The American criminal justice system is intended to uphold fundamental positive values: community safety, fairness and consistency in the law, accountability for harm, and boundaries of acceptable behavior. Reform movements in justice attempt to remedy perceived abuses against these values. Reformers seek to amend, or in some cases transform, the processes by which we apprehend, prosecute, defend, sentence, punish, and supervise those charged with criminal offenses. But reforms almost always fall short of expectations. Some sociologists theorize that reform movements fail because of ...

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