Crime and Punishment in America: 1999

Policy Reports | Crime

No. 229
Friday, October 01, 1999
by Morgan O. Reynolds


"As the odds of imprisonment have increased, the national crime rate has decreased."

The odds of imprisonment for a serious offense increased in the late 1980s and 1990s as legislators responded to the public's "enough is enough" attitude. The result has been a decreasing national crime rate. To build on this trend, we must continue raising the odds of imprisonment, making crime less attractive for potential criminals. We also must reduce prison costs through privatization.58 Finally, we must relax the laws hampering the productive employment of prisoners.

NOTE: Nothing written here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the National Center for Policy Analysis or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

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