By Professor Michael Lynch

The yankee criminal procedure has grown tenfold because the Nineteen Seventies, yet crime charges within the usa haven't reduced. this does not shock Michael J. Lynch, a severe criminologist, who argues that our outsized felony process is a fabricated from our customer tradition, the public's erroneous ideals approximately controlling crime, and the government's criminalizing of the poor.While deterrence and incapacitation theories recommend that imprisoning extra criminals and punishing them ends up in a discount in crime, case reports, corresponding to one concentrating on the hot York urban penal complex method among 1993 and 2003, exhibit relief in crime is unrelated to the dimensions of detention center populations. even if we're locking away extra humans, Lynch explains that we aren't focusing on the worst offenders. criminal populations are constituted of the bad, and lots of are incarcerated for really minor robberies and violence. America's legal enlargement concerned about this staff to the exclusion of company and white collar offenders who create unsafe place of work and environmental stipulations that bring about deaths and accidents, and massive monetary crimes. If the US really desires to lessen crime, Lynch urges readers to reconsider cultural values that equate larger with greater.

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Additional resources for Big Prisons, Big Dreams: Crime and the Failure of America's Penal System (Critical Issues in Crime and Society)

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These issues are reviewed in chapter 8, which makes the first extensive argument that criminal justice policy makers pay attention to energy issues when crafting crime control legislation. The final chapter sums up the data and issues examined here by referring to Thorsten Veblen’s theory of conspicuous consumption. This chapter continues the theme introduced at the beginning of this book— a theme which is also tied to the massive level of energy consumption found in the United States compared to other nations.

These assumptions appear throughout this book, but are reviewed more extensively in chapter 5. The view I present in chapter 5 is not the only one that leads to the conclusions that I draw from the data. And, for those who really don’t care about the perspective I employed to reach these conclusions, this material could be easily skipped without compromising the rest of my argument. As an academic, however, I feel compelled to provide readers with these background theoretical issues. The theoretical perspective that informs my work is grounded in materialism.

We can see a similar pattern when we look across states or regions within the United States. Why can’t we predict the outcome when it seems so logical that crime should decline when we incarcerate more criminals? Consider again the simple idea of incapacitation: the more criminals we put behind bars, the fewer crimes they can commit. If this is true, then big prisons are an easy solution to the crime problem to the extent that all we need to do is lock up all the criminals. The appeal of such a straightforward and simple solution to crime is extremely compelling.

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