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2000

Columbia Law School

SSRN

Law and Race

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares Jan 2000

Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1970s, the number of individuals in jails and state and federal prisons has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2 million people are currently incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth of imprisonment has been borne disproportionately by African-American and Hispanic men from poor communities in urban areas. Rising incarceration should have greatly reduced the crime rate. After all, incapacitated offenders were no longer free to rob, assault, steal, or commit other crimes. However, no large scale reduction in crime was detected until the mid-1990's. The failure of crime rates to decline commensurately with ...