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Imprisoning CommunitiesHow Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse$
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Todd R Clear

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305791.001.0001

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Incarceration and Crime

Incarceration and Crime

(p.15) 2 Incarceration and Crime
Imprisoning Communities

Todd R. Clear

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relation between incarceration and crime. It suggests that prisons can prevent crime in two ways: incapacitation and deterrence. It explains that incapacitation occurs when the crimes a person would have committed are averted because the person is in prison while deterrence occurs when the thought of going to prison is sufficiently undesirable that people shape their behavior to comply with the law in order to avoid going there. It provides statistics showing the changes in incarceration rates and crime rates in the U.S. between 1970 and 2004.

Keywords:   incarceration, crime, incapacitation, deterrence, crime rates, U.S.

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