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Crime and Punishment in America

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
There are five times as many Americans behind bars today as in 1970. The national incarceration rate in 1997 was twice that in 1985. California's prison system has become the third largest in the world. And despite some limited recent declines in crime rates, we remain by far the most violent industrial society on earth.

Though our massive investment in the prison system ha
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 15th 1998 by Picador
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Aug 07, 2015 Austin rated it liked it
I'm extremely sympathetic to the arguments that Currie made in this book, but I found the manner in which he made them to be misleading and disingenuous. He would cite an econometric study that supports his viewpoint in one paragraph and then, in the very next paragraph, dismiss an econometric study that opposes his viewpoint as mathematical sorcery that "mere mortals struggle to comprehend." You can't have it both ways.
Jun 02, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it
Crime and Punishment in America was a nice change from the books I usually read. I have never really liked nonfiction books much, but this book was actually pretty interesting and fascinating to read. Before reading this, I could not even imagine how harsh and dark the criminal world is here in America. Currie lists many statistics showing how crime has changed over the years and tries to give some solutions to help slow and prevent more crimes from happening. His solutions are mainly creating s ...more
Michael Stocksdale
May 27, 2015 Michael Stocksdale rated it really liked it
Elliott Currie exposes many issues about why the American prison population has been escalating out of control. He primarily focuses on the youth of America and how child abuse and neglect plays a major role in future violent offenders. In one instance 14 members of death row had experienced some form of child abuse during their early years. In his closing statement, Currie leaves the condition of our penal system up to the citizens of this country because it is up to us if we want to control ou ...more
Jd Gieson
Jun 04, 2014 Jd Gieson rated it really liked it
Elliott Currie delved himself deeply into the world of criminal delinquency and solutions to such problems. It sparked very interesting topics that could lead to many different conversations regarding such situations. As my research policy paper highlighted, Currie discussed the relationships between educational attainment and criminal activity. I thought this was a very interesting topic of discussion. Overall this book is a good representation that exemplifies conflicts within American society ...more
A fascinating and comprehensive study of the roots of crime and the flaws in our system meant to address it. This book took me a good long while to read. It's not that I lacked interest or that the writing style wasn't accessible, but that it was essentially a 230 page essay. If you have an interest in criminal justice reform that extends to your profession, I would strongly recommend it.
Al Menaster
Jul 06, 2015 Al Menaster rated it it was amazing
Quite simply, the best book on the criminal justice system. Documents, with evidence, why jail doesn't work and what does work. Make sure you read the 2013 edition.
Aug 18, 2015 Rosa rated it really liked it
Not the most exciting and engaging read, but an important one that's written clearly and succinctly.
Fredrick Danysh
Sep 05, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Currie explores the American legal system and how criminals are treated.
Aug 11, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, nonfiction
Fascinating. I learned a lot about the prison industry.
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Elliott Currie is the author of The Road to Whatever, Confronting Crime, Reckoning, and Crime and Punishment in America. An internationally recognized authority on youth and crime, he is a professor of criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine.
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