Beggars and Thieves by Mark S. Fleisher
Lives of Urban Street Criminals

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Synopsis

The most important study of street criminals published in twenty
years. After reading this book, I find that neither liberal nor
conservative proposals for meeting the growing inner city youth crime
problem are persuasive. Likewise, neither conventional
family-preservation policies nor more social programs can be taken as
serious responses to the crisis. For policy makers, scholars,
activists, and average citizens who want to defuse urban Americas
ticking crime bomb, this book is truly must reading.John J. DiIulio,
Jr., author of No Escape: The Future of American Corrections As the
incidence of violent crime rises in the United States, so does the
public demand for a solution. But what will work? Mark S. Fleisher has
spent years among inmates in jails and prisons and on the streets with
thieves, gang members, addicts, and life-long criminals in Seattle and
other cities across the country. In Beggars and Thieves, he writes
about how and why they become and remain offenders, and about the
actual role of jails and prisons in efforts to deter crime and
rehabilitate criminals. Fleisher shows, with wrenching firsthand
accounts, that parents who are addicts, abusers, and criminals beget
irreversibly damaged children who become addicts, abusers, and
criminals. Further, Fleisher contends that many well-intentioned
educational and vocational training programs are wasted because they
are offered too late to help. And, he provides sobering evidence that
many youthful and adult offenders find themselves better off in
prisonwith work to do, medical care, a clean place to sleep, regular
meals, and stable social tiesthan they are in Americas cities.
Fleisher calls for anti-crime policies that are bold, practical, and
absolutely imperative. He prescribes life terms for violent offenders,
but in prisons structured as work communities, where privileges are
earned through work in expanded, productive industries that reduce the
financial burden of incarceration on the public. But most important, he
argues that the only way to prevent street crime, cut prison growth,
and reduce the waste of money and human lives is to permanently remove
brutalized children from criminal, addicted, and violent parents.

 

About Mark S. Fleisher

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Mark S. Fleisher is associate professor of criminal justice at Illinois State University.  An anthropologist and a former administrator in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he is the author of Warehousing Violence. He is also the author of Dead End Kids, published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
 
Published October 31, 1995 by Univ of Wisconsin Pr. 332 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Crime. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beggars and Thieves

Publishers Weekly

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His last book, Warehousing Violence, found anthropologist and criminal justice professor Fleisher hanging out with the guys in federal prison.

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