Books in Brief
The Long View of Crime: A Synthesis of Longitudinal Research
Akiva M. Liberman, ed.
Can longitudinal research — studies that follow individuals over many years — answer questions critical to criminal justice?
What is the developmental life-course of criminal behavior? Is there one general offending pattern or multiple offending patterns?
Which early risk factors, if any, are strongly predictive of criminal behavior? Do particular interventions prevent or retard
future criminal behavior? In The Long View of Crime, editor Akiva Liberman asserts that these studies can answer such questions. The book synthesizes findings from 200 papers
based on 60 longitudinal studies into six reviews. The volume focuses on adolescent experiences with employment, gang involvement
and first arrests as well as the link between early childhood and adolescence.
Evidence-Based Crime Prevention, Revised Edition
David P. Farrington, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Lawrence W. Sherman and Brandon C. Welsh, eds.
According to the editors of Evidence-Based Crime Prevention, crime policy is sometimes driven by political ideology, anecdotal evidence and current program favorites. The book reviews
more than 600 scientific evaluations of programs intended to prevent crime in a variety of settings, such as families, schools,
jobs and communities. It grades the validity of programs using "the scientific methods scale." This book attempts to provide
policymakers, researchers and community leaders with information about what works, what does not and what is promising in
Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarceration
NYU Press, 2005
In Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarceration, author Michael Jacobson argues that mass incarceration will not reduce crime or improve public safety. The many changes over
the years to sentencing and corrections policies and practices (i.e., mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strike laws and
for-profit prisons) initially designed to prevent or reduce crime have also contributed to the rise of the general prison
population. Jacobson contends that given the fiscal constraints in many states, the only effective answer is an overhaul of
the corrections system and a slowdown of prison expansion policies. He examines various methods that states have used to initiate
prison reform and discusses policy solutions, such as changing how parole and probation agencies operate and supporting drug
treatment programs for low-level offenders, which the book claims could possibly increase public safety while lowering corrections
NIJ Journal No. 260, July 2008
Date Created: July 15, 2008