Controlling the Dangerous Classes: A Critical Introduction to the History of Criminal Justice / Edition 1

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This book covers the history of criminal justice from a critical perspective and explores the historical biases of the criminal justice system.

The overall theme of this book is that both the making of laws and the interpretation and application of these laws throughout the history of the criminal justice system has, historically, been class, gender, and racially biased. Moreover, one of the major functions of the criminal justice system has been to control those from the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, that is, the "dangerous classes." This theme is explored using a historical model, tracing the development of criminal law through the development of the police institution, the juvenile justice system, and the prison system.

For anyone interested in the history of criminal justice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205318896
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/19/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Quinney.


Introduction: The History of Criminal Justice from a Critical Perspective.

Perspectives on Criminal Law.

The “Dangerous Classes.”

Outline for the Book.

1.Perpetuating the Class System: The Development of Criminal Law.

The Development of Criminal Law.

Introduction: Nature and Function of Criminal Law.

Criminal Law in Ancient Times.

Criminal Law in Medieval Times.

Criminal Law as an Ideological System of “Legitimate” Control.

Emergence of the Concept of “Crime.”

Racism and the Law.

Controlling the Dangerous Classes: Drug Laws.

Whose Interest Does the Law Serve?

2.The Development of the Police Institution: Controlling the Dangerous Classes.

Early Police Systems.

The Emergence of the Police Institution in England.

The Development of the Police Institution in the United States.

The Rise and Growth of Private Policing.

The Growth of the Police Institution in the Twentieth Century.

Still Controlling the “Dangerous Classes”: the War on Gangs and the War on Drugs.

3.Processing the Dangerous Classes: The American Court System.


The Development of the Modern Court System: The Colonial System.

Elite Dominance of the Legal Profession in Colonial America.

Processing Criminal Cases: The Justice of the Peace in Colonial America.

Hunting Witches and Religious Dissidents: Colonial Court Processes.

After the Revolution: The Establishment of the Federal System and the SupremeCourt.

Post-Civil War Changes in the Court System.

The Jail: A Clear Case of “Rabble Management.”

The 1960s: The Warren Court and the Reaffirmation of the Right to Counsel.

Traditional versus Radical-Criminal Trial.

The Modern Era: The War on Drugs and African Americans.

The Ultimate Sanction for the Dangerous Classes: The Death Penalty.

4.Housing the Dangerous Classes: The Emergence of the Prison System.

Part I: Early Developments of Imprisonment, 1600-1900.

Early Capitalism and the Emergence of the Workhouse.

Late Eighteenth Century Reforms and the Birth of the Prison System.

The Development of the American Prison System.

The Rise of the Reformatory.

Convict Labor.

Convict Leasing.

Part II: Twentieth Century Developments in the American Prison System.

Inmate Self-Government.

Classification, Diagnosis, and Treatment: The New Prison Routine.

The “Big House.”

The Emergence of the Federal Prison System and the System of Corrections.

The System of Corrections.

The Modern Era, 1980 to the Present: Warehousing and The New American Apartheid.

The American Gulag.

Some Concluding Thoughts

5.Controlling the Young: The Emergence and Growth of the Juvenile Justice System.

Pre-Nineteenth-Century Developments.

The House of Refuge Movement.

Mid-Nineteenth-Century Reforms.

The Child-Saving Movement and the Juvenile System.

Conceptions of Delinquency: 1860-1920.

Twentieth-Century Developments in Juvenile Justice.

Still Controlling Minorities and the Poor: Current Juvenile Justice Practices.

Giving Up on Delinquent Youth: Transfer to Adult Court.

6.Perpetuating Patriarchy: Keeping Women in Their Place.

The Ultimate Punishment: A History of Women's Prisons.

The Emergence of Women's Reformatories.

The Role of Racism.

Controlling Women's Bodies and Sexuality.

Young Women and the Juvenile Justice System.

Women and Criminal Justice Today.

Sentencing Patterns, the War on Drugs, and Women.

Some Concluding Thoughts.

7.A Look Ahead in the New Millennium: The Crime Control Industry — Still Controlling the Dangerous Classes.

The Crime-Control Industry.

The Correctional-Industrial Complex: Cashing in on Crime.

Privatization of Prisons: More Profits for Private Industry.

Private Security: Crime Is Good for Business.

Other Components of the Crime-Control Industry.

The Social Context: Growing Inequality.

Where Do We Go from Here?


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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