Western countries spend more and more each year on police, prisons and judges, and incarcerate more and more people. Yet the evidence shows not only that this standard way of responding to crime is ineffective, but that projects tackling the factors that cause crime are effective. Rather than sending more people to jail or hiring more and more police, the author, and the research, shows that addressing problems in the community does more to prevent crime. This timely book illustrates in convincing detail what needs to be done to prevent crime and keep people out of prison. Using examples from the Americas, the author shows that hiring public health nurses and investing in helping at-risk youth to complete school and get job training is better than hiring more police; preventing family violence, banning hand guns and dealing with drugs through public health saves more lives than incarceration; getting close neighbours to watch out for us, and better industrial design are more effective than criminal courts; smarter policing is better than more police; paying for services to support victims and guaranteeing them rights is better than more 'tough-on-crime' rhetoric. Addressing the social issues that lead to crime, rather than addressing crime after it happens, will contribute to creating a safer society and to keeping kids and adults from taking the wrong path toward a life of crime.