The Future of Crime and Punishment by William R. Kelly
Smart Policies for Reducing Crime and Saving Money

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...a well-reasoned, if familiar, critique of the American criminal justice system, along with thoughtful prescriptions for revolutionary reform.
-Publishers Weekly


Today, we know that crime is often not just a matter of making bad decisions. Rather, there are a variety of factors that are implicated in much criminal offending, some fairly obvious like poverty, mental illness, and drug abuse and others less so, such as neurocognitive problems. Today, we have the tools for effective criminal behavioral change, but this cannot be an excuse for criminal offending. In The Future of Crime and Punishment, William R. Kelly identifies the need to educate the public on how these tools can be used to most effectively and cost efficiently reduce crime, recidivism, victimization and cost.

The justice system of the future needs to be much more collaborative, utilizing the expertise of a variety of disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, addiction, and neuroscience. Judges and prosecutors are lawyers, not clinicians, and as we transition the justice system to a focus on behavioral change, the decision making will need to reflect the input of clinical experts. The path forward is one characterized largely by change from traditional criminal prosecution and punishment to venues that balance accountability, compliance, and risk management with behavioral change interventions that address the primary underlying causes for recidivism.

There are many moving parts to this effort and it is a complex proposition. It requires substantial changes to law, procedure, decision making, roles and responsibilities, expertise, and funding. Moreover, it requires a radical shift in how we think about crime and punishment. Our thinking needs to reflect a perspective that crime is harmful, but that much criminal behavior is changeable.

About William R. Kelly

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William R. Kelly, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas. He is also a fellow with the Darrell K. Royal Regents Chair in Ethics and American Society, University of Texas at Austin. Kelly is the author and contributor of several books and articles on criminal justice, law, and policy, including Criminal Justice At The Crossroads: Transforming Crime and Punishment (2015) and Justice Under Pressure: Prison Crowding, Parole Release and Recidivism in Texas (1993).
Published July 14, 2016 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 268 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Crime. Non-fiction
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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 24 2017

...a well-reasoned, if familiar, critique of the American criminal justice system, along with thoughtful prescriptions for revolutionary reform.

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