Power, Politics, and Crime

Front Cover
Westview Press, 1999 - Law - 173 pages
0 Reviews
In the United States today, we are on the verge of fulfilling a nightmare scenario. Parents are fearful of letting their children play in their own yards and elderly people are afraid to leave their homes. The bogeyman in this rampant panic about crime is the young black male, who, in the media and public image, is a ”superpredator” lurking on every street corner ready to attack any prey that is vulnerable. But is crime in America really as bad as the public has been made to believe? Power, Politics, and Crime argues that the current panic over crime has been manufactured by the media, law enforcement bureaucracies, and the private prison industry. It shows how the definition of criminal behavior systematically singles out the inner-city African American. But urban minorities aren’t the only victims. Although crime rates have been declining for 25 years, vast amounts of money pour into the criminal justice-industrial complex, diverting scarce resources from other social services such as education, social welfare, and health care. While in recent years downsizing has affected almost every segment of the public sector, the criminal justice bureaucracies have seen an unprecedented expansion.Through ethnographic observations, analysis of census data, and historical research, William Chambliss describes what is happening, why it has come about, and what can be done about it. He explores the genesis of crime as a political issue, and the effect that crime policies have had on different segments of the population. The book is more than a statement about the politics of crime and punishment—it’s a powerful indictment of contemporary law enforcement practices in the United States.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Misperceptions of Crime
1
The Politics of Fear
13
The Politics of Crime Statistics
32
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

William J. Chambliss is professor of sociology at George Washington University. He is past president of the American Society of Criminology and of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Uppsala, Stockholm, and Lusaka (Zambia), and at the London School of Economics. Professor Chambliss has published over fifteen books in the areas of law and criminology.

Bibliographic information