Criminal Justice at the Crossroads

Transforming Crime and Punishment

William R. Kelly

Columbia University Press

Criminal Justice at the Crossroads

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Pub Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780231171373

424 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $36.00£29.95

Pub Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780231171366

424 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£87.95

Pub Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780231539227

424 Pages

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List Price: $35.99£29.95

Criminal Justice at the Crossroads

Transforming Crime and Punishment

William R. Kelly

Columbia University Press

Over the past forty years, the criminal justice system in the United States has engaged in a very expensive policy failure, attempting to punish its way to public safety, with dismal results. So-called "tough on crime" policies have not only failed to effectively reduce crime, recidivism, and victimization but also created an incredibly inefficient system that routinely fails the public, taxpayers, crime victims, criminal offenders, their families, and their communities.

Strategies that focus on behavior change are much more productive and cost effective for reducing crime than punishment, and in this book, William R. Kelly discusses the policy, process, and funding innovations and priorities that the United States needs to effectively reduce crime, recidivism, victimization, and cost. He recommends proactive, evidence-based interventions to address criminogenic behavior; collaborative decision making from a variety of professions and disciplines; and a focus on innovative alternatives to incarceration, such as problem-solving courts and probation. Students, professionals, and policy makers alike will find in this comprehensive text a bracing discussion of how our criminal justice system became broken and the best strategies by which to fix it.
Kelly has summarized a vast amount of information with great clarity and purpose. Criminal Justice at the Crossroads is well written, balanced in its data presentation and policy prescriptions, and timely. Joan Petersilia, Stanford Law School
In Criminal Justice at the Crossroads, William Kelly gives us an outstanding account of critical problems in criminal justice and what needs to be done to address them. The book provides an incisive, scholarly, and highly readable account of America's pursuit of public safety and justice and how it has managed to spend more to achieve less. But it goes well beyond identifying problems. Kelly identifies solutions that draw on the best available science and the experience and wisdom of policymakers and practitioners. The book should be required reading for scholars and policymakers and, indeed, for anyone who cares about public safety and justice. Daniel P. Mears, Mark C. Stafford Professor of Criminology at Florida State University
It is now clear that the nation's forty-year embrace of wild punitive rhetoric and unrestrained incarceration has resulted in a catastrophic policy failure. Kelly not only documents this sobering reality but also, more importantly, urges policymakers to use this moment to choose a different future. With considerable criminological wisdom, he illuminates that the way forward must be evidence-based and balance competing goals, and trumpets a new culture of criminal justice that values positive, practical outcomes over emotional gratification and crass political symbolism. Criminal Justice at the Crossroads should occupy a prominent place on all our bookshelves; it will on mine. Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati
[A] thorough argument based on evidence and science... Kelly offers a road map for policymakers on providing alternatives to incarceration. Charles Ealy, Austin American-Statesman
Clear, compelling, and highly readable. Lucas Anderson, Los Angeles Review of Books
A must-read for graduate students, advanced undergraduates, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners interested in mass incarceration, sentencing policy, criminal justice practices, and social services across the criminal justice system. Jennifer Schwartz, Contemporary Sociology
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. U.S. Criminal Justice Policy, 1960–2013
2. Crime Control: What Have We Accomplished?
3. The Scientific Case for Alternatives to Crime Control: Evidence-Based Practices and Where Neurocognitive Implications Take Us from Here
4. Sentencing Reform Reconsidered
5. Diversion and Problem-Solving Courts
6. Community Supervision
7. Recalibrating Drug Control Policy
8. Cost-Effectiveness
Conclusions
Works Cited
Index

Outstanding Academic Title

About the Author

William R. Kelly is professor in the Department of Sociology and the founding director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research at the University of Texas-Austin. He has spent a considerable amount of time in the community consulting with local, state, and federal agencies on criminal justice issues. He has been involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of dozens of criminal justice programs and policies. This book is a product of his vast understanding of the scientific research regarding what works, as well as his experience developing and evaluating a variety of justice programs and policies.