The U.S. crime rate has dropped steadily for more than a decade, yet the rate of incarceration continues to skyrocket. Today, more than 2 million Americans are locked in prisons and jails with devastating consequences for poor families and communities, overcrowded institutions and overburdened taxpayers. How did the U.S. become the world’s leader in incarceration? Why have the numbers of women, juveniles, and people of color increased especially rapidly among the imprisoned? The Politics of Injustice: Crime and Punishment in America, Second Edition is the first book to make widely accessible the new research on crime as a political and cultural issue. Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson provide readers with a robust analysis of the roles of crime, politics, media imagery and citizen activism in the making of criminal justice policy in the age of mass incarceration.is the first book to make widely accessible the new research on crime as a political and cultural issue. Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson provide readers with a robust analysis of the roles of crime, politics, media imagery and citizen activism in the making of criminal justice policy in the age of mass incarceration.

Crime in the United States

Crime in the United States

The extraordinary expansion of the penal system—especially the prison and jail populations—cries out for explanation. Many have assumed that the criminal justice system has grown so rapidly because U.S. crime rates are unusually high and getting higher. According to this argument, the worsening of the U.S. crime problem generated much fear and concern among the public, and politicians responded by enacting tough criminal justice measures. In this chapter, we analyze the available evidence to assess whether the crime problem has, in fact, worsened. Is the U.S. crime rate really higher than ever? Is crime a far more serious problem in the United States than in other industrialized countries? If so, the growth of the U.S. prison ...

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