This centennial collection of essays and original research studies captures the varied spectrum of philosophies and concerns of the Board and staff of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) over the past century . The criminological experts represented in this volume are renowned for their study and research into the far reaches of this field of study. As a chronicle of the NCCD’s development, editors Barry Krisberg, Susan Marchionna, and Christopher Baird include some of the most groundbreaking material to come out of the workings of this unique American institution.
Chapter 10: The Extravagance of Imprisonment
The Extravagance of Imprisonment
Adoption of a policy of nonimprisonment of the nondangerous would signal a shift from a reactive to a proactive response to crime and would result in the re-allocation of vast sums presently earmarked for institutional construction. It requires legislative action.
Short of execution, imprisonment of the nondangerous (nonviolent, nonassaultive) offender is the most violent response government can make to crime. It is a waste of lives and of public funds.
The difference between the NCCD Council of Judges' Model Sentencing Act (1972) and the NCCD Board of Directors' policy statement on sentencing (1973) is clarified: the former allows for a prison commitment of up to five years for a “nondangerous” offender; the latter abrogates imprisonment for that category. The ...