2 John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform (New York: Basic Books, 2017), 6.
4 William J. Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2011), 38.
5 Hannah Arendt, On Violence (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), 98. Arendt was also worried that lackluster police efficiency would make police brutality more likely.
6 James Austin, “Why Criminology Is Irrelevant,” Criminology and Public Policy 2, no. 3 (July 2003): 557–64; Michael Tonry, “Evidence, Ideology, and Politics in the Making of American Criminal Justice Policy,” Crime and Justice 42, no. 1 (August 2013): 1–18.
7 Nathan Glazer, “Introduction,” in The Public Interest on Crime and Punishment, ed. Nathan Glazer (Lanham: University Press of America, 1984), xi.
8 As he wrote in the Daily Californian on January 6, 1949, “No thinking human being can honestly say that he understands the world in which he lives until he has come to grips with the most horrible phenomena of this inhuman age—state slavery in totalitarian Russia.”
9 Irving Krauss to 1st Lt. Erwin Friedman, February 6, 1955. This letter was part of the trial documents that were kindly provided to me by Robert’s son Michael C. Martinson. There were also letters on Martinson’s behalf from Norman Thomas and Robert Nisbet, among others.
10 Robert Martinson to “Friend,” October 20, 1956. This letter was included in the trial documents.
11 Robert Magnus, “Anti-Labor Despotism in the Stalin Legal Code,” Labor Action 13, no. 29 (July 18, 1949): 4.
12 Francis A. Allen, The Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal: Penal Policy and Social Purpose (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 2.
13 Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 16.
14 Allen, 19. In context, Allen is speaking more about institutions like schools and the family.
15 Marc F. Plattner, “The Rehabilitation of Punishment,” Public Interest 44 (Summer 1976): 104.
16 This passage draws from Jessica Mitford, “Prisons: The Menace of Liberal Reform,” New York Review of Books 18, no. 4 (March 9, 1972).
17 Allen, 8.
18 Plattner, 104.
19 Robert Martinson, “Prison Notes of a Freedom Rider,” Nation (January 6, 1962): 4–6; Adam Humphreys, “Robert Martinson and the Tragedy of the American Prison,” Ribbonfarm (December 15, 2016). Humphreys is a Canadian filmmaker with a forthcoming documentary on Martinson and his legacy.
20 Robert Martinson, “Treatment Ideology and Correctional Bureaucracy: A Study of Organizational Change” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1968).
21 Statement by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller at public hearings of the Governor’s Special Committee on Criminal Offenders, held at the New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York City, October 14, 1966, Folder 1721, Box 47, N. A. Rockefeller Gubernatorial Records, Rockefeller Archive Center.
22 Author interview with Douglas Lipton on June 4, 2017.
23 An irony is that the academic term “carceral state,” which has arisen in scholarly discussions of mass incarceration, derives from the final chapter of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. The argument of that chapter is that the prison as a specific location has become relatively less important, since the boundaries between prison and society have started to blur. Foucault suggests that disciplinary ideologies are growing insidiously stronger and diffusing through multiple institutions. At least in the American case, the hegemony of treatment collapsed as soon as his book went to print, and the prison as a specific, singular institution was about to become more important than it had ever been.
24 Robert Nisbet, “Many Tocquevilles,” American Scholar 46, no. 1 (Winter 1977): 67.
25 Robert Martinson, “The Age of Treatment: Some Implications of the Custody-Treatment Dimension,” Issues in Criminology 2, no. 2 (Fall 1966): 275–93.
26 Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 (New York: Basic Books, 1984), 148.
27 Joseph F. Spillane, Coxsackie: The Life and Death of Prison Reform (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), 200.
28 Robert Martinson, “What Works? Questions and Answers About Prison Reform,” Public Interest (Spring 1974): 22–54; Douglas Lipton, Robert Martinson, and Judith Wilks, The Effectiveness of Correctional Treatment: A Survey of Treatment Evaluation Studies (New York: Praeger, 1975). I also draw on Humphreys for this paragraph.
29 The segment carried the unambiguous title “It Doesn’t Work,” Mike Wallace/CBS, 60 Minutes, August 24, 1975; see also Sasha Abramsky, American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007), 43–58.
30 Irving Kristol to Tom Wicker, April 3, 1974, Folder 34, Box 22, Series: The Public Interest, Irving Kristol Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society; Stuart Adams, “Evaluation: A Way Out of Rhetoric,” in Rehabilitation, Recidivism, and Research, ed. Matthew Matlin (Hackensack: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1976), 75–91; Constance Holden, “Prisons: Faith in ‘Rehabilitation’ Is Suffering a Collapse,” Science 188, no. 4190 (May 23, 1975): 815–17; Norval Morris, Keynote Address, 105th Congress of Corrections, Louisville, August 18, 1975.
31 Francis T. Cullen, “The Twelve People Who Saved Rehabilitation,” Criminology 43, no. 1 (2005): 1–42.
32 Ted Palmer, “Martinson Revisited,” in Rehabilitation, Recidivism, and Research, ed. Matthew Matlin (Hackensack: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1976), 41–62.
33 Robert Martinson, “California Research at the Crossroads,” in Rehabilitation, Recidivism, and Research, ed. Matthew Matlin (Hackensack: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1976), 63–74.
34 Irving Kristol to Robert Martinson, December 16, 1975, Folder 34, Box 22, Series: The Public Interest, Irving Kristol Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society.
35 Martinson’s four-part series “The Paradox of Prison Reform” ran from April 1, 1972 to April 29, 1972 in the New Republic.
36 James Q. Wilson, Thinking about Crime (New York: Basic Books, 1975), 170–71.
37 Nathan Glazer: “I did recall but vaguely that it was brought to us by Jim Wilson” (email message to author, June 23, 2017).
38 “To turn burglars into Rotarians” is Mark Kleinman’s phrase, used in a discussion of Wilson: “Thinking About Punishment: James Q. Wilson and Mass Incarceration,” NYU, Marron Institute of Urban Management, Working Paper #11, June 26, 2014.
39 Wilson, Thinking about Crime, 172–73.
40 James Q. Wilson, “Politics, Crime, and Society,” Discourses: Papers on Politics, Policy, and Political Theory 1 (Chicago: Loyola University of Chicago, 1975). A transcript of a talk given on October 21, 1975.
41 M. J. Sobran Jr., “Clarity About Crime, Class,” National Review (August 29, 1975): 948.
42 Wilson had more respect for economists because they aren’t focused on causality “in any fundamental sense.” He was influenced by Gary Becker’s rational-actor theory of crime, although he embraced a weaker version of it. Wilson combined this with an interest in “constitutional”—i.e., biological—factors, something evident in Thinking about Crime but greatly expanded on in Crime and Human Nature (1985), coauthored with Richard Herrnstein. Critics seized on the combination as logically contradictory, which is silly. Both can be true—or what’s more important to Wilson, both can be useful—to varying degrees and in various circumstances. Both have the effect of starkly individualizing the criminal—divorcing him from social context—which is why academics like to call Wilson “neoliberal” almost as much as neoconservative.
43 For causal vs. policy analysis, see Wilson, Thinking about Crime, 43–63.
44 Wilson, 51.
45 Box 9, Folder “Crime Message (1) – (2),” James E. Connor Files. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; the president himself thought Wilson’s ideas were “most interesting & helpful.” Box C17, Folder “Presidential Handwriting 3/29/1975 (1),” Presidential Handwriting File. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; Ford wrote about Wilson’s influence in his memoir A Time to Heal (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), 269.
46 Box 3, Folder “James Q. Wilson,” Robert A. Goldwin Files, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
47 Charles Murray, email message to author, February 6, 2013.
48 Author interview with Shlomo Shinnar on July 13, 2018; Shlomo Shinnar and Reuel Shinnar, “The Effects of Criminal Justice on the Control of Crime: A Quantitative Approach,” Law and Society Review 9, no. 4 (Summer 1975): 581–612. The two-thirds cut in the crime rate would be for a set of “serious” crimes. Reuel Shinnar had been working on this topic since the 1960s, but was rebuffed by the criminological establishment until the political environment changed. In fairness to the Shinnars, a study sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that while their study rests on simplified assumptions, it represents “the best approach to estimating the incapacitative effect to date.” Jacqueline Cohen, “The Incapacitative Effect of Imprisonment: A Critical Review of the Literature,” in Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates, eds. Alfred Blumstein, Jacqueline Cohen, and Daniel Nagin (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1978), 187–243.
49 Wilson, Thinking about Crime, 200–1.
50 James Q. Wilson, “How Crowded Prisons Throw Sentencing out of Whack,” Washington Star (November 21, 1976): F-1.
51 Box 3, Folder “James Q. Wilson,” Robert A. Goldwin Files. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
52 Pfaff, 74.
53 See Jerome G. Miller, Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 272.
54 Box 3, Folder “James Q. Wilson,” Robert A. Goldwin Files, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
55 Franklin E. Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, Incapacitation: Penal Confinement and the Restraint of Crime (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 18. Significantly, Zimring and Hawkins wrote in the mid-1990s that incapacitation “now serves as the principal justification for imprisonment in the American criminal justice system,” whereas it hadn’t before. Emphasis mine.
56 Kleiman, “Thinking about Punishment,” accessed online. Kleiman notes that he has come to realize that his calculation was flawed. It didn’t calculate the benefits of what was supposed to be a cost-benefit calculation.
57 Studies on the effect of prison on the decline of the crime rate vary widely in their estimates. “The best scholars,” according to Wilson, attribute 25–30 percent of the decline to imprisonment. Some scholars give it much less credit.
58 James Q. Wilson, “What Do We Get From Prison?,” The Volokh Conspiracy (blog), June 9, 2008.
59 Lee Wohlfert, “Criminologist Bob Martinson Offers a Crime-Stopper: Put a Cop on Each Ex-Con,” People, February 23, 1976; Patricia Masterman, “Abolish Parole Board, Expert Urges at Hearing,” Amarillo Globe‑Times, November 7, 1975, 1–2.
60 Robert Martinson to Irving Kristol, December 21, 1975, Folder 34, Box 22, Series: The Public Interest, Irving Kristol Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society.
61 Irving Kristol to Robert Martinson, January 13, 1976, Folder 34, Box 22, Series: The Public Interest, Irving Kristol Papers, Wisconsin Historical Society.
62 Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter, and Gabrielle Wolf, “Technological Incarceration and the End of the Prison Crisis,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 108, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 73–135.
63 Robert Martinson, “New Findings, New Views: A Note of Caution Regarding Sentencing Reform,” Hofstra Law Review 7, no. 2 (Winter 1979): 243–58.