Pyrrhic Defeat Model

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In The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, Jeffery Reiman argues that the best way to understand our policies toward crime is through the Pyrrhic Defeat model. Basically, it explains the failure of policies within the criminal justice system to reduce crime. According to Reiman, the criminal justice system does not eliminate all crime. It deals with a smaller portion in order to keep it from completely getting out of control. Crime is not drastically reduced, and it is never eliminated, therefore it is always present in society. Moreover, the whole system develops a stigma against the poor, who are trapped by it, while the rich go on living their lives unaffected.
Reiman supports the Pyrrhic Defeat Theory by arguing that by not eliminating the poverty that causes people to commit crimes, society is actually failing to protect people from crime. This is most likely valid given the fact that most of prison population is poor. If society wants to eliminate …show more content…

The first is that criminal law does not define crime properly because it does not include the most dangerous antisocial behavior that takes place (Reiman, p. 67). The second is that police and prosecutors do not make charge and arrest decisions based on criteria that will help them get the most dangerous criminals (Reiman, p. 67). The third is that criminal convictions are also not necessarily the ones that are most dangerous (Reiman, p. 67). The fourth is that the decisions that sentencing judges make are not made with the intentions of protecting society from the most dangerous criminals, nor do they reflect proper punishment according to the crime and the harm done by it (Reiman, p. 67). The fifth is that the first four hypotheses validate that criminal acts are indirectly identified with the poor (Reiman, p.

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