By Charles Murray
131 pages, Illustrated, 5 ½" x 8 ½"
$25.00 Paper Original
For over half a century, violent crime has been rising in the UK, while the penalties have been falling. These two trends throw current sentencing practices into the spotlight of public policy concern. The author deplores the recent trend away from custodial sentences in favor of less punitive alternative responses to crime.
He argues that criminal offenders deserve penalties of which the degree of severity better matches the seriousness of their crimes.
The flight from custodial sentences means that criminals are treated by the courts more leniently than they deserve to be. The result is that 'members of the public live in a world where civic life in their own neighborhoods is deteriorating, where they must spend more inordinate time and money protecting their property, and where they fear going to places they didn't used to fear to go.'
To restore the rightful balance between criminals and the law-abiding so that the latter are favored rather than the former, the author proposes a range of changes to the criminal justice system.
These are designed to make it easier for convictions against offenders to be secured, as well as to accord greater protection to law-abiding citizens by increasing rates of incarceration to former levels and allowing citizens greater scope to act in self-defense. The author's proposals, as well as his call for retribution to be made once again the principal, if not sole, object of criminal punishment, are commented on by a range of eminent scholars and experts writing from a variety of different perspectives.
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