It is well known to those who have attempted to secure final reliable and significant statistical data concerning crime and the enforcement of the criminal law in the United States that only the barest outline of the American crime problem is shown by the data now obtainable. Such diversity exists among recording agencies that we can not safely compare cities and states in the amount of crime reported to the police; the characteristics of these crimes or of those arrested for their crimes are so inadequately kept that little sociological data are available; we can not from material now published measure the size nor the quality of the work of our law enforcement agencies; American courts so far as public records are concerned operate in relative darkness; we cannot evaluate parole and probation because we do not know what they are doing, and even our prison statistics are still primitive and unsatisfactory. To adopt an analogy which not inappropriately suggests itself-the statistical measurement of crime and the administration of criminal justice in the United States are now where the statistics of health and mortality were a generation ago.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons