What Are Crime Control Policies?

By Shane Hall
Effective crime control policies, funding law enforcement, corrections agencies

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Crime control policies refer to the laws, regulations and other governmental actions that are designed to reduce criminal acts. Because public safety is a key responsibility of government, policy makers at the federal, state and local levels are involved in formulating and implementing crime control policies.

Types

Most crime control policies involve enforcement actions by law enforcement and the administration of the criminal justice system, including courts and correctional facilities.

Effects

Most crime control policies have resulted in greater expenditures on law enforcement and higher rates of incarceration in state and federal prisons.

Size

The Justice Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., reported that incarceration rates in the United States increased sharply between 1980 and 2000. The institute blames this in part on crime control policies that emphasize arrest and confinement.

Considerations

Because public policy making occurs in a political environment, the resulting crime control policies are likely those that are most politically feasible.

Expert Insight

Social scientist James Q. Wilson has contended since the 1970s that effective crime control policies are those that consider root causes of crime, such as family and community environments.

About the Author

Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.