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Convict Criminology / Edition 1

Convict Criminology / Edition 1

5.0 9
by Jeffrey Ian Ross, Stephen C. Richards

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ISBN-10: 0534574335

ISBN-13: 9780534574338

Pub. Date: 08/19/2002

Publisher: Cengage Learning

CONVICT CRIMINOLOGY is a collection of chapters written by criminologists, half of whom are ex-convicts. The book includes provocative discussions of rehabilitation, recidivism, drug addiction, life inside different prison systems, transincarceration, discrimination against felons, fathers in prison, and children in adult jails. The book merges autobiographical


CONVICT CRIMINOLOGY is a collection of chapters written by criminologists, half of whom are ex-convicts. The book includes provocative discussions of rehabilitation, recidivism, drug addiction, life inside different prison systems, transincarceration, discrimination against felons, fathers in prison, and children in adult jails. The book merges autobiographical stories with criminological research to introduce a convict perspective that includes new ideas, vocabulary, and policy recommendations. CONVICT CRIMINOLOGY is a comprehensive text that covers all major topics related to prison life, prisoner reentry to the community, and research on prisons, in an engaging, thought-provoking style.

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Cengage Learning
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New Edition
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Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Forward by John Irwin. Part One: WHAT'S WRONG WITH CORRECTIONS? 1. The Use of Science to Justify the Imprisonment Binge by James Austin. 2. (Mis)Representing Prisons: The Role of Our Cultural Industries by Jeffrey Ian Ross. 3. Why I Study Prisons: My Twenty Year Personal and Professional Odyssey and an Understanding of Southern Prisons by Marianne Fisher-Giorlando. Part Two: CONVICT EXPERIENCE AND IDENTITY. 4. Comments and Reflections on Forty Years in the American Criminal Justice System by Edward Tromanhauser. 5. From C-Block to Academia: You Can't Get There From Here by Charles M. Terry. 6. My Journey Through the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Stephen C. Richards. 7. Rehabilitation Criminals: It Ain't That Easy by Greg Newbold. 8. Who's Doing the Time Here, Me or My Children?: Addressing the Issues Implicated by Mounting Numbers of Fathers in Prison by Charles S. Lanier. 9. Excon: Managing a Spoiled Identity by Richard S. Jones. 10. Convict Criminology: The Two Legged Data Dilemma by Alan Mobley. Part Three: SPECIAL POPULATIONS. 11. Understanding Women in Prison by Barbara Owen. 12. Aspirin Ain't Gonna Help the Kind of Pain I'm In: Medical Care in the Federal Bureau of Prisons by Daniel S. Murphy. 13. Soar Like an Eagle, Dive Like a Loon: Human Diversity and Social Justice in the Native American Prison Experience by William G. Archambeault. 14. Convict Criminology and the Mentally Ill Offender: Prisoners of Confinement by Bruce A. Arrigo. 15. Convict and Teacher's Perspectives on Prison Higher Education by William S. Tregea. 16. Kids in Jail: I Mean You Ain't Really Learning Nothing (Productive) by Preston Elrod and Michael T. Brooks. Conclusion: An Invitation to the Criminology/Criminal Justice Community by Stephen C. Richards and Jeffrey Ian Ross.

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Convict Criminology 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Today, in the 21st century there are many variations of criminological 'schools of thought' which examine our society with a critical perspective and which inform us through research, theory, practice, and publication toward reducing and even eliminating crime within our society. Traditionally, criminology as a teaching subject was almost always located within the criminal justice departments of universities, with the emphasis of the subject matter being heavily biased toward policing, the courts, prisons and prison management, with very little if any at all subject matter directed at sociological, psychological, economic, cultural or political reasons or forces to explain crime, criminals, criminal behavior and victimization. Convict Criminology radically changes this equation and the results for victims, offenders, and communities. As convict criminologists they challenge the way crime and correctional problems are traditionally represented and discussed by researchers, policymakers, and politicians. Convict Criminology is an editorial of the morass of our criminal justice policies and practices, and a criminal justice system that is failing miserably. With prose provided by other criminologists, Ross and Richards have provided a platform that brings voices out of the dark, voices that are screaming for radical change in how we administer justice in this nation, and the rehabilitation deficiencies of such policies and practice. As a social scientist and criminologist, I have witnessed with enthusiasm the continued growth and acceptance of Convict Criminology as a platform for change. In pointing to the growth and acceptance of Convict Criminology, I am referring to both the book and to the conceptual nature, the theoretical character, of developing criminology from a convict¿s perspective. The notion that convicts or ex-convicts could bring to the criminology table a greater understanding of the policies and practices of our current criminal justice system and its administration is a component that endeavors to dispel the many inaccuracies portrayed in existing criminological literature. As people who have been incarcerated, they have always had a voice within the domain of criminology and the criminal justice system however, they have not always been heard or understood. The polemics generated by ideology have provoked an unwillingness to embrace voices that speak and seek alternative policies and practices for changing and redirecting our criminal justice efforts. There have been moments when a dialogue is attainable, where ideology merges, and opportunities are possible. Yet, they are invariably encapsulated in the form of the authenticity of 'what works' and 'what does not work' in the criminal justice arena. As convicts and ex-cons, they have consistently been confronted with ¿what qualifies you¿ to speak on such matters, and their experiential participation and understanding of the criminal justice system is seen as not being a legitimate perspective in developing and enhancing a body of knowledge and practice that is appreciative of the reasons for crime, criminals, criminal behavior and victimization, against the backdrop of what the ¿experts¿ portray in research and criminological prose. As a result of being classified as felons and ex-felons, they have been summarily dismissed by the status quo as being irrelevant to the process yet they are the object under observation and scrutiny for why they exist. The development of a criminological perspective which endeavors to engage and establish a body of research, knowledge, and practice that encompass the viewpoint and experience of those incarcerated and formerly incarcerated is a legitimizing platform, one that is necessary and well overdue. There is a deep appreciation for the opportunity 'convict criminology' offers to those seeking to orchestrate change in social policy that maintains our current state
Guest More than 1 year ago
As part of the Wadsworth Series on Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice, this edited volume attempts to go beyond the coverage of typical classroom texts. The contributors, many of whom are ex-convicts-turned academics, are critical of assumptions used to justify incarceration, their central difficulty being with the way prisons dehumanise. This volume critically examines the prison institution from the perspective of the `other.' Part 1, 'What's Wrong with Corrections,' sets the stage in three chapters. Austin argues that the current criminological research focus, much of which is misinterpreted, on predators, persisters or the truly dangerous, has resulted in the uncritical acceptance of incarceration as the solution. According to Ross, misrepresentations and stereotyping are the consequence of uncritically accepting of the media's take on corrections and reinforce existing crime-control practices, preventing discussions of alternative ways of doing crime control. Fisher-Giorlando reminds us that criminologists' successes, including her own, rests on the lives of men and women prisoners and that we owe it to them to devise and implement relevant policy. Part 2, in six chapters, sets out 'Convict Experience and Identity.' Tromanhauser and Terry discuss the current state of conventional criminological research. Using his own life as an example, Tromanhauser reminds us that there is no simple explanation of crime causation. Terry concurs with Tromanhauser, adding that most criminological research is dominated by factor analysis and multivariate correlations' having little relevance with people's real life situations. Richards and Newbold discuss the state of social support for convicts. While Richards points out that corrections workers, more often than not, fail to interact with convicts in any meaningful or relevant fashion, Newbold argues that recidivism rates are high because many have no outside social support and reincarceration often occurs for breech of parole conditions. Thus, Newbold adds, life inside becomes easier because people learn how to adjust to life in prison. Lanier and Jones deal with adjustment to life inside and outside the prison walls. While Lanier points out that the increasing number of fathers in prison has negative psychological impacts due to their having long-term consequences for their institutional adjustment, Jones argues that adjustment back into society is subject to inmates' interpretations of past events and their current problem-solving skills. How prisoners face these challenges, Jones points out, can tell us a lot about what might be done to help them. The final chapter in Part 2 (by Mobley) argues that a fiscally responsible penology may mean better prisons may look completely different from prisons as we know them now. But Mobley, as an ex-convict, points out that suggestions made by him and his fellow convict criminologists face resistance from both convict and academic communities because the suggestions come from ex-convicts. The final six chapters (Part 3), a somewhat eclectic collection, are about 'Special Populations'-women, the physically and mentally ill, American Indians and juveniles. wen argues that we need to understand women's experiences from their point of view, conceptualising their behaviour as expressions of oppressive social contexts both outside and inside prison walls. On the issue of caring for the physically ill, Murphy suggests that overshadowing health care with security concerns poses danger to the inmate population and ultimately the community-at-large in terms of fiscal and resource burn-out. Arrigo points out that mental health offenders are effectively silenced because they are the subjects of transcarceration between mental hospitals and prisons. Thus alternative (more positive) interpretations/labels of their behaviours are effectively negated. The legal label `Indian' has social implications in terms of access to both constitutional rights
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reviewer from Wisconsin. CONVICT CRIMINOLOGY IS AN EDITED BOOK THAT FEATURES SOME OF THE BEST KNOWN ACADEMIC SCHOLARS IN THE FIELD. I especially enjoyed the chapters written by the ex-convict professors. They are the real experts on crime and corrections. The reading is cutting edge, state-of-the art, a new paradigm in criminology. This book will blow the cob webs off the walls of the ivory tower. This is a new criminology!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before reading "Convict Criminology" by Drs. Ross and Richards, I thought all traditional criminologists who were criminal experts were helping the deviant world. However, the truth is these academic individuals do their researches in a safe and comfortable office. They simply want to promote their status in companies, academic field, or improve their working conditions in correctional institutions. As one of the authors in the book says these traditional criminologist are far removed from the real lives of people who live on streets or in prison. Only through the sincere and deep contact with prisons, convict criminologists can understand the real prison culture and how to improve the condition of correctional institutions and criminal justice system.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
After taking a class where this book was used as a paper background, I have grown to enjoy this subject in new light. It is a fun read and at the same time one of the most informitive books I have read for a Soc. class in college.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the United States there is a tendency to reduce human life to numbers, and base social policy on statistical analyses. The problem with this approach is that it can undermine important historical lessons, and, as Charles M. Terry points out, strength is gained by recollecting the past. Convict Criminology presents a strong historical lesson on our failure to understand the real-life situations of a large segment of our population¿the incarcerated. This failure may explain why we have grown comfortable with practice of demonizing and warehousing so many members of our society. Yet, as suggested in Convict Criminology there is probably less than six degrees of separation between those of us who have not been detected by the criminal justice system and warehoused for our deviant acts and those of us who have. Unlike most empathetic commentators on the state of corrections in the United States, the collective writings contained in Convict Criminology convey a commitment to bringing about needed change within our correctional system in the short run; and improvement within our society in the long run. The commitment to social change conveyed in the book may seem ironic, given the fact that most of the writers are ex-cons who have experienced the brutality of our attempts to ¿correct¿ deviant behavior. What these writers demonstrate, however, is that kindness, compassion, and validation are, in fact, our strongest weapons against crime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book provides insider views of what works and what needs work in the criminal justice system, written by people who have lived in or worked with prisons. Does the system work? When and why? It's all about people. The people who need their lives to change, and the people/system that can help that to happen. Police, attorneys, judges, guards, convicts and people who care about all of these people need to take a hard look, and figure out how to make the entire system work better, quit wasting money on ridiculous sentences, and care for the people wanting to change, and start over. Policy recommendations in the final chapter are a beginning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
JENNIFER K. RUARK From the August 2, 2002 issue of THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Criminology Professors Publish Guide to Surviving Behind Bars; Scholars Urge Reforms in Criminal-Justice Field Not just ordinary people, but also the purported experts: criminologists. The two professors are also the editors of Convict Criminology (Wadsworth, August), a collection of essays by scholars intent on changing the field. Half of the scholars -- both established professors and graduate students are ex-convicts. "Our work is grounded in real-life experience and observation," says Dr. Richards. "It marks a return to using empirical data as a foundation for writing theory." While criminologists have conducted research in prisons since the 1950s, such studies are few and far between. "I have a hard time choosing books for my courses because they're filled with fantasies," says Dr. Richards: They misrepresent or ignore prison conditions, parole, or the difficulties of re-entry into society, for example. "One of the problems with criminology now is that it has basically been serving the government masters," he says, "either overtly or covertly supporting the growth of the criminal-justice system." Most research is financed by government grants, and many scholars in the convict-criminology movement complain that it is nearly impossible to get published in the field's leading journals, like Criminology. The editor of that journal, Robert J. Bursik Jr., at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, could not be reached for comment. But Todd R. Clear, the editor of another leading journal, Criminology and Public Policy, and A professor at the City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, edits the Wadsworth series that includes Convict Criminology. He says the movement is "terrific for the field," and that he agrees with many of its critiques of the criminal-justice system. But he points out that his own research, which shows how imprisonment damages communities, was financed in part by a federal grant. Even if the flagship journals are more inclined to publish traditional-style research, he says, they don't dominate the field: Criminologists can make an impact on their field and succeed professionally by publishing elsewhere. That's not the point, the editors of Convict Criminology assert in their introduction. Their contributors "do not write for vitae lines, promotions, or tenure. They write so that one day the ghosts will sleep."