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When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment Paperback – 1 Aug 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (1 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691148643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691148649
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,000,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"In his recent book, "When Brute Force Fails," UCLA's Kleiman argues that new strategies for targeting repeat offenders--including reforms to make probation an effective sanction rather than a feckless joke--could cut crime and reduce prison populations simultaneously. Safer communities, in turn, might produce more hopeful and well-disciplined kids."--David Von Drehle, "TIME Magazine"

"Mark Kleiman's new book, "When Brute Force Fails," draws on the bedrock of economic logic--rational actors using incentives to make optimal decisions--to arrive at a sweeping overhaul of how we deter, punish and sentence. . . . Kleiman says we can have more effective deterrence by becoming more efficient in the use of resources to control crime. . . . Kleiman's theory of 'dynamic concentration' is the best example of economic logic used cautiously and innovatively to address a social problem. . . . If you want a no-nonsense guide to using incentives to build a better mousetrap, this is the book for you."--Sudhir Venkatesh, "Forbes"

"In . . . "When Brute Force Fails," Kleiman argues that such capricious enforcement undermines efforts to reduce crime, and moreover that tough penalties--such as the long sentences that have contributed to clogged prisons--don't do much to help, despite their high cost. The alternative, Kleiman suggests, is a paradigm called 'swift and certain' justice, first proposed by Cesare Beccaria in the 18th century: immediate, automatic penalties--though not necessarily severe ones--doled out by credible, identifiable figures. . . . [I]t seems likely that the invasive surveillance model, combining tracking technology and the Kleiman/Alm paradigm of 'swift and certain' justice, could offer an alternative to much of the waste--in human as well as economic terms--of our current, dysfunctional system."--Graeme Wood, "Atlantic"

One of Economist's Best Books for 2009

"One way to make apprehension and punishment more likely is to spend substantially more money on law enforcement. In a time of chronic budget shortfalls, however, that won't happen. But Mr. Kleiman suggests that smarter enforcement strategies can make existing budgets go further. The important step, he says, is to view enforcement as a dynamic game in which strategically chosen deterrence policies become self-reinforcing. . . . It is an ingenious idea that borrows from game theory and the economics of signaling behavior. . . . Revolutionary."--Robert H. Frank, New York Times

"Mass incarceration was a successful public-policy tourniquet. But now that we've stopped the bleeding, it can't be a permanent solution. . . . [I]t requires a more sophisticated crime-fighting approach--an emphasis, for instance, on making sentences swifter and more certain, even as we make them shorter; a system of performance metrics for prisons and their administrators; a more stringent approach to probation and parole. (When Brute Force Fails, by the U.C.L.A. law professor Mark Kleiman, is the best handbook for would-be reformers.)"--Ross Douthat, New York Times

"'Big cases make bad laws' is a criminological axiom, and one with which Mark A. R. Kleiman agrees, in When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment. Kleiman blames big cases and bad laws for another distinctive feature of American life: 2.3 million people are currently behind bars in the United States. . . . At what point, Kleiman wonders, will incarceration be a greater social ill than crime? He proposes, for lesser offenders, punishments that are swift and certain but not necessarily severe: a night in jail, instead of a warning, for missing a meeting with a parole officer, say, and ten nights the next time."--Jill Lepore, New Yorker

"From Kennedy and Kleiman to Alm and Meares, the judges and scholars developing new deterrence strategies are changing the way we think about parole, probation, gang violence and drug markets."--Jeffrey Rosen, New York Times Magazine

"In his recent book, When Brute Force Fails, UCLA's Kleiman argues that new strategies for targeting repeat offenders--including reforms to make probation an effective sanction rather than a feckless joke--could cut crime and reduce prison populations simultaneously. Safer communities, in turn, might produce more hopeful and well-disciplined kids."--David Von Drehle, TIME Magazine

"Mark Kleiman's new book, When Brute Force Fails, draws on the bedrock of economic logic--rational actors using incentives to make optimal decisions--to arrive at a sweeping overhaul of how we deter, punish and sentence. . . . Kleiman says we can have more effective deterrence by becoming more efficient in the use of resources to control crime. . . . Kleiman's theory of 'dynamic concentration' is the best example of economic logic used cautiously and innovatively to address a social problem. . . . If you want a no-nonsense guide to using incentives to build a better mousetrap, this is the book for you."--Sudhir Venkatesh, Forbes

From the Inside Flap

"This is very good. Its not quite as good as Einstein predicting light bending around the sun, . . . but its a step in the right direction."--James Q. Wilson

"Absolutely buy this book. Dedicate some time to it. . . . This is the most important social science book Ive read in many years."--Reihan Salam, New America Foundation

"For two decades, Mark Kleiman has tried to rescue community corrections from its own incompetence as well as from its critics. In When Brute Force Fails he extends his reach to develop a more sensible system of criminal justice. The book is imaginative, thorough, and readable. It will make a difference in public policy."--Peter Reuter, University of Maryland

"Mark Kleiman draws on a mixture of common sense, rationality, analysis, and individual case studies to develop clear policy recommendations about how to reduce crime while cutting costs. Policymakers, constrained by increasingly tight budgets, would be well advised to give serious consideration to his approaches and proposals."--Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University

"Ideas that make a real difference don't come along often. Mark Kleiman's got a big one here."--Robert H. Frank, Cornell University

"Crime is costly. Punishment is costly. Mark Kleiman shows how, by being clever rather than vindictive, we can have much less of both than anyone thought possible. This book is the order of battle for a historic victory of intelligence over evil."--Michael O'Hare, University of California, Berkeley

"This is a terrific book on crime control, one that will inform experts and laypeople alike. Kleiman speaks about crime control with clarity and informed common sense."--Jim Leitzel, University of Chicago

"This book is destined to be a classic. There have been few new ideas for how to implement deterrence and this book is a fresh start at tackling the problem. It reads beautifully and is one of the most innovative and original contributions to the crime-control debate in a decade or more."--Robert J. MacCoun, University of California, Berkeley

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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