Corrections: A Critical Approach / Edition 2

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Overview

Welch's CORRECTIONS is the only text to take a critical approach to the field of corrections. This unique and refreshing text encourages students to think analytically about punishment. By establishing a greater social context,corrections is presented against the backdrop of social forces — namely,political economic,religious,and technological forces that affect the corrections system. Students gain an understanding of the corrections system through the authors critical and issues-oriented presentation of materials. The book consistently introduces clear,meaningful,and exciting examples illustrating various issues and concepts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'I would be hard-pressed to identify another corrections textbook that I would seriously consider adopting over this one. The updated material is welcomed. The strength of the book remains, however, its critical approach to corrections and the attention it gives to history, ideology, and the ways in which social forces influence punishment.' – Jeanne Flavin, Fordham University

'In Corrections: A Critical Approach, Michael Welch overcomes the limitations of traditional analyses of the correctional field through his unique use of what he calls a critical approach . . . All considered, the coverage throughout the book is broad ranging and well rounded. In short Welch's book on corrections is one of the best I have seen.' – Professor Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida. Quoted in Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

"Michael Welch in Corrections: A Critical Approach makes some very valuable contributions to our understanding of corrections. The work hopes to offer, and I believe it does so, a critical thinking exercise that draws attention to the comparative nature of corrections, work in the field of corrections, and cultural penology. The basic premise is that we cannot accept the correctional system on its face value because the system is too crowded, too violent, and too expensive to ignore, especially if there are alternatives that are equally effective."Dr Edward Sieh, Lasell College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072817232
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 7/29/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Welch is a Professor in the Criminal Justice program at Rutgers University, US. His research interests include punishment, human rights, and social control, and his articles have appeared in journals such as Punishment and Society, Social Justice and Critical Criminology. He has also authored numerous books, including Crimes of Power & States of Impunity: The U.S. Response to Terror (Rutgers University Press, 2009), Ironies of Imprisonment (Sage, 2005), and Punishment in America (Sage, 1999).

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Table of Contents

List of Boxes
Preface
1 Introducing a Critical Approach: Linking Corrections, Crime, and Social Problems 1
2 A Critical Approach to Crime 12
3 A Social History of Punishment and Corrections 32
4 A Social History of America's Correctional Experience 58
5 Traditional and Critical Perspectives on Corrections 82
6 The Social World of Imprisonment: Organizational and Subcultural Aspects of Corrections 123
7 Jails and Detention 166
8 Women in Corrections 198
9 Juveniles in Corrections 230
10 Minorities in Corrections 264
11 The Death Penalty 292
12 Institutional Violence and Riots 324
13 The Rights of Prisoners and Inmate Litigation 353
14 Community Corrections: Alternatives to Incarceration 383
15 Current Issues and Future Trends in Corrections 420
Case Index 455
Name Index 457
Subject Index 467
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    Very Interesting and Detailed

    I am a student at Rutgers University, and the book Corrections: A Critical Approach was very interesting. Professor Michael Welch gives a detailed description of the way the corrections has changed throughout the course of history. To many this may sound like a bunch of boring facts, however, I found the history of the corrections system very interesting. Professor Welch wrote this book in such a way that I was compelled to continue reading ahead of the assigned chapters. This book also made me aware of legal cases, which I would then look up to find out more information about them. I though all of the chapters are interesting and they make the reader think about their views issues. As a student of Professor Welch, I felt that the questions at the end of the chapter helped me to study for the midterm and final exams. I enjoyed reading this book and I felt that Professor Welch very clearly reflects his views, which are supported by facts, very clearly and in an interest manner. I think this book is very clearly written, and interesting. Reading this book I have learned a lot of information regarding Corrections, and the Criminal Justice System.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    WOW

    Michael Welch has once again outdone himself. The corrections book is truly an inspirational one, that empowers the reader to want to make a difference. This book takes a truly critical look at corrections and reveals the areas that usually remain unspoken of and even taboo in both the media and everyday conversation. This is a must read book for all. I feel those planning on furthering a career in the criminal justice system should be required to read this book, in particularly, those enterring law enforcement. This book is most helpful to those who read it with an open mind. Before reading the book many should be preparred to learn new aspects of the criminal justice system that they may not have expected and may not believe could be true. This book is helpful for future law enforcement officers. It shows the consequences when officers make quick and irrational dicisions. Atleast, one thing that could come about from reading this book is preventing future law enforcement officers from repeating history, atleast when it comes to the large mess ups. Also, if it causes more law enforcement officers to use more judgement, while carefully analyzing a situation critically before making a decision, then that could also be a major benefit. However, the greatest benefit of all could be if future law enforcement officers, together with politicians and the rest of the criminal justice system work more closely together to find the flaws in the system and weed them out. All working together, not only to make the community safer, but to make it a cleaner, more pleasant, and overall better place to live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    A materialist historical analysis of the development of corrections

    Professor Michael Welch in his book Corrections: A critical approach writes about the American correctional experience and through a historical analysis traces the gradual development of correction in accordance with social and economic circumstances. By subjecting the evolution of corrections to the analytical method of materialist history, Professor Michael Welch constructs a comprehensive model of punishment and corrections as it develops from the dawn of civilization to the American model of modern penology. Utilizing Welch¿s historical model the reader is able to acknowledge the determining factors¿originating from the earliest stages of society¿ that shape correction to this day; in several instances, for example, Welch draws a parallel between the spiritual significance of various forms of punishment practiced in the ancient age and similar methods of punishment which have remained in practice until fairly recently and in several cases are still a part of modern corrections; signifying the persistent influence of religious mythology upon modern correctional policy. For someone that is curious about the historical development and evolution of corrections I strongly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    A Deep Look into Corrections

    Talking about corrections within our criminal justice system is not always an easy thing to do. Still, I have always found myself asking, 'Why do we have such a hard time dealing with criminals within our criminal justice system?' As a student of Professor Welch I was quite impressed on the knowledge I had receieved from, 'Corrections: A Critical Approach.' It is not easy to find many authors who critique the corrections system who have such a desire for human rights and can get their message across in a way that can be easily understood. Professor Welch clearly presents the ways in which corrections has been successful and where it has failed. The book focuses on many aspects within corrections such as, jobs in prison, women, juveniles, and minorities within the corrections system, the rights of prisoners, death penalty, and trends that we may be faced with in the near future. Another interesting aspect of this book is the detailed account of how our corrections sytem has evolved from ancient practices and how it has chnaged over the years. After reading this book, I felt as if there needs to be more people reading about this subject and focusing on how some aspects of the corrections system simply do not work. If anyone is concerned with our nation's ongoing problem of corrections and the criminal justice system, this book will give some great ideas on how to change some things around to make sure we live in a safer place and the rights we have as humans are carried out with no exceptions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2005

    Fact-filled and Fascinating

    Dr. Michael Welch¿s 2nd edition of Corrections: A Critical Approach, is not your average criminal justice textbook. In 16 fact-filled, fascinating, and extremely well-written chapters, Dr. Welch manages to present the prison system in an unbiased format. The text manages to do this by constantly revolving around the fact that corrections is affected by political, economic, religious, and technological forces. Every chapter manages to revert back to one or more of these social forces, which keeps the reader engaged and on track. Dr. Welch opens with the social history of prisons, both in the United States as well as abroad. He also explores the life of women, minorities, and juveniles in prisons. It is interesting to note that the justice system does indeed favor certain groups over others. The book also delves into the deeper issues of prison riots, the death penalty, corrections as an industry, and future trends. Dr. Welch keeps the reader engrossed in the material by including tidbits on real world news events, true crime cases, as well as thought provoking events pertaining to the corrections system as a whole. The textbook makes it clear that the prison system has its good points and bad points. Moreover, it makes it easier to understand why the prison system has failed and continues to do so. After reading the text, one cannot help but argue that indeed, our corrections system is designed to fail. Corrections: A Critical Approach, is recommended to all, even those who may not agree with the book¿s viewpoints. It is a fascinating read that reveals the truths that most people are unaware of regarding the corrections industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2005

    Christina Dancu, a student, April 9, 2005

    The book, Corrections: A Critical Approach, contained a very detailed account of several aspects of punishment and corrections. The history of punishment is written very well, and other topics that are not usually discussed are critically examined. Some of these issues include women and minorities in corrections, the death penalty, alternatives to incarceration, and future trends in corrections. The problems facing the corrections system are questioned and explained, as to allow readers to think about the current policies that exist today. This book also describes how political, religious, and economic factors influence many parts of the corrections systems. It is great to also read about the differences between corrections in the United States and other countries because it shows how changes can be made to improve the United States system. Different perspectives, an analysis of current laws, and possible alternatives to the current system are all discussed in great detail. This book brought up major dilemmas and different ways of thinking about society and the world. I would definitely recommend this book to people who want to understand the many issues facing the corrections system and who want to see what little things can be changed to improve the United States system and society as a whole. Lastly, I am very glad that this is not a boring textbook at all, and the use of examples really helps to relate topics to the real world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    Excellent Book

    This textbook, Corrections, a Critical Approach by Dr. Michael Welch is very education and informative. I highly recommend this book for anyone new to the field of corrections or for that matter any veteran in the field. The breakdown of the book definitely teaches a lot about the corrections system in America from the beginning and history of prisons all the way to present day mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. It is indeed a critical approach. I personally enjoyed the chapters that discusses prison violence and women in prisons. I was intrigued to learn about the different nicknames that are given to prisoners by fellow prisoners and learn about the different kinds of weapons or ¿shanks¿ used in prisons. Other interesting topics included juveniles and minorities in prisons and capitol punishment. This book contains strong ideas supported by even stronger facts and examples. As an individual who has experience on all levels, federal, state and local prisons, his beliefs and experiences are all noted very well and laid out through each chapter. I definitely recommend anyone to take his classes at Rutgers and to read this book along with his other books, especially Ironies of Imprisonment

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2005

    YOU'VE READ THE REST, NOW READ THE BEST

    I said it after reading Ironies of Imprisonment, and I¿ll say it again¿Dr. Michael Welch never disappoints! Welch has done it again with his dynamic text, Corrections: A Critical Approach. He defies all typical rules of textbook structure, and offers a refreshing new look at the correctional systems functioning domestically, and worldwide. Corrections is written in a clear, easy-to-read format that is chock-full of information from empirical studies, as well as Welch¿s own insightful critiques on the evolution and current state of the correctional systems we use to deal with convicted criminals in our society. Thanks to its marriage between statistical information and cognitive thought-based presentation, the book will satisfy not only the average university student, but also the highest caliber of researcher in the field of Criminal Justice. Welch adds a much-needed twist to the conventional manner of analysis of the correctional system by using the first-ever critical approach for this particular type of material. The book consists of fifteen chapters that systematically outline the evolution of the penal and correctional systems from their roots in ancient civilizations (Rome, Greece, etc.), through the American Colonial and Jacksonian eras, all the way to present day correctional methods. Moreover, each chapter begins with an engaging real-life vignette and ends with summary questions that encourage readers of any background to think analytically about punishment and corrections. The material is presented against the backdrop of primary social forces that guide the metamorphosis of reform in penal methods and corrections, including political, economic, religious, and technological forces. In doing so, Dr. Welch establishes a greater social context, rather than making simple assertions that can be easily refuted by any minimal amount of research. His insight to the reasoning behind policy-making is combined with myth-dispelling facts to correct common misconceptions many readers have about the inner workings of correctional systems, and their results in the re-education/rehabilitation of convicted criminals. For example, as a student of Dr. Welch, I entered his class this semester with the common misconception that most of the inmates incarcerated in the United States are violent offenders. Welch immediately addressed this issue within the first several classes, noting from his book ¿the huge influx of prisoners is largely due to ambitious tough-on-crime initiatives, particularly the war on drugs that federalized a greater number of drug violations subject to mandatory sentences¿more than 60 percent of federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses¿. Equally surprising is that the majority of the rest of inmates are being held due to their inability to post bail¿these are mostly non-violent indigent defendants waiting to be adjudicated. Dr. Michael Welch has struck gold in his critical evaluation of our correctional systems domestically and worldwide, especially by uncovering the dirty secrets that policy-makers are so quick to brush under the carpet when it comes time for re-election. Finally, a book that establishes the truth!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Corrections Ed. 2

    This book really takes you inside the prison system. As a student I used this book in my class and I have learned so much from it. Starts off with a history section to give you an idea of where corrections even came from. Prisons today are a lot different then back in the day, and to learn about the harshness criminals were treated with was very shocking. The recommended reading section at the end of each chapter allows a reader to find another book that they would be interested, since it pertains to the subject matter. Having used this book for a class the summery at the end of the chapter really bring everything together really well. The book includes how women, minorities, juveniles are treated in prison. It also gives an inside look into the violence and prison riots that occur. This book looks at the topics of crime, prison, the war on drugs, the war on terror, capital punishment. Capital Punishment particularly interested me because there was a debate about the death penalty so you were able to see both sides of the issue. Over all a great book, and considering it is a text book, an easy read. I have learned a great deal from this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    Corrections: A Critical Approach

    The textbook Corrections: A Critical Approach, is a very well written text. Welch was very thorough in writing this book - it seems as if there is not one topic of major importance that he has overlooked. The author delves deep into a myraid of topics, including females and minorities in correctional facilities, as well as the history of punishment, dating back to the Enlightenment. By throughly examing corrections, starting with its roots in Europe, Welch is able to work through history and certain events to help readers grasp the changes the correction system has undergone throughout the years. He even examines the diffent schools of thought associated with penology, in an effort to help readers better understand some of the beliefs that are held regarding the system. Welch also discusses recent events to more help readers to better understand concepts that can sometimes seem archaic. By employing numerous techniques, Welch was able to write a textbook that was both informative and interesting. By drrawing upon his own first hand experience, Welch was able to pen a book that will surely serve as a major source of credible information for years to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2005

    A Terrific 2nd Edition of Corrections: A Critical Approach

    In maintaining a staunchly critical approach evident in his several books on prisons, the recent edition of Corrections unleashes a potent indictment of the American prison system. In this book spanning close to 500 pages, Welch addresses virtually every important subject concerning American prisons, most notably, the social world of inmates, women in corrections, minorities, and juveniles. His discussion on riots and the death penalty also benefits from a deep understanding of the legal rights of inmates and prisoner litigation. Although the book is vast in scope, it does not read like an encyclopedia, as do so many textbooks on the topic. Rather, Welch writes with such a steady narrative that the book flows seamlessly from one item to the next. This book is as interesting as it is informative. Bravo. --J.J. McVegas, Esquire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Very informative book!

    The corrections book, written by michael welch is an outstanding book. It shows a very well traveled individual and his many expierences in the corrections field. The material on the different types of corrections, forms of punishment, old style and new style is very good to the uninformed reader. It also is good about talking of the economic aspects of prisons, and how punishment sometimes can cause financial debt. for the U.S. gov't with the millions we spend on holding prisoners and building new facilities. It is a great book, with a lot of information and good analysis of new and old forms of corrections, definatley reccomended

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    GREAT TEXT

    This text, Corrections, A Critical Approach is highly recommended. It is not boring as most other textbooks that I have read. It starts off with introducing a critical approach, second, it goes into the social history of punishment, and then tells about the American correctional experience. It then goes on to introduce the traditional and critical perspectives on corrections which is where is starts to show the true differences in these two perspectives. It describes the social and working world of prison as well as prisoner. Also there are separate chapters on women prisoners and juveniles in corrections. It further presents information on minorities in corrections. As form of an alternative perspective it points out to community corrections as opposed to traditional incarceration. It depicts institutional violence and riots, jails and detention, and the death penalty, and it finally addresses corrections as an industry. It concludes with current issues facing correction and the future trends in correction. This book covers it all. Most interesting textbook I have read and it can be really appreciated as it gives both sides to each of the perspectives. Many stories told throughout book help give a clearer picture of the material presented as well. Great text!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2005

    A Blast of Knowledge

    Along with his Ironies and Imprisonment, Michael Welch takes you inside the corrections system like no other person can in Corrections:A Critical Approach. It is delightful to see someone trace the roots of evil and shed new light on a topic that concerns many in the criminal justice system. In Corrections:A Critical Approach, Michael Welch does a fantastic job from beginning to end talking about the history of the prison system to the many turmoils that we the public cannot see without his insight. I myself wasnt too big of a fan of the prison system and reading his book made me furthur understand the many internal and external struggles that accompany corrections. His book also details the many struggles of minorities, women, and juveniles. Michael Welch also puts some interesting insight on the death penalty and prison riots and violence. Overall a wonderful book full of knowledge that would make anyone more interested in the criminal justice system and the corrections institution. I particularly like the chapter on the death penalty because it provides some ideas I havent realized existed. Michael Welch has written a book for the ages that enhanced my knowledge and quenched my thirst of the criminal justice system and prisons. Reading this book will prepare you for a blast of knowledge no other book can satisfy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Critical Approach to Corrections

    The Correctional System is widely known, but hardly understood conceptually. Michael Welch has successfully written the perfect textbook for any college course related to Corrections and penology. Corrections: A Critical Approach, takes you from the very beginnings of punishment historically to where the corrections systems of today stand. Mr. Welch takes a critical, nontraditional approach to every chapter, analyzing in great detail the various topics found in the sixteen chapters: Women, Juveniles and Minorities in corrections, institutional violence, corrections as an industry, future trends in corrections, as well as other topics. Corrections: A Critical Approach is a perfect starting point for any student interested in the prison system, as it enables the reader to learn beyond the classical views on penology. The text is supplemented with statistical data, as well as personal accounts from correctional staff as well as prisoners. Its a must read for those wanting to stray from the classical view on the Prison system and an ideal textbook for any Criminal Justice course focused on the Prison system. Having been a student who used this text, I can attest to its significance in broadening the current view on the Correctional System in today¿s society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2005

    Great Insight into a Pretty Unknown Topic

    Welch's intelligence shines in this account of jails. He goes into just the right amount of detail in each section. He includes everything one would want to know about prison, including the history of prisons, women in prisons, and so much more. As Welch explains his ideas and findings there are also many examples throughout the text which help in the understanding of material. Welch does a great job at looking at many perspectives of criminal justice thinkers as they look at jails. This is a great text for anyone looking to learn a little or a lot about the corrections industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    The Truth About Corrections, So Put Down Your TV Remotes!

    Corrections: A Critical Approach cunningly describes the prison system and how it got to the point where it is today. It starts from the very beginning of American prison system where people were not even locked up as a form of punishment, they were greatly tortured. Today incarceration is inevitable once a person is found guilty of a crime, unless it is a white-collar crime. He statistically points out racial and ethnic disparities in prisons today and how majority of those incarcerated are African Americans and Latinos, or any type of low income minority. Most of those incarcerated are non-violent offenders, are these really the type of people one should be worried about walking the streets? Clearly, there are much bigger issues in the Criminal Justice System that people need to worry about, not petty drug offenders who must spend a good portion of their lives behind bars. Dr. Welch also links economy with prisons, for it plays a major role in the prison system. Many are given jobs or a chance to be productive only in prison, for in real life, they could not even attain a minimum wage job because of their lack of intelligence, lack of social skills, etc. When a person leaves prison and does his/her ¿time¿ it is hard to face the real world again. It is especially hard to find a job, and that is why most people commit crimes time and time again. We live in a dog-eat-dog world, society that leaves every person to depend on him/herself. If there are no opportunities once a person is free from prison, where will he or she turn to? Dr. Welch addresses all these imperative issues and much more. This book skillfully allows one to travel through time, from the beginning of the prison system and the influence of religion to the present time of social injustices, disparities, and inequalities of those in prison and those released from prison. For those who are greatly interested in Criminology, this is an excellent and insightful book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2005

    Highly informative

    In Corrections: A Critical Approach, 2nd Edition Michael Welch PhD. discusses the history of the criminal justice system, ranging from the early days of American settlement, where corporal punishment was considered acceptable, to today where it still is. Dr Welch is the only professor that I know that presents the material from a critical perspective. He sees problems with the system, and puts them all out on the table. This book does not just give the student a lesson to read, but beliefs that may well contradict those that they may have had from other courses. By presenting this material critically the reader is forced to question the processes that the American correction system functions under. Much like in his other works Dr Welch addresses multiple injustices within the justice system, ranging from women in prison, prisoner cruelty, violence, escalation, even the treatment of juveniles. Although this book is not as easy to read as some of Dr Welch¿s other books (Flag Burning: Moral Panic and the Criminalization of Protest, Ironies of Imprisonment) it is still highly informative in its critical nature of a severely warped and unjust systems of corrections. There is an immense amount of information presented, and it can at ties feel overwhelming to read at a fast pace, this book, as well as all work that is critical of a well established institution require ample time to read, so as the reader can weigh the information, and internalize it to truly appreciate the narrative that Dr Welch provides.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2005

    A Great Read for All

    Corrections: A Critical Approach is a text that addresses all the various means of correcting individuals in the criminal justice system. While this text takes a critical look at crime, criminals, and corrections itself, it is always sure to comment on various other approaches in order to compare or contrast how numerous groups of people would view the same situation, including conservative or liberal beliefs. Although this text focuses primarily on the imprisoned population in general, it also examines some of the distinct categories of people forming the prison population, such as racial minorities, juveniles, and women, and the various problems facing those particular groups. While some may read this text with no prior knowledge of the criminal justice system, Michael Welch incorporates a great deal of background information of the American penal system, beginning with the earliest forms of imprisonment and leading all the way into the most modern. I highly recommend this text as it examines corrections at such a depth as to break down all the intricacies of corrections to a basic level of comprehension so that even those with no prior background of the criminal justice system can completely understand what it truly encompasses. This text is a wonderful read for those that wish to examine corrections at length, and moreover, it enables the reader to understand that corrections is just one aspect of the penal system that is interdependent upon many other factors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2005

    Corrections

    Once you start the first chapter of this book, it isn¿t that hard to get into. Corrections provides a critical look into the system of punishment and its past, present, and future in America. It compares international correctional systems in other countries to the systems established in America and allows readers to see the contrasts and similarities. Its inclusion of women, minorities, and juveniles in corrections and prison workers provides for a well balanced approach. It¿s an easy read because it is interesting yet it is also very informative. Corrections is a must have for any person learning about the workings and ins and outs of the American correctional system.

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