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From Retribution to Public Safety
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1: The Great American Punishment Experiment 2: Four Major Threats to Recidivism Reduction: Intellectual Deficiencies, Drug Addiction, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Mental Illness 3: The Special Case of the Juvenile Brain 4: The Path Forward: Changing Behavioral Health 5: Criminal Intent and Diversion 6: The Path Forward: Diverting Disordered Offenders 7: Costs, Benefits and Challenges

About the Author

William R. Kelly, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas. Kelly is the author of several books and articles on criminal justice, law, and policy, including The Future of Crime and Punishment: Smart Policies for Reducing Crime and Saving Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Criminal Justice At The Crossroads: Transforming Crime and Punishment (2015) and Justice Under Pressure: Prison Crowding, Parole Release and Recidivism in Texas (1993). Robert Pitman, JD, M.St.(Oxon) was appointed in 2014 by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a federal District Court Judge for the Western District of Texas. In 2011, Pitman was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be the United States attorney for the Western District of Texas. While he was the U.S. Attorney, he was appointed to the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee, Prior to that he served as the interim United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas. He also served as the Deputy United States Attorney and as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Texas. While serving in the U.S. Attorney's office and on the bench, Pitman was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas, and taught courses in the law school and in the undergraduate Plan II honors program. William Streusand, M.D., has lectured extensively throughout the United States and has held a variety of teaching positions and received numerous honors. These include: Chief Fellow in child psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital; Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences UTMB; Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Psychology; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UT-Southwestern at Austin; American College of Psychiatrists; and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Streusand currently is in private practice.

Reviews

Sociologist Kelly, Texas district judge Pitman, and psychiatrist Streusand provide a logical, noteworthy critique of a criminal justice system that continues to maintain high recidivism rates (approximately 65 percent), which exposes hundreds of thousands to victimization and results in exorbitant expenses in direct criminal justice costs (approximately $270 billion yearly). The authors also contend that tough-on-crime policies and the war on drugs have consumed approximately $2 trillion of public money. Their argument is that since its inception, punishment for crime committed does not work, largely because an inventory of its clientele (prisoners) shows multiple disorders, deficits, impairments, and conditions, such as intellectual deficiencies, drug addiction, neurodevelopmental problems, and mental illness that in many cases have caused or strongly affected criminal behavior. Overall, the authors' primary focus is to develop a better approach than to simply punish and address recidivism, victimization, and the staggering costs citizens pay for incarceration. Two suggested changes include determining criminal intent at the onset with a clear option to divert disordered offenders into rehab to directly confront and ameliorate the problematic behavior largely responsible for offending. Well written and argued with an overabundance of methods for improving the negative outcomes of imprisoning offenders. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
From Retribution to Public Safety is a refreshing and important contribution to the criminal justice reform discourse. * New York Journal of Books *
From Retribution to Public Safety highlights a critical problem that plagues criminal justice -- a reliance on get-tough policies that do little to address the causes of crime and that therefore do little to reduce it. Retribution will always play a role in responses to crime. But Kelly and colleagues draw on state-of-the-art research to argue convincingly that only a dramatic shift to targeting the causes of offending offers hope for improving public safety. As the nation once again contemplates how best to reduce crime, this book should be required reading for policymakers and, indeed, for anyone interested in smart justice. -- Daniel P. Mears, Professor of Criminology at Florida State University
In an innovative and compelling analysis, William Kelly and colleagues show us why the retributivist paradigm has proven bankrupt: it is blind to the disorders that underlie crime and the responses needed to curtail them. In a post-factual era, these are stubborn realities that policymakers ignore that at our peril.. Wonderfully written, this is a book that scholars will learn from and that is ideal for classroom use. -- Francis T. Cullen, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati
Challenging the status quo is never easy or popular yet William Kelly and his colleagues have challenged the conventional thinking about crime and punishment and have provided a road map for making the justice system more humane and less punitive. This book should be read by anyone interested in learning more about the issues that many of our fellow citizens face as they confront a system that has lost its way. -- Edward Latessa, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

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