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Crime in the United States, particularly violent crime, has been a major concern of the American population for decades. Although incumbent politicians (of whatever political party) usually supply statistics to indicate that the crime problem has been and is being effectively dealt with under their administrations, most people, particularly those residing in the country's urban areas, tend to perceive little improvement in the situation.

From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, the American prison population increased by 84 percent--from approximately 285 thousand to around 524,000. Per 100 thousand population, the increase was from 129 to 216. Since the mid-1980s, the prison population has continued to climb, however, at a slightly reduced rate. Nearly two-percent of all adult Americans are in prison, in jail, on parole, or on probation. Parole and probation tends to be opposed by the general public--particularly for violent offenders. Parole, however, increasingly seems to many public administrators to be a viable alternative to the escalating costs of prison construction and prison maintenance.

The disposition of criminal cases by the courts has been sharply criticized for being ineffective in the deterrence of both repeat and first time offenses. Most of the theoretical studies devoted to the discovery of ways to reduce crime rates emphasize one of two general ways to attack the problem. First, there are those theories that hold that the underlying causes of antisocial behaviors (poverty, injustices--perceived or real, and so forth) must be addressed, if the frequency of anti-social behaviors, and, thus, the crime rate, is to be reduced by any significant degree. The thrust of these theories is that, by eliminating the underlying causes of antisocial behaviors, the behaviors themselves will either be eliminated or their frequencies of occurrence will be significantly reduced. In turn, the elimination or significa...

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ARE PAROLE SYSTEMS NECESSARY?. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:50, April 26, 2019, from