Local communities were still expected to police themselves.
Many people believed that crime as caused by idleness. The Puritan work ethic made it a crime to be without employment.
People believed incorrectly that all types of crime were increasing due to fears inflamed by the media, and this required more severe punishment.
In the later 1700s, some people began to ask if severe punishments actually reduced the amount of crime.
Juries were increasingly unwilling to find people guilty of crimes as they believed the punishment to be too harsh.