Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences

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Overview

This accessible book identifies and evaluates the major competing theories used to guide the goals, policies, and practices of the correctional system. The authors demonstrate that changes in theories can legitimize changing ways of treating and punishing offenders, and they help readers understand how changes in the social and political context of U.S. society impact correctional theory and policy. Designed to motivate readers to become sophisticated consumers of correctional information, the book emphasizes the importance of using evidence-based information to guide decisions, rather than relying on nonscientific commonsense or ideology-based beliefs.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Agnew
"This is far and away the best book on corrections that I have read. I believe it should be required reading for every criminology and criminal justice student. It considers each of the major correctional strategies in turn, discussing the underlying theories on which they are based and the social factors that have influenced their use. It then systematically reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of each strategy. Further, it does this all in a clear and engaging manner. Students will come away with a good idea of what works, what does not, and what’s promising; and they will be much better prepared to advocate for a correctional system that will effectively reduce crime – one rooted in “betterment and social welfare” rather than “pain and prisons.”"
Daniel P. Mears
"Cullen and Jonson provide an incisive and readable analysis of correctional policy that will enlighten and entertain students, scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. They demonstrate the importance of focusing on the critical question of why correctional systems exist and, at the same time, of understanding the contexts and theories that give rise to them. At once incisive and accessible, the book illuminates like no other the critical role of theory and research for achieving evidence-based corrections and, more than that, how to achieve this elusive goal. It is a must-read for anyone who wishes to glean lessons from the past and to understand how we can more cost-efficiently arrive at a correctional system that is more just and makes society a safer, better place."
Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law
"If you want to understand why theory matters to current correctional policy, you simply must read Cullen and Jonson’s brilliantly written and documented book Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences. They provide an often amusing and yet insightful discussion of the way in which the underlying theories have shaped and been shaped by the prevailing social and political context, and indeed prove that theories matter, context matters, and evidence matters. It is a hopeful and timely book, as the authors convince us that by understanding our history, we can use that history to guide us towards evidence-based policies that do less harm. I highly recommend this book to students, practitioners, and fans of correctional theory and public policy. Everyone will learn something from this wise and clever book. I did."
of Law - Adelbert H. Sweet
"If you want to understand why theory matters to current correctional policy, you simply must read Cullen and Jonson’s brilliantly written and documented book Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences. They provide an often amusing and yet insightful discussion of the way in which the underlying theories have shaped and been shaped by the prevailing social and political context, and indeed prove that theories matter, context matters, and evidence matters. It is a hopeful and timely book, as the authors convince us that by understanding our history, we can use that history to guide us towards evidence-based policies that do less harm. I highly recommend this book to students, practitioners, and fans of correctional theory and public policy. Everyone will learn something from this wise and clever book. I did. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412981804
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 186,465
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis T. Cullen is Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, where he also holds a joint appointment in sociology. He received a Ph.D. in sociology and education from Columbia University. Professor Cullen has published over 300 works in the areas of corrections, criminological theory, white-collar crime, public opinion, the measurement of sexual victimization, and the organization of criminological knowledge. His recent works include Challenging Criminological Theory: The Legacy of Ruth Rosner Kornhauser, Sisters in Crime Revisited: Bringing Gender into Criminology (in Honor of Freda Adler), The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory, The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future, Reaffirming Rehabilitation (30th Anniversary Edition), and Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences. Professor Cullen is a Past President of the American Society of Criminology and of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In 2010, he received the ASC Edwin H. Sutherland Award.

Cheryl Lero Jonson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Northern Kentucky University. She received a Ph.D. (2010) in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. She is the co-author of Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences; and The Origins of American Criminology. Her published work has appeared in Criminology and Public Policy; Crime and Justice: A Review of Research; and Victims and Offenders. Her current research interests include the impact of prison on recidivism, sources of inmate violence, the use of meta-analysis to organize criminological knowledge, early intervention and crime prevention, and work-family conflict among law enforcement officials.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. From Theory to Policy: Evidence-Based Corrections
2. Correctional Theory in Crisis: America's Changing Context
3. Just Deserts: Doing Justice or Getting Tough?
4. Deterrence: Scaring Offenders Straight
5. Incapacitation: Locking Up the Wicked
6. Restorative Justice: Reintegrative Shaming
7. Rehabilitation: What Works to Change Offenders
8. Early Intervention: Saving Children From a Life in Crime
9. Four Correctional Lessons: Choosing Our Future
References
Index
About the Authors

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