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Published: 11 April 1996

256 Pages | 20 line illus.

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195104691

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Bookseller Code (01)


Malign Neglect

Race, Crime, and Punishment in America

Michael Tonry

Despite the perennial claims of politicians that our courts are coddling hardened criminals, the fact is that America already sends a higher proportion of its citizens to prison--and for longer terms--than any other western nation. Yet despite well-documented and mounting evidence that increased penalties alone cannot reduce crime, the Reagan and Bush administrations repeatedly lobbied for tougher mandatory sentences and more prisons. Although black crime rates have been stable for twenty years, the number and percentages of blacks in jail and prison have skyrocketed since Ronald Reagan took office. The trend continues with President Clinton, who recently called for "three strikes you're out" legislation dictating mandatory life sentences for third felony convictions.
In Malign Neglect, Michael Tonry addresses these paradoxes with passion and lucidity. Drawing on a vast compendium of the latest statistical, legal, and social science research, he takes on these explosive issues and provides a devastating portrait of the human costs of our current criminal policies. A blistering attack on worn-out misconceptions about race, poverty, crime, and punishment and a fearless prescription for change, Malign Neglect is indispensable reading on a topic which goes to the heart and soul of the nation.

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