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.

Activism and the Politics of Crime

Activism and the politics of crime

In the previous chapter, we argued that although many members of the public did become more punitive in the course of the war on crime, public views about and attitudes toward crime and punishment remain complex and ambivalent and there are signs that opposition to the get-tough approach is growing. We also argued that that the intensification of popular punitiveness (to the extent that it occurred) was largely a response to—rather than a cause of—political initiative on the crime issue. As a result, we treated the public as a largely reactive player in the war on crime. However, many members of the public have not merely responded to politicians' speeches about crime, but have ...

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