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Perspectives on Crime and Justice: 1999-2000 Lecture Series, Volume IV

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
135 pages
This volume presents five lectures sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and focuses on the factors responsible for sentencing reform in the 1990’s, economic influences on crime, crime and drug abuse among Mexican immigrants, strategies for reducing gun violence, and the evaluation of child and family interventions.
The analysis of the changing politics of criminal justice in the 1990’s questions two theories that explain the cause of the increased hostility to criminals and government officials, describes characteristics that have helped shape the resulting penal legislation, and offers a theory of the causes of the political change. The analysis of the relationship between economic factors and crime notes that economic changes in the 1990’s were enough to affect crime in a substantial way and that the booming economy of the 1990’s helped reduce the crime rate, although the research findings were not uniform and additional factors were also shown to affect crime. The survey of Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans living in urban and rural areas of central California took place in 1996 and revealed that immigrants had lower rates of crime, violence, and drug abuse than did Mexican-Americans born in the United States. The analysis of epidemiological and experimental research on ways to reduce firearm-related violence concluded that uniformed gun patrols and background checks were effective in preventing crime, that gun buyback programs were ineffective, and that experiments should take place to test several current proposals. The analysis of the current transformation in the role and purposes of evaluation argues for strategic investments in evaluation and knowledge development as part of larger systems of learning and accountability. The discussion also considers ongoing evaluations related to children, youth, and families. Figures, chapter reference notes and reference lists, and questions and answers about each lecture. For individual articles, see NCJ-188081-84

Date Published: March 1, 2001