Public and political interest in issues of crime and punishment in
Ireland has grown substantially in recent years. However, the
debate tends to be poorly informed and rarely rises above the level
of hollow rhetoric. This is an area where important decisions are
made in a vacuum. Rhetoric and reaction, rather than reason and
principle, are the primary forces shaping criminal justice
policy.Over the past five years the official crime rate has
declined sharply. This has been offered as support for the politics
of zero tolerance. However there is a range of alternative
explanations which are rarely discussed but equally plausible. The
reduction in recorded crime has been accompanied by a major
redirection of criminal justice policy." The War on Crime" explores
why a punitive political consensus has emerged at a time when,
according to the Garda statistics, society has become much safer.
The book provides a radical critique of criminal statistics,
locates Irish crime patterns in a European context and suggests a
new framework for analyzing trends in crime and its management.
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