Crime and Punishment in America

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In the summer of 2007, high profile killings in Newark and Oakland and Connecticut have put bloody murder back in the headlines.

But here's the rub with crime and punishment in America. Crime peaked in 1992 in this country, while prison populations have continued to explode.

The United States now has the highest incarceration rate in the world - many times higher than peer nations. And now, murder rates in American cities have jumped again.

So, has locking up millions made America safer? And how far can the lock-up go?

This hour On Point: Millions in prison. Blood in the streets. What now?


Glenn Loury, professor of economics at Brown University. His essay "Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?" appears in the current issue of Boston Review

Paul Butler, Professor of Law at George Washington University

Valenicia Mohammed, journalist and mother of two murdered sons

Rev. Thomas Ellis, founder and president of the "Enough is Enough" Coalition in Newark, an anti-violence group

This program aired on August 16, 2007.


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