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Ten Deadly Myths About Crime and Punishment in the United States (From Criminal Justice System: Politics and Policies, Seventh Edition, P 473-491, 1998, George F. Cole and Marc G. Gertz, eds. -- See NCJ-185991)

NCJ Number
Charles Logan; John J. DiIulio Jr.
Date Published
19 pages
The authors identify and rebut 10 myths about crime and punishment in the United States, noting that, during the past two decades, conservatives have mounted a challenge to the liberal crime and justice policies that dominated the 1960's and 1970's.
The 10 myths are as follows: (1) crime is caused by poverty, chronic unemployment, and other socioeconomic factors; (2) in the 1980's, the United States enacted "get tough" crime legislation and went on an "incarceration binge" to deal with criminals; (3) prisons hold large numbers of petty offenders who should not be there; (4) prisons are filthy, violence-ridden, and overcrowded human warehouses that function as schools of crime; (5) the criminal justice system is permeated by racial discrimination; (6) prisons are prohibitively expensive; (7) interventions by activist judges have improved prison and jail conditions; (8) the United States has the most punitive criminal justice system in the world; (9) alternatives to incarceration are not adequately used; and (10) punishment is bad. 51 notes