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Just Emotions: Rituals of Restorative JusticeJust Emotions: Rituals of Restorative Justice
Author: Meredith Rossner
Publisher: Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 208p.
Reviewer: Susan A. Bandes | September 2014

At the center of restorative justice procedures lies the victim-offender restorative justice conference, intended to encourage feelings of trust in the criminal justice system; reduce fear and anxiety in victims; elicit emotions like shame, empathy and remorse in offenders; and produce catharsis and healing. But how to measure the extent to which real-world restorative justice conferences are effective in achieving these goals? This question is addressed by Meredith Rossner in her new book, which our reviewer, Susan Bandes, found “clear-eyed” and “fascinating,” adding a “welcome layer of rigor and precision to the discussion” of the subject.

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Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a Twenty-First Century World Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a Twenty-First Century World
Editors: Randy K. Lippert and Kevin Walby
Publisher: Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2013. 282p.
Reviewer: Andrew Wooff | September 2014

Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a Twenty-First Century World, edited by Randy K. Lippert and Kevin Walby, looks at the so-called “pluralization” of policing, and at how the police and the public interact across different policing contexts in different countries.   Pluralization of policing refers to the expansion of the policing role to encompass not only traditional police and  police functions, but also “law enforcement, order maintenance and regulation carried out by a range of governmental, commercial and community bodies,” as indicated by reviewer Andrew Wooff.  Wooff says the global focus of this edited collection makes it a welcome addition to the field of study.

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Affect and Cognition in Criminal Decision MakingAffect and Cognition in Criminal Decision Making
Editors: Jean-Louis Van Gelder, Henk Elffers, Danielle Reynald and Daniel Nagin
Publisher: Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 264p.
Reviewer: Benoit Leclerc | September 2014

Offender decision making about offending -- not unlike offender decision making about noncriminal activities, and decision making by non-criminals -- involves emotions, moods and visceral factors.  The latter are affective states that influence decision making.  In Affect and Cognition in Criminal Decision Making, Jean-Louis Van Gelder, et al., aim, according to our reviewer, “to convince criminologists of the need to incorporate affective states into offender decision making research.” Reviewer Benoit Leclerc, himself a criminologist, concludes that “[p]ersonally, the editors (and contributors) convinced me of the critical importance of this field in criminology.” 

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Smarter Crime Control: A Guide to a Safer Future for Citizens, Communities, and PoliticiansSmarter Crime Control: A Guide to a Safer Future for Citizens, Communities, and Politicians
Author: Irvin Waller
Publisher: Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 300p.
Reviewer: Steven Block | September 2014

Criminologist Irwin Waller has devoted his professional career to studying and advocating for better ways to deal with crime.  In Smarter Crime Control: A Guide to a Safer Future for Citizens, Communities, and Politicians, Waller reviews and summarizes numerous ways to reduce crime and minimize costs.  This book is intended for a lay audience of politicians and policy makers, but especially for the general public at large.  Reviewer Steven Block refers to a clever analogy by which Waller compares approaches toward crime with the oil industry.  Waller questions the logic that would be associated with a policy that would dedicate most resources toward cleaning up oil spills, as opposed to trying to prevent them in the first place, which is what the industry actually does.  With crime, on the other hand, people accept that crime is inevitable and focus resources on reacting to it. “At that point,” observes Block, “the harm has already been done, victims are forever scarred, and options are limited.”  

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Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of InjusticeFlawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice
Author: Deborah Tuerkheimer
Publisher: Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 320p.
Reviewer: David A. Moran | September 2014

In the late twentieth century, doctors began testifying in criminal trials that babies with a specific brain damage profile must have been violently shaken by the last person they were with before the symptoms began, even though other evidence of abuse may have been lacking. The result of such testimony, we now know, was many wrongful prosecutions. In her new book, Deborah Tuerkheimer traces the rise and fall of the SBS hypothesis, focusing, says our reviewer David Moran, less "on the science" than on "a legal question: Why is the legal system so slow to recognize the injustice that has been done to those convicted based on the SBS?" The result, Moran says, is "a highly readable resource for anyone interested in the history of the SBS controversy and the current state of affairs."

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Organized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the MafiaOrganized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia
Author: Robert M. Lombardo
Publisher: Urbana, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 288p.
Reviewer: Frank E. Hagan | September 2014

Following in the tradition of the famous Chicago School of Sociology, Frank Hagan calls Robert Lombardo’s Organized Crime in Chicago an excellent application of organized crime theory and issues to the specific setting of Chicago.  It is, he says, “well-written, interesting, and scholarly, and a major contribution to the organized crime literature.” The book is also a good source for those interested in organized crime trivia.  In addition to reading about Al Capone and the “Outfit,” readers learn, for example, the derivation of such terms as “bootleg” booze, “rackets,” and “red light district.” 

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Human Trafficking in CambodiaHuman Trafficking in Cambodia
Author: Chenda Keo
Publisher: Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 240p.
Reviewer: Bernadette Barton | September 2014

Human Trafficking in Cambodia by Chenda Keo, is another in a series of books (including several that have been reviewed here) that have dealt with the problem of human trafficking.  Despite a myriad of differences, one thing these publications share is the view that this is a controversial topic, and Keo’s book is no different.  Having been Project Coordinator for the International Organization for Migration in Southeast Asia, Keo’s focus is on Cambodia, and on several themes – e.g., who are the traffickers, how they operate, how much profit they make, why they engage in trafficking activities.  In brief, the author finds that human trafficking in Cambodia is neither widespread, profitable, nor organized.  Our reviewer Bernadette Barton calls this book a “methodologically rigorous, theoretically-grounded, and well-argued empirical contribution to the literature on trafficking.”

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