Illusion of Order

Illusion of Order
Author : Bernard E. Harcourt
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Total Pages : 304
Release : 2009-06
ISBN 10 : 0674038312
ISBN 13 : 9780674038318
Language : EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Illusion of Order Book Description:

This is the first book to challenge the broken-windows theory of crime, which argues that permitting minor misdemeanors, such as loitering and vagrancy, to go unpunished only encourages more serious crime. The theory has revolutionized policing in the United States and abroad, with its emphasis on policies that crack down on disorderly conduct and aggressively enforce misdemeanor laws. The problem, argues Bernard Harcourt, is that although the broken-windows theory has been around for nearly thirty years, it has never been empirically verified. Indeed, existing data suggest that it is false. Conceptually, it rests on unexamined categories of law abiders and disorderly people and of order and disorder, which have no intrinsic reality, independent of the techniques of punishment that we implement in our society. How did the new order-maintenance approach to criminal justice--a theory without solid empirical support, a theory that is conceptually flawed and results in aggressive detentions of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens--come to be one of the leading criminal justice theories embraced by progressive reformers, policymakers, and academics throughout the world? This book explores the reasons why. It also presents a new, more thoughtful vision of criminal justice.


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