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Changing Crime Rates: Ineffective Law Enforcement Grants and the Prison Buildup

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Publication Date: February 2007

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): David B. Muhlhausen

Series: WebMemo

Topic: Justice (Crime and criminals)
Social conditions (Social conditions and problems)

Keywords: Crime; FBI; increase; law enforcement

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

Recent reports of elevated crime rates have led commentators and public officials to speculate about what factors are to blame. Social scientists need time to collect and adequately analyze the recent crime data to develop explanations for the rise. Social critics, however, are not right to claim that the Bush Administration's reduction of subsidies to local law enforcement for their routine responsibilities, through such programs as the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), is to blame. A better explanation is that the U.S. may not be relying heavily enough on criminal penalties, especially incarceration, to discourage criminal activity.