As the former publisher of Police and Corrections magazines, New York Times editor Anderson is expert on his subject and offers salient observations on the current state of criminal justice, together with striking suggestions on how improvements might be made. The philosophy of imprisonment and execution fails, he maintains. Increasingly the police are functioning as social workers, and Anderson stresses that this aspect of their work should be expanded. The courts, choked with cases and often restrained from adding to the prison population, should develop more effective probation systems, vastly different from most current arrangements, which are unrealistic, according to the author. Finally, our snake-pit prisons, many of them actually run by the inmates, should offer convicts real work for real pay, preparing them for life on the outside. (March)
Anderson ( New York Times) gives a short history of attempts to cope with the breakdown of the criminal justice system and offers ideas to help alleviate the crisis. First, he suggests starting a ``police corps'' involving social work and neighborhood problem solving. Second, since the courts resolve many cases by plea bargaining, reduced charges, and unsupervised probation, he suggests court-ordered employment and victim restitution as more meaningful punishments. Finally, because punishment has replaced rehabilitation in prisons, he suggests that programs involving jobs for pay would ease the cost of running prisons and promote the value of work. Intriguing, supported by examples, and well put. Recommended. Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass.