Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy (3rd Edition)

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9780130984111: Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy (3rd Edition)

This anthology of original primary source materials exposes readers to the major components of the American justice system This anthology features 28 articles divided into six parts that cover law enforcement, courts, corrections, juvenile justice, public policy, as well as an overview of the criminal justice system. For anyone interested in a collection of current articles that cover the major areas of the criminal justice system.

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From the Back Cover:

The third edition of Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy presents current articles covering the major areas of the criminal justice system and current issues related to the creation of public policy. It continues to combine theoretical perspectives and discussions of the sometimes incongruent practices of the criminal justice system.

New features and additions to this edition include:

  • An update of many of the articles, topics, and additional articles
  • African-American males in the criminal justice system
  • Adversarial justice and related issues
  • Treatment needs of women in prison
  • The social construction of crime myths
  • Restorative justice and offender rehabilitation
  • Updated questions for discussion and application
  • A revised test bank with multiple choice and essay questions

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Our goals in creating this third edition of Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy began with continuity in mind. First and foremost, we wanted to preserve the previous core anthology that contained superior primary source materials covering the major components of the justice system in America. We feel there is no substitute for reading in an area rather than reading about an area of study. The standard textbook approaches that dominate undergraduate classes in criminal justice are in dramatic transition. The need for new ideas and approaches dealing with crime has never been greater. It will take great effort by millions of people to change the current justice system toward a more effective and efficient whole. To begin to achieve these changes, all persons interested in solutions to the nation's social problems, especially crime, must continually strive to do and be just a little better. We believe this process begins with professors and students expanding the envelope of possibilities rather than perpetuating the status quo. This collection of readings represents change toward the margins of possibility rather than the center of stagnation.

A second goal was to create pedagogical materials that integrate the information found in each reading with discussion and application exercises found at the end of each reading. These materials are designed to help students learn information through review, discussion, and application. The inclusion of these materials can be used as assignments or to facilitate debate and are especially useful for professors and students in these regards. Due to the inclusion of these pedagogical materials, the anthology can be used as a primary text or as a supplement. Students should consider these pedagogical materials as devices that help them integrate information found in the readings and in improving their performance on examinations.

Our last major goal was to produce a well-integrated anthology with articles divided into parts such as law enforcement, courts, corrections, juvenile justice, and policy. This traditional division adds continuity, congruence, and flow to the anthology and makes it easier to use for both students and professors. Additionally, this organization makes the anthology easily adaptable as a supplement or primary text. The combination of organization and pedagogical materials is unique to this work and enhances the impact of the work in the classroom.

This edition of Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy consists of 28 articles organized into six parts. At the end of each article, you will find a series of questions for discussion and application that facilitate understanding and debate over issues in criminal justice. These materials are especially good at helping you understand each reading in relation to criminal justice issues and concerns. There are minor changes to this new edition that we believe help streamline the anthology into a more balanced whole. We have deleted several articles and added others that are more relevant to current debates in criminal justice.

Our first section, "Criminal Justice in America," presents five articles that contribute to a foundation or overview of criminal justice and some of the more controversial issues in the field. These readings capture not only the major organization of criminal justice but the newer ideas concerning direction and emphasis of our agencies of justice. It is with these readings that you come to understand the sheer magnitude and complexities of the criminal justice system in America.

In Part Two, "Law Enforcement," we delve into the challenges, issues, and personal struggles of policing agencies and personnel. Beginning with a brief history of police in America, we go on to present readings conveying police stress, personality, policing in the community, and the future of law enforcement. Policing agencies will continue to elevate the requirements for personnel in order to have a better educated, better trained workforce and a more professional organization. Without a doubt, computer and other technologies will revolutionize all aspects of law enforcement as we enter the new century.

Part Three, "The Courts," includes five articles that deal with various aspects of the judiciary system in the United States. Aspects such as the effectiveness of the courts to the priority prosecution of recidivists are presented here. Judicial structure and procedural mechanisms are extremely important to understand if we plan to improve the workings of the courts. The court systems, both federal and state, are often confusing and difficult to understand. The articles presented relieve some of this confusion and difficulty.

We have included five articles in Part Four that deal with "Corrections." Perhaps no subject is so hotly debated as how to deal with offenders after conviction. Our goal has been to present articles that cover a wide range of issues and ideas as well as the general structure and workings of correctional institutions and agencies. With correctional populations at the highest levels in history, we must clearly understand our goals and objectives in relation to corrective processes. Rational-choice and econometric arguments are becoming more popular in relation to correctional budgets, policy, and outcomes.

The system of "Juvenile justice" is the focus of Part Five that includes four articles geared to cover various aspects of this rather unique system. The structure, organization, and intent of juvenile justice are quite different from the larger adult system but still highly interrelated. What happens in this system often influences entire lives and the larger society. Especially important to understand are the changes in family structure and function, youth culture, changes in education, and socioeconomic status.

In our final section, "Current Issues and Policy," we present ideas and positions directed at public policy concerns about crime and criminal justice. The structuring, implementation, and effectiveness of crime-related policy must be understood since most citizens are affected by these policies in one way or another. Solutions to the myriad of social problems, of which crime is only one, come only after understanding the multitude of processes that produced our current system.

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