This title is a treatment of the politics and the impact of the "get tough" criminal sentencing legislation in the US. It includes a major empirical study of the celebrated California "three strikes" law, the law that imposed a 25-years to life imprisonment the moment of a third felony conviction. "Three Strikes" is the single most important assault on criminal recidivists in the 20th century. This book tells the story of how such a revolutionary shift in punishment policy became law, the impact of that legislation on criminal punishments and crime rates in California, and the broad implications of "Three Strikes" for the ways in which punishment policy is made in democratic governments.
Franklin E. Zimring is William G. Simon Professor of Law and Director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of American Youth Violence (Oxford, 1998) and co-author (with Gordon Hawkins) of Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America (Oxford, 1997) and Incapacitation: Penal Confinement and the Restraint of Crime (Oxford, 1995). Gordon G. Hawkins is a Senior Fellow at the Earl Warren Legal Institute and the former Director of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Sydney. Sam S. Kamin is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley