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Punishment in America: A Reference Handbook

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More About This Textbook


From Puritan ducking stools to boot camps and supermax prisons, Punishment in America investigates the evolution of punishment in the United States. Intriguing inquiries into penitentiaries, parole, capital punishment, and other sanctions reveal how the rationales behind them—retribution, rehabilitation, and deterrence—reflect changes in society, culture, and values.

Reaching beyond the typical focus on prisons and incarceration to extralegal lynchings and vigilante operations and the treatment of the poor and the mentally challenged, this remarkable review also explores the impact of stricter laws on pedophiles and drug offenders and the effect of three-strikes legislation and truth in sentencing. This thought-provoking work will help readers understand the conflicting roles that punishment has played in delivering justice and promoting rehabilitation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
ABC-CLIO has released three new titles in its "Contemporary World Issues" reference series. First published in 1999, Hate Crimes, by librarian and LJ reviewer Altschiller (Mugar Memorial Lib., Boston Univ.), is an authoritative source on the history and nature of these crimes. It includes an introductory essay, narrative chapters, chronologies, lists of resources, and surveys. Also provided is an updated chronology of major incidents in the United States from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement to the present. A new chapter, on hate crimes worldwide, has been added as well as a review of 9/11-related incidents. There are alphabetically arranged sketches of human rights activists and organizations; current official statistics on hate crimes; a directory of organizations that monitor hate crimes and extremist and violent hate groups and try to foster interethnic and interreligious harmony; and two highly informative chapters on print and nonprint resources for further study. In this concise review of cult controversies since the early 1970s, first published as Cults in America in 1998, Lewis (religious studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) offers 40 percent new material, mainly regarding alternative religions and violence. It includes the Jonestown murder/suicides in 1978, the Solar Temple slayings in 1995, and the Falun Gong cultists in China. Among the topics covered are a chronology of groups and movements; court decisions, legislation and governmental actions; worldwide statistics and data on cults; biographical sketches of some of the core figures involved; and a list of academic organizations and web sites dedicated to cults and the corresponding issues. In Punishment in America, Banks (criminal justice, Northern Arizona Univ.) provides essential facts, analyses, and expert opinions on the critical issues related to crime and punishment. Chapter topics include an introductory history of punishment in America; the problems and controversies (e.g., the "war on drugs") and solutions (e.g., boot camps); a worldwide comparison of crime and punishment; a chronological review of important events in the history of punishment (thus reflecting the ebb and flow of societal movements); biographical sketches of leading proponents of punishment (e.g., Cesare Beccaria and Alexis de Tocqueville); useful statistical information about punishment in America and elsewhere; a list of agencies and organizations related to punishment and penal reform; and print and nonprint resources relevant to penal issues. Bottom Line All three reference books are a bargain at these prices and are also available in eBook format [Hate Crimes, eBook ISBN 1-851098-629-9; Cults, eBook ISBN 1-85109-623-X; Punishment in America, eBook ISBN 1-85109-681-7]. Hate Crimes is a particularly outstanding reference book. Recommended for all libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851096763
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/2005
  • Series: Contemporary World Issues Series
  • Pages: 319
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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