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.
Most crime control policies involve enforcement actions by law enforcement and the administration of the criminal justice system, including courts and correctional facilities.
Most crime control policies have resulted in greater expenditures on law enforcement and higher rates of incarceration in state and federal prisons.
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.
Because public policy making occurs in a political environment, the resulting crime control policies are likely those that are most politically feasible.
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.