Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990 / Edition 1

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Overview


It is a truism that the administration of criminal justice consists of a series of discretionary decisions by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials. Taming the System is a history of the forty-year effort to control the discretion. It examines the discretion problem from the initial "discovery" of the phenomenon by the American Bar Foundation in the 1950s through to the most recent evaluation research on reform measures. Of enormous value to scholars, reformers, and criminal justice professionals, this book approaches the discretion problem through a detailed examination of four decision points: policing, bail setting, plea bargaining, and sentencing. In a field which largely produces short-ranged "evaluation research," this study, in taking a wider approach, distinguishes between the role of administrative bodies (the police) and evaluates the longer-term trends and the successful reforms in criminal justice history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Displays a formidable command of the relevant literature....A concise and balanced overview of a critical dimension in the operation of the criminal justice system."--Choice

"[A] comprehensive, very well-organized, and informative account..."--Contemporary Sociology

"With such titles as Popular Justice: A History of American Criminal Justice (1980) and In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990), Samuel Walker secured his status as a major voice in criminal justice history. Taming the System buttresses his reputation by demonstrating once again his considerable strengths: mastery of the topic, clear and effective prose, well-crafted arguments, [and] sound conclusions."--The Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195078206
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 5.81 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Discretion and Its Discontents 3
2 Police Discretion 21
3 The Two Bail Reform Movements 54
4 The Plea-Bargaining Problem 81
5 Sentencing Reform 112
6 A System Tamed? An Interim Report on the Control of Discretion 145
Notes 157
Index 185
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