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From 1962 to 1972, the annual number of homicides had climbed from 8,530 to 18,670.Homicide was just one indicator of declining public safety, as the overall violent crime rate doubled in that same decade (Maguire, n.d., Table 3.106.2011).It was in these neighborhoods, decades later, where the effects of incarceration were felt most strongly.
In short, the period of rising crime accompanied a period of intense political conflict and a transformation of U. In Wilson’s analysis, the outmigration of whites and working class blacks left behind pockets of concentrated disadvantage.
These poor, racially segregated neighborhoods were characterized not just by high rates of crime but also by an array of other problems, including high rates of unemployment and widespread single parenthood.
CONCLUSION: The growth in incarceration rates in the United States over the past 40 years is historically unprecedented and internationally unique.
The growth of incarceration rates, beginning in 1972, followed a tumultuous period of social and political change (see Chapter 4).
Time served was significantly increased for violent crimes and for repeat offenses.
Drug crimes, particularly street dealing in urban areas, became policed and punished more severely (see Chapter 3).
Most studies conclude that rising incarceration rates reduced crime, but the evidence does not clearly show by how much.
A number of studies also find that the crime-reducing effects of incarceration become smaller as the incarceration rate grows, although this may be reflecting the aging of prison populations.
As with many rigorous assessments of large historical events, a high level of scientific certainty about the effects of increased incarceration rates is elusive.
The relationships between incarceration, crime, sentencing policy, social inequality, and the dozens of other variables that describe the growth of incarceration are complex, variable across time and place, and mutually determining.