From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

The Making of Mass Incarceration in America

Book - 2016
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"In the United States today, one in every 31 adults is under some form of penal control, including one in eleven African American men. How did the "land of the free" become the home of the world's largest prison system? Challenging the belief that America's prison problem originated with the Reagan administration's War on Drugs, Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: the social welfare programs of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society at the height of the civil rights era. Johnson's War on Poverty policies sought to foster equality and economic opportunity. But these initiatives were also rooted in widely shared assumptions about African Americans' role in urban disorder, which prompted Johnson to call for a simultaneous War on Crime. The 1965 Law Enforcement Assistance Act empowered the national government to take a direct role in militarizing local police. Federal anticrime funding soon incentivized social service providers to ally with police departments, courts, and prisons. Under Richard Nixon and his successors, welfare programs fell by the wayside while investment in policing and punishment expanded. Anticipating future crime, policy makers urged states to build new prisons and introduced law enforcement measures into urban schools and public housing, turning neighborhoods into targets of police surveillance. By the 1980s, crime control and incarceration dominated national responses to poverty and inequality. The initiatives of that decade were less a sharp departure than the full realization of the punitive transformation of urban policy implemented by Republicans and Democrats alike since the 1960s."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9780674737235
0674737237
Branch Call Number: 364.973 Hi
Characteristics: 449 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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patriciajanesh
Oct 08, 2016

Meticulous review and analysis of presidential administrations from Kennedy through G HW Bush on the legislation, policy and budgeting of criminal justice agencies and prisons. Also discusses racism, militarism of police, ignoring of community involvement, distortion of data findings and analysis re possible solutions in authentic crime prevention and decreasing poverty in the U.S.

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