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Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future
     

Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future

by Currie
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Full of wisdom vital to our country's leaders, this powerful book argues that drug abuse is an endemic social problem that can be solved only by a program of social reconstruction that will deliver jobs, education and health care--not by either legalization of drugs or punishment of abusers. Criticizing those who describe the drug problem as classless, sociologist Currie ( Confronting Crime ) synthesizes research in the U.S. and in Europe to argue persuasively that drug abuse is linked to ``conditions of mass social deprivation, economic marginality, and cultural and community breakdown.'' Citing long-term declines in economic opportunity and the collapse of the community infrastructure in inner cities, Currie advocates reduced penalties for most drug offenses, harsher sentences for dealers, more help for addicts in prison and an emphasis on community policing. With a skeptical look at treatment programs, he convincingly suggests recovery depends more on ``the realistic possibilities for an alternative way of life.'' (Jan.)
Mary Carroll
Sociologist/criminologist Currie shifts attention from symptoms to sources in this powerful analysis of drug abuse in the U.S. The author of "Confronting Crime" (1986) and "Dope and Trouble" (1991) focuses here on "endemic hard-drug abuse among the poor and near-poor," which has increased significantly in the face of "two decades of the drug war." Criminal-justice and medical models of addiction, Currie eloquently argues, operate as denial mechanisms that allow both leaders and citizens to ignore the overwhelming evidence, first accumulated in the 1950s and repeatedly reconfirmed, that addiction in poor and minority communities is more of a social problem than a behavioral or psychological disorder. Currie calls for "rethinking" criminal justice, "redefining" drug treatment, and (most critically) "reconstructing" communities through a "strategy of inclusion" that provides training, jobs, infrastructure, health care, and support for families in particularly vulnerable communities. For the past 40 years, he observes, "We have tried moral exhortation. We have tried neglect. We have tried punishment. We have even, more grudgingly, tried treatment. We have tried everything but improving the lives of our citizens. It is time to try that--without grudging."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809080496
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
01/01/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
250

Meet the Author


Elliott Currie is the author of Confronting Crime, Reckoning, and Crime and Punishment in America. An internationally recognized authority on youth and crime, he is a professor of criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine.

Elliott Currie is the author of Confronting Crime and Crime and Punishment in America. An internationally recognized authority on youth and crime, he is a professor of criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine.

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