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Crime and the Deterrence of Crime (1978)

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism is deeply concerned with the increasing rate of crime and its threat to the physical, economic and psychological security of residents in all sections of our nation. We are mindful that often, in fear, those legitimately concerned about rising criminality will respond to it by urging circumvention of guarantees of due process or other curtailment of civil liberties. Judaism teaches us that every individual is ultimately accountable for his own actions, although we recognize that social and economic inequities contribute to crime and violence.

We therefore recommend:

  1. Support of enforcement of the existing laws to the fullest extent;
  2. The reform of the criminal justice system, on all levels (federal, state and local), to correct abuses, especially regarding pre-trial and trial procedures, with particular attention to the status of juvenile offenders;
  3. The assurance of civil rights to both the perpetrators and the victims of criminal acts;
  4. Penal reform, vital to cure the high rate of recidivism of criminals (with special attention to the convicted juvenile offender);
  5. Support of measures that will ameliorate the social and economic ills which breed crime.