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Content on aging prisoners and on substance users added. References updated and expanded to reflect recent research.

Updated on 01 Aug 2013. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 26 April 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This entry includes contemporary definitions of crime, theoretical ideas about the etiology of criminal behavior, and information about the methods used to estimate crime rates in the United States. The focus of this entry is on adult prisoners. Key issues such as disproportionate minority incarceration, the acceleration in the number of women entering into the criminal justice system over the last 20 years, and the prevalence of persons with mental illnesses in the nation's jails and prisons are addressed. Current controversies and practices such as risk reduction efforts and rehabilitation strategies are described.

Keywords: crime, criminal behavior, crime measures, incarceration, mental illness, minority, reintegration, risk reduction, women

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