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Challenge of Crime in a Free Society

NCJ Number
Date Published
351 pages
This report of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice -- established by President Lyndon Johnson on July 23, 1965 -- addresses the causes of crime and delinquency and recommends how to prevent crime and delinquency and improve law enforcement and the administration of criminal justice.

In developing its findings and recommendations, the Commission held three national conferences, conducted five national surveys, held hundreds of meetings, and interviewed tens of thousands of individuals. Separate chapters of this report discuss crime in America, juvenile delinquency, the police, the courts, corrections, organized crime, narcotics and drug abuse, drunkenness offenses, gun control, science and technology, and research as an instrument for reform. Significant data were generated by the Commission's National Survey of Criminal Victims, the first of its kind conducted on such a scope. The survey found that not only do Americans experience far more crime than they report to the police, but they talk about crime and the reports of crime engender such fear among citizens that the basic quality of life of many Americans has eroded. The core conclusion of the Commission, however, is that a significant reduction in crime can be achieved if the Commission's recommendations (some 200) are implemented. The recommendations call for a cooperative attack on crime by the Federal Government, the States, the counties, the cities, civic organizations, religious institutions, business groups, and individual citizens. They propose basic changes in the operations of police, schools, prosecutors, employment agencies, defenders, social workers, prisons, housing authorities, and probation and parole officers. A table of recommendations and a subject index