Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice / Edition 1

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Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice addresses many of the American public's misconceptions about crime and criminal justice. Many of these inaccurate conclusions are based on myths, and each of this anthology's twenty-seven articles demystifies or debunks one of these current myths.

The book traces a logical progression through the criminal justice process: Part One addresses myths about crime; Part Two examines myths about law enforcement; Part Three investigates myths about the administration of justice; and Part Four analyzes myths about punishment and corrections. Each chapter opens with a brief introductory section, followed by a "Kernel of Truth" section, which identifies the often credible aspects of many myths. In a third section, "The Truth or Facts," the authors present persuasive evidence that illuminates these misconceptions. "Interests Served by the Myth" follows, providing an examination of how the interests of specific individuals or groups are strengthened by the creation and perpetuation of these myths. Finally, "Policy Implications of Belief in the Myth" highlights some of the practical and often undesirable consequences of these falsehoods.

Written in clear, accessible language, this text engages readers with straightforward analysis and cutting-edge research. Designed to stimulate critical thinking and classroom discussion, this anthology will provide students with a deeper understanding of crime and criminal justice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This volume presents reasonable arguments questioning conventional wisdom on provocative, topical issues in criminal justice. The approach offers students an opportunity to think and discern what they believe, and how these 'myths' reflect how they really know what they think they know."--Jeffrey P. Rush, University of Louisiana

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195330724
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Bohm is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida.

Jeffery T. Walker is Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     v
About the Editors     vi
About the Contributors     vii
Introduction   Robert M. Bohm   Jeffery T. Walker     xvii
Crime     1
The Myth That Crime and Criminality Can Be Measured   Hal Pepinsky     3
The Myth That Mental Illness Causes Crime   Jennifer L. Bullock   Bruce A. Arrigo     12
The Myth That White-Collar Crime Is Only About Financial Loss   David O. Friedrichs     20
The Myth of Race and Crime   Katheryn Russell-Brown     29
The Myth That Serial Murderers Are Disproportionately White Males   Joseph B. Kuhns III   Charisse T. M. Coston     37
The Myth of Drug Users as Violent Offenders   Henry H. Brownstein     45
The Myth of Drug Decriminalization   Barbara Sims   Michael Kenney     54
Demystifying Terrorism: "Crazy Islamic Terrorists Who Hate Us Because We're Free?"   Paul Leighton     63
Law Enforcement     71
The Myth That the Role of the Police Is to Fight Crime   David E. Barlow   Melissa Hickman Barlow     73
The Myth of a Monolithic Police Culture   Eugene A. Paoline III     81
The Myth of Policewomen on Patrol   Kim Lersch     89
The Myth of Racial Profiling   Michael Buerger     97
The Myth That Science Solves Crimes   Gary Cordner   Kathryn E. Scarborough     104
The Myth That COMPSTAT Reduces Crime and Transforms Police Organizations   James J. Willis   Stephen D. Mastrofski   David Weisburd     111
Administration of Justice     121
The Myth of Positive Differentiation in the Classification of Dangerous Offenders   Dennis R. Longmire   Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum   Scott Vollum     123
The Myth That the Exclusionary Rule Allows Many Criminals to Escape Justice   Richard Janikowski     132
The Myth That Harsh Punishments Reduce Juvenile Crime   Donna M. Bishop     140
The Myth That Public Attitudes Are Punitive   Russ Immarigeon     149
The Myth That the Death Penalty Is Administered Fairly   Brandon Applegate     158
The Myth of Closure and Capital Punishment   James R. Acker     167
Corrections     177
The Myth That Punishment Reduces Crime   Raymond Michalowski     179
The Myth That Imprisonment is the Most Severe Form of Punishment   Peter B. Wood     192
The Myth of Prisons As Country Clubs   Marilyn McShane   Frank P. Williams III   Beth Pelz     201
The Myth That Prisons Can Be Self-Supporting   Mary Parker     209
Correctional Privatization and the Myth of Inherent Efficiency   Curtis Blakely   John Ortiz Smykla     214
The Myth That the Focus of Community Corrections Is Rehabilitation   Mark Jones     221
The Myth That Correctional Rehabilitation Does Not Work   Francis T. Cullen   Paula Smith     227
Index     239
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