Jerome Skolnick

Jerome H. Skolnick, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is co-director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University's School of Law.

Recent Articles

State of the Debate: Tough Guys

William Bennett, John DiIulio, and John Walters say it's time liberals faced the hard facts about crime. Maybe they should heed their own advice.

Works Discussed in This Essay William J. Bennett, John J. DiIulio, Jr., and John P. Walters, Body Count: Moral Poverty and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs. Simon and Schuster, 1996. John Hagan and Ruth D. Peterson, ed. Crime and Inequality. Stanford University Press, 1995. G iven the fame of its authors, its provocative title, and its contentious rhetoric, Body Count seems destined to be a best-seller, popular with the Republican right. The former drug czar and secretary of education William J. Bennett here joins with John J. DiIulio, Jr., a Princeton University political scientist, and John P. Walters, a former deputy to Bennett in the drug war, to warn Americans of an impending wave of violent crime and to urge an expanded war on drugs, tougher policing, longer sentences, more imprisonment, and—not to be forgotten—more religion. "America's beleaguered cities," the authors declare, "are about to be victimized by a paradigm shattering wave of ultraviolent, morally...

Gangs in the Post-Industrial Ghetto

Over the past decade, news reports and movies have made a broad public increasingly familiar with urban gangs' colors, hand signals, and rap refrains. But to most Americans, the gangs are anything but picturesque. They have emerged as a symbol of a fearsome and depressed urban America and of American economic and moral decline. Gang murders and drug-dealing seem to confirm many Americans' worst suspicions about the dangerous poor, including the idea that self-destructive behavior is now the main cause of poverty. Consequently, the social understanding of gangs is central to the larger debate today about what obligations, if any, Americans recognize toward the poor. Every major city of the United States has gangs, and everywhere they are feared. In many cities, the interconnected problems of gangs, drugs, and violence have touched off community marches and candlelight vigils, political discord, and anti-police sentiment. In Chicago, gang warfare is "out of control," says the president...