Did Getting Tough on Crime Pay?

Research Report

Did Getting Tough on Crime Pay?

Crime Policy Report No. 1


This report evaluates the effectiveness of sentencing reform implemented since the early 1980s. These reforms have been dominated by mandatory penalties for violent offenders, repeat offenders, and drug traffickers. The authors conclude that the beliefs on which public support for these reforms rested were largely false, that the evidence of their effectiveness at reducing crime is mixed, and that the increases in incarceration that resulted have been distributed unevenly.

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