Criminal Justice in America: A Critical View / Edition 1

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This text helps students understand controversial issues of racial and economic inequities found in the criminal justice system, offering an alternative interpretation of criminal justice that is rarely presented in traditional textbooks. After overviews of the criminal justice system and the problem of crime in society and a description of theoretical perspectives on criminal justice and law, chapters discuss American law enforcement, police functions and problems, the criminal courts, and sentencing, then look at the modern prison system, prison culture, women and juveniles in the system, and reform and social justice. Shelden is affiliated with the University of Nevada. Brown is affiliated with Western Oregon University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205374649
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 10/11/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

All chapters end with "Summary," "Key Terms," and "Notes."
1. Introduction: An Overview Of The Criminal Justice System.


The Constitutional Basis of the Criminal Justice System.

The Crime Control Industry.

Thumbnail Sketch of the Criminal Justice System.

What Does the Criminal Justice System Look Like? Two Models.

A Criminalization Model.

Social Inequality and the Class Structure Of American Society.
2. The Problem Of Crime In American Society.

The Meaning of Crime.

Classifications of Crime.

Measuring Crime.

The Extent of Crime.
3. Perspectives on Criminal Justice and Law.

The Classical School.

The Positivist School.

A Critical Perspective on Criminal Justice.

Perspectives on Criminal Law.

The Nature of Criminal Law.

Types of Law.

The Essential Elements of Crime.

Criminal Defenses.
4. Theories Of Crime.

Biological Theories.

Rational Choice Theory.

Psychological Theories.

Sociological Theories.

Cultural Deviance Theories.

Control Theory.

Social Learning Theory.

The Labeling Perspective.

Critical/Marxist Perspectives.
5. A Historical Overview Of American Policing.


Early Police Systems.

A Police Institution Emerges in England.

The Metropolitan Police of London: Modern Roots of Policing.

American Policing Emerges.

Early Leaders in Modern American Policing.

J. Edgar Hoover: Targeting "Subversives."

The Supreme Court and American Policing: Policing the Police.

Early Police State Era.
6. American Law Enforcement In The 21st Century.

Promoting Fear and Selling the Illusion of Protection.

American Policing: The Fifth Armed Force?

Jurisdictional Considerations.

American Law Enforcement: Structure, Composition, and Personnel.

Police Functions.

The Police Subculture.

Police Corruption.
7. Criminal Courts: The System And Participants.


A Brief History.

The Criminal Court System: An Overview.

The Participants in the Court System.
8. Criminal Courts: The Process.

Pretrial Court Processes.

Plea Bargaining: Maintaining Bureaucratic Efficiency.

The Criminal Trial.
9. Sentencing.


Justifications for Punishment.

The Sentencing Process.

Sentencing in Felony Cases.

Capital Punishment: Legalized Homicide.

Class and Racial Differences in Sentencing: The Impact Of The "War On Drugs."

Alternatives to Incarceration.
10. The Modern Prison System.

A Brief History of the American Prison System.

American Prisons in The 20th Century.

The Modern Era and into the 21st Century.
11. Doing Time In American Prisons.

The Prison World.

Prison Violence.

Prison Gangs.

Prisoners Rights.

Getting Out of Prison.
12. The Juvenile Justice System.

Youth Crime in America.

The Juvenile Justice System: An Overview.

Juvenile Laws.

The Juvenile Court: The Structure.

The Juvenile Court: The Process.

Juvenile Institutions.

Giving up on Delinquent Youth: Transfer to the Adult System.

Applying the Death Penalty to Juveniles.
13. Women And The Criminal Justice System.

Women and The Law.

Women and Crime.

Women in the Criminal Justice System.

Womens Prisons.

Young Women and The Juvenile Justice System.
14. Making Changes: Reforming Criminal Justice and Seeking Social Justice.

What Doesnt Work.

Addressing the Problem of Social Inequality.

Ending the War on Drugs.

Broad-Based National Strategies to Reduce Crime.

Restorative Justice.

Some Concluding Thoughts.

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