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Controlling Crime – Strategies and Tradeoffs - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs

Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Justin McCrary


Criminal justice expenditures have more than doubled since the 1980s, dramatically increasing costs to the public. With state and local revenue shortfalls resulting from the recent recession, the question of whether crime control can be accomplished either with fewer resources or by investing those resources in areas other than the criminal justice system is all the more relevant. This book considers alternative ways to reduce crime that do not sacrifice public safety. Among the topics considered here are criminal justice system reform, social policy, and government policies affecting alcohol ... More

Keywords: criminal justice expenditures, revenue shortfalls, recession, crime control, criminal justice system, public safety, social policy, government policies, alcohol abuse, drugs

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780226115122
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226115139.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip J. Cook, editor

Jens Ludwig, editor

Justin McCrary, editor

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Economical Crime Control

Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig Philip J. Cook is the ITT/Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics and sociology at Duke University, where he is also senior associate dean for faculty and research. He is a research associate of the NBER and a codirector of the NBER Working Group on the Economics of Crime. Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, a research associate of the NBER, and a codirector of the NBER Working Group on the Economics of Crime. We thank Jonathan Caulkins, John Donohue, and two anonymous referees for valuable comments on an earlier draft and Clive Belfield and Henry Levin for their assistance with calculating the social benefits of dropout prevention. Erin Hye-Won Kim and Laura Brinkman prepared the figures. Comments can be addressed to either author, at pcook@duke.edu or jludwig@ uchicago.edu. All opinions and any errors are our own. group.)2 Looking to the future, the challenge is to preserve and extend these gains. Crime deserves priority among the litany of social ills, both for the magnitude and the distribution of its costly impact.

I Criminal Justice Reform

1 The Deterrent Effect of Imprisonment

Steven N. Durlauf and Daniel S. Nagin

2 Institutional Requirements for Effective Imposition of Fines

Anne Morrison Piehl and Geoffrey Williams

3 If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users in Prison?

Harold Pollack, Peter Reuter, and Eric Sevigny

4 Mental Health Treatment and Criminal Justice Outcomes

Richard G. Frank and Thomas G. McGuire

II Regulation of Criminal Opportunities and Criminogenic Commodities

5 Rethinking America’s Illegal Drug Policy

John J. Donohue III, Benjamin Ewing, and David Peloquin

6 Alcohol Regulation and Crime

Christopher Carpenter and Carlos Dobkin

7 The Role of Private Action in Controlling Crime

Philip J. Cook and John MacDonald

III Social Policy

8 Decreasing Delinquency, Criminal Behavior, and Recidivism by Intervening on Psychological Factors Other Than Cognitive Ability

Patrick L. Hill Brent W. Roberts Jeffrey T. Grogger Jonathan Guryan Karen Sixkiller

9 Family Income, Neighborhood Poverty, and Crime

Sara B. Heller, Brian A. Jacob, and Jens Ludwig

12Crime and the Family

Seth G. Sanders