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Ronald Kramer and Raymond Michalowski

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The Iron Fist and the Velvet Tongue: Crime Control Policies in the Clinton Administration

Kramer and Michalowski examine Bill Clinton’s actions on the crime-control issue from the campaign of 1992 to the passage of the crime bill in 1994. What they find is that although President Clinton speaks, quite eloquently at times, about preventing crime by addressing its fundamental root causes, the actual legislation and policies his administration has supported are not significantly different from those of his conservative predecessors. The authors conclude that, in the short term, we are left with nothing more than Bill Clinton’s velvet tongue an occasional change in some of the political rhetoric about crime control. However, this change in rhetoric, they argue, may provide a space for progressives to reenter and challenge the current public discourse about crime control if used effectively.

Clinton administration, crime and politics, federal legislation, democratic party

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 22, No. 2 (1995): 87-100

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