“Earnest, free of jargon, lucid…This is a book that ought to be read by anyone concerned about crime and punishment in America.”—The Washington Post Book World
A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
When Crime and Punishment in America was first published in 1998, the national incarceration rate had doubled in just over a decade, and yet the United States remained—by an overwhelming margin—the most violent industrialized society in the world.
Today, there are several hundred thousand more inmates in the penal system, yet violence remains endemic in many American communities. In this groundbreaking and revelatory work, renowned criminologist Elliott Currie offers a vivid critique of our nation’s prison policies and turns his penetrating eye toward recent developments in criminal justice, showing us the path to a more peaceable and just society. Cogent, compelling, and grounded in years of original research, this newly revised edition of Crime and Punishment in America will continue to frame the way we think about imprisonment for years to come.