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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Crime and Punishment in America

Crime and Punishment in America

Elliott Currie




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.

Pulitzer Prize - Finalist


Just as violent crime has become part of the accepted backdrop of life in the United States, so too has the growth of the system we've established to contain it. A huge and constantly expanding...

Praise for Crime and Punishment in America

“Currie is an extraordinary sociologist who writes like a journalist....He offers a clear and compelling vision of how things could be different if the political will can be summoned to change the status quo.” —Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review

“Persuasively demonstrates the debilitating effects of extreme poverty on children....If our crime policy were a stock, shrewd investors would be selling it short.” —David J. Rothman, The New York Times Book Review

“A must-read.” —San Jose Mercury News

“If legislators and citizens absorbed Currie's sound policy alternatives, they might stop lurching down the path he shows is departing more and more from both science and common sense.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Important and thoughtful.” —Chicago Tribune

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

Elliott Currie

Elliott Currie is the author of Confronting Crime, Reckoning, and The Road to Whatever. An internationally recognized authority on youth and crime, he is a professor of criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine.

Elliott Currie


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