Punishment in these late modem times is marked by two striking developments. The first is a stunning increase in the number of persons incarcerated. Federal and state prison populations nationwide have increased from less than 200,000 in 1970 to more than 1,300,000 in 2000, with another 600,000 persons held in local jails.1 Today, approximately 2 million men and women are incarcerated in prisons and jails in this country.The intellectual rationale for this increase is provided by "incapacitation theory''-the idea that a hardcore 6 percent of youths and young adults are responsible for the majority of crime and that locking up those persistent offenders will significantly impact crime rates.
Law | Law and Politics | Law Enforcement and Corrections
Bernard E. Harcourt,
Policing Disorder: Can We Reduce Serious Crime by Punishing Petty Offenses?,
Boston Rev., April 1, 2002
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