CRIMEWARPS: The Future of Crime in America by Georgette Bennett
Kirkus Star

CRIMEWARPS: The Future of Crime in America

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A Megatrends of crime: fascinating speculations on America's next half-century of law-breaking and enforcement from a top criminologist. Adopting an engagingly informal approach that mixes far-flung predictions with scads of anecdotal case studies and an impressive battery of statistics, Bennett roams the entire waterfront of crime. She begins with a look at its ""new demographics,"" noting that, due to an upward shift in median age, violent crime (generally youth's folly) is waning, while more sophisticated, white-collar crime is on the rise. Following are eye-opening chapters on the ""new criminals"": women, teens (who will commit fewer but more abhorrent crimes), and, a real shocker, the elderly (""The F.B.I. reports that arrests of old people doubled between 1970 and 1980""). Then comes the core of Bennett's study--forecasts about almost every imaginable category of crime, from credit fraud to prostitution to industrial espionage to drug abuse, etc. Each chapter concludes with a summary list of ""crimewarps,"" specific predicted shifts in criminal behavior, while the book itself closes with a survey of changing patterns of crime prevention (an increase in electronic security systems and vigilant. ism; a decrease in reliance on traditional police forces) and a cautionary note on the probable erosion of the Bill of Rights in exchange for more facile apprehension and detainment of criminals. Some of Bennett's projections appear far-fetched--her prediction of the decriminalization of cocaine use, for instance--but her careful attention to all of crime's contributory factors--economic, racial, political, and religious--gives sturdy support to her provocative forecasts. A groundbreaking book, solidly researched but easy to digest, worthy of study by professionals and lay alike.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1986
ISBN: 0385230915
Publisher: Doubleday