police, state prosecutors, juvenile courts, and penitentiaries have grown increasingly punitive in the three and a half decades since Lyndon Johnson's 1967 National Crime Commission, which stressed the rehabilitation of offenders and the establishment of government programs for the disadvantaged as the best hope for reversing the alarming upsurge in crime. Ruth (a member of Johnson's commission) and Reitz acknowledge that the American public lost faith in such liberal solutions and turned to conservative activists who promised to restore civic order by imprisoning, not coddling, criminals. Though conservative policies have indeed delivered lower crime rates, the authors cogently argue that the mounting monetary and political costs of incarceration compel consideration of alternative strategies, including more federal monitoring of gun sales and more restraint in imprisoning nonviolent criminals. Balanced and sober, an indispensable reference for students of criminal justice. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Henry Ruth and Kevin Reitz have distilled a generation's worth of learning into a fresh and nonideological examination of American crime and crime control. Clear, well-informed, and candid, The Challenge of Crime is a major study of the current state of criminal justice and the prospects for its reform. (Franklin E. Zimring, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law)

This meticulous survey of the last thirty years of American criminal justice amounts to a powerful indictment. But Ruth and Reitz go beyond mere criticism, recommending rational policies to escape from our excesses of crime and punishment and to clear the way to lower rates of crime that will be met by proportional, fair, and effective responses. Further proof that at last criminology is coming of age, The Challenge of Crime merits serious attention. (Norval Morris, University of Chicago Law School)

Ruth and Reitz have produced a powerful and exceptionally useful critique of how the United States grapples with crime. Their sharp analysis and valuable prescriptions will frame crime policy development throughout this century. (John E. Eck, University of Cincinnati)

The Challenge of Crime seeks to understand and improve America's response to crime through a system-wide, long-term, empirically based approach. The authors refute many frequently heard arguments of both liberals and conservatives, and propose solutions that can gain broad political acceptance. Modern criminal justice simply cannot be properly understood and significantly improved without this kind of comprehensive, pragmatic approach. (Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School)

The Challenge of Crime should be required reading for anyone interested in improving our justice systems. The authors have not only documented the last thirty years of research and reform but have also helped us understand our successes and failures. No serious student of criminal justice can afford to ignore this book. (Charles Wellford, University of Maryland)

Having displaced both South Africa and the former Soviet Union as the world's top jailor, America urgently needs the kind of unflinching analysis offered by these two leading authorities on dealing with crime. The authors show why our police, state prosecutors, juvenile courts, and penitentiaries have grown increasingly punitive in the three-and-a-half decades since Lyndon Johnson's 1967 National Crime Commission, which stressed the rehabilitation of offenders and the establishment of government programs for the disadvantaged as the best hope for reversing the alarming upsurge in crime...Balanced and sober, an indispensable reference for students of criminal justice. (Bryce Christensen Booklist 2003-04-15)

Ruth and Reitz compellingly argue that crime control policies are dramatically flawed and that sweeping changes are essential, for reasons ranging from financial crises to moral legitimacy. The cogency of their argument and the abundance of their timely data merits careful attention and will be eye-opening to most readers. (R. Zingraff Choice 2003-12-01)

This important study by two leading experts on criminology and criminal law in the U.S. should be read wherever the policy of being 'tough on crime' is on the political agenda. The authors provide a wealth of descriptive, historical and statistical data, a competent methodological critique of their quality, a critical examination of explanations, and carefully argued policy recommendations...In depressing detail Ruth and Reitz show how punishment of the already deprived makes things worse for them and their kin. This book shows us some of the inadequacies of our approaches and their disastrous consequences for the most vulnerable. (Ib Martin Jarvad European Legacy 2005-04-01)

The Challenge of Crime is a timely, practical, well-reasoned book that is required reading for anyone interested in justice...It should prove illuminating to politicians, policymakers, and anyone interested in how to fix our response to crime. (Craig Hemmens Perspectives on Political Science 2005-09-01)

The Challenge of Crime is a remarkable book...In essence, [it] is a morality tale. Ruth and Reitz capably highlight many of the wrongs of contemporary crime policies and practices and detail how they can be corrected. Will those invited into the conversation do more than listen? (Katheryn Russell-Brown Washington Post 2003-06-18)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674021061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674021068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book covers a lot of information. thorough and comprehensive source. Great information on relevant criminal justice issues. An excellent source.
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