Listed below are books received for review over the last two months. Entries include publishing information as well as a description of the book. Unless otherwise stated, the book description is taken from the publisher’s website or the book jacket. Selected titles from this list will be chosen for a full review in forthcoming issues of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. Previous books received are available from the links below.
|Adultery: Infidelity and the Law, by Deborah L. Rhode. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. 260p.
“At a time when legal and social prohibitions on sexual relationships are declining, Americans are still nearly unanimous in their condemnation of adultery. Over 90 percent disapprove of cheating on a spouse. In her comprehensive account of the legal and social consequences of infidelity, Deborah Rhode explores why. She exposes the harms that criminalizing adultery inflicts, and she makes a compelling case for repealing adultery laws and prohibitions on polygamy.
In the twenty-two states where adultery is technically illegal although widely practiced, it can lead to civil lawsuits, job termination, and loss of child custody. It is routinely used to threaten and tarnish public officials and undermine military careers. And running through the history of anti-adultery legislation is a double standard that has repeatedly punished women more severely than men. An “unwritten law” allowing a man to avoid conviction for killing his wife’s lover remained common well into the twentieth century. Murder under these circumstances was considered an act of understandable passion.
Adultery has been called the most creative of sins, and novelists and popular media have lavished attention on sexual infidelity. As a focus of serious study, however, adultery has received short shrift. Rhode combines a comprehensive account of the legal and social consequences of adultery with a forceful argument for halting the state’s policing of fidelity.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil, by Christen A. Smith. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016. 261p.
“The paradoxes of an Edenic playground sustained by, and dependent on, black pain and suffering
Tourists exult in Bahia, Brazil, as a tropical paradise infused with the black population’s one-of-a-kind vitality. But the alluring images of smiling black faces and dancing black bodies masks an ugly reality of anti-black authoritarian violence.
Christen A. Smith argues that the dialectic of glorified representations of black bodies and subsequent state repression reinforces Brazil’s racially hierarchal society. Interpreting the violence as both institutional and performative, Smith follows a grassroots movement and social protest theater troupe in their campaigns against racial violence. As Smith reveals, economies of black pain and suffering form the backdrop for the staged, scripted, and choreographed afro-paradise that dazzles visitors. The work of grassroots organizers exposes this relationship, exploding illusions and asking unwelcome questions about the impact of state violence performed against the still-marginalized mass of Afro-Brazilians.
Based on years of field work, Afro-Paradise is a passionate account of a long-overlooked struggle for life and dignity in contemporary Brazil.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Bernard Madoff and His Accomplices: Anatomy of a Con, by Lionel S. Lewis. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016. 399p.
In December 2008, Bernard L. Madoff was arrested for perpetrating a protracted Ponzi scheme of inconceivably huge proportions that defrauded clients of his securities company of nearly $20 billion—and was consequently sentenced to 150 years in jail. How did Madoff pull this off for years, even returning some or all of clients’ money when they asked, while in actuality was financing the lavish lifestyles of himself, his family, and his accomplices with the stolen funds? And why didn’t anyone in the highly regulated investment industry catch on sooner?
Bernard Madoff and His Accomplices: Anatomy of a Con examines Bernard L. Madoff’s unprecedented confidence game (con game), drawing back the curtain on what actually went on at his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, and exposing the day-to-day activities of his accomplices that enabled the elaborate con to succeed for as long as it did. Through the examination of court testimony and other court documents, the mechanics of the con game become clear, elucidating how Madoff’s friends and employees hustled money from investors; the methods by which false records, monthly statements to investors, and other documents were manufactured and mass-produced; and how a multitude of felonies and the highest levels of fraud became everyday practices.
|Cities, Business, and the Politics of Urban Violence in Latin America, by Eduardo Moncada. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. 248p.
”This book analyzes and explains the ways in which major developing world cities respond to the challenge of urban violence. The study shows how the political projects that cities launch to confront urban violence are shaped by the interaction between urban political economies and patterns of armed territorial control. It introduces business as a pivotal actor in the politics of urban violence, and argues that how business is organized within cities and its linkages to local governments impacts whether or not business supports or subverts state efforts to stem and prevent urban violence. A focus on city mayors finds that the degree to which politicians rely upon clientelism to secure and maintain power influences whether they favor responses to violence that perpetuate or weaken local political exclusion. The book builds a new typology of patterns of armed territorial control within cities, and shows that each poses unique challenges and opportunities for confronting urban violence. The study develops sub-national comparative analyses of puzzling variation in the institutional outcomes of the politics of urban violence across Colombia’s three principal cities—Medellin, Cali, and Bogota—and over time within each. The book’s main findings contribute to research on violence, crime, citizen security, urban development, and comparative political economy. The analysis demonstrates that the politics of urban violence is a powerful new lens on the broader question of who governs in major developing world cities.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Competition for Prisons: Public or Private? By Julian Le Vay. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2015. 232p. (Distributed in the US by the University of Chicago Press).
“A quarter of a century has passed since the Thatcher government launched one of its most controversial reforms: privately run prisons. This book offers an assessment of the successes and failures of that initiative, comparing public and private prisons, analyzing the possible and claimed benefits of competition, and looking closely at how well the government has managed the unusual quasi-market that the privatization push created. Drawing on first-person interviews with key players and his own experience working in prison finance, Julian Le Vay presents the most valuable look yet at the results of prison privatization for government, citizens, and prisoners.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Convicting the Innocent: Death Row and America’s Broken System of Justice, by Stanley Cohen. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2016. 206p.
“Every day, innocent men across America are thrown into prison, betrayed by a faulty justice system, and robbed of their lives—either by decades-long sentences or the death penalty itself. Injustice tarnishes our legal process from start to finish. From the racial discrimination and violence used by backwards law enforcement officers, to a prison culture that breeds inmate conflict, there is opportunity for error at every turn.
Award-winning journalist Stanley Cohen chronicles over one hundred of these cases, from the 1973 case of the first ever death row exoneree, David Keaton, to multiple cases as of 2015 that resulted from the corrupt practices of NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella (with nearly seventy Brooklyn cases under review for wrongful conviction). In the wake of these unjust convictions, grassroots organizations, families, and pro bono lawyers have battled this rampant wrongdoing. Cohen reveals how eyewitness error, jailhouse snitch testimony, racism, junk science, prosecutorial misconduct, and incompetent counsel have populated America’s prisons with the innocent.
Readers embark on journeys with men who were arrested, convicted, sentenced to life in prison or death, dragged through the appeals system, and finally set free based on their actual innocence. Although these stories end with vindication, there are those that have ended with unjustified execution. Convicting the Innocent is sure to fuel controversy over a justice system that has delivered the ultimate punishment nearly one thousand times since 1976, though it cannot guarantee accurate convictions.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Corruption and Criminal Justice: Bridging Economic and Legal Perspectives, by Tina Soreide. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2016. 288p.
“The author addresses the role of criminal justice in anti-corruption by investigating assumptions in the classic law and economics approach and debating the underlying criteria for an efficient criminal justice system. Drawing on real life challenges from the policy world, the book combines insights from the literature with updated knowledge about practical law enforcement constraints. Political and administrative incentive problems, which may hinder the implementation of efficient solutions, are presented and debated.” From Publisher’s Website.
The Crime of All Crimes: Toward a Criminology of Genocide, by Nicole Rafter. New York: New York University Press, 2016. 320p.
“Cambodia. Rwanda. Armenia. Nazi Germany. History remembers these places as the sites of unspeakable crimes against humanity, and indisputably, of genocide. Yet, throughout the twentieth century, the world has seen many instances of violence committed by states against certain groups within their borders—from the colonial ethnic cleansing the Germans committed against the Herero tribe in Africa, to the Katyn Forest Massacre, in which the Soviets shot over 20,000 Poles, to anti-communist mass murders in 1960s Indonesia. Are mass crimes against humanity like these still genocide? And how can an understanding of crime and criminals shed new light on how genocide—the “crime of all crimes”—transpires?
In The Crime of All Crimes, criminologist Nicole Rafter takes an innovative approach to the study of genocide by comparing eight diverse genocides–large-scale and small; well-known and obscure—through the lens of criminal behavior. Rafter explores different models of genocidal activity, reflecting on the popular use of the Holocaust as a model for genocide and ways in which other genocides conform to different patterns. For instance, Rafter questions the assumption that only ethnic groups are targeted for genocidal “cleansing,” and she also urges that actions such as genocidal rape be considered alongside traditional instances of genocidal violence. Further, by examining the causes of genocide on different levels, Rafter is able to construct profiles of typical victims and perpetrators and discuss means of preventing genocide, in addition to delving into the social psychology of genocidal behavior and the ways in which genocides are brought to an end. A sweeping and innovative investigation into the most tragic of events in the modern world, The Crime of All Crimes will fundamentally change how we think about genocide in the present day. “ From Publisher’s Website.
|The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform: Governing Loose Women, by Greggor Mattson. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 247p.
“The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform traces case studies of four European Union countries to reveal the way anxieties over globalization translates into policies to recognize sex workers in some countries, punish prostitutes’ clients in others, and protect victims of human trafficking in them all.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime, by Elicka Peterson Sparks. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2016. 320p.
“In this trenchant examination of Christianity’s dark side, a criminologist argues persuasively that high rates of violent crime in the United States can be correlated with Christian conservative attitudes, especially in regard to social mores and politics. Of particular concern is “Christian nationalism.” Supporters of this movement argue that America was founded as a Christian nation and they work to install their fundamentalist brand of Christianity as the dominant factor in American political and social life. Far from being a fanatic outlier sect, this group is shown to have significant cultural influence, especially in the American South. Not coincidentally, the author suggests, the South also has the highest homicide rates.
Noting the violent biblical passages often cited by religious conservatives, their sense of righteousness, their dogmatic mindset that tolerates no dissent, and their support for harshly punitive measures toward “sinners,” Peterson Sparks shows that their worldview is the ideal seedbed for violence. Not only does this mindset make violent reactions in interpersonal conflicts more likely, the author says, but it exacerbates the problems of the criminal justice system by advocating policies that create high incarceration rates. The author also devotes particular attention to the victimization of women, children, and LGBT people, which follows from this rigid belief system.
While not resorting to a blanket condemnation of Christianity or religion as a whole, Peterson Sparks issues a wake-up call regarding conservative Christianity’s toxic mixture of fundamentalism, authoritarian politics, patriotism, and retributory justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education, by Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog. Princeton, NJ; Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press, 2016. 192p.
The violent actions of a few extremists can alter the course of history, yet there persists a yawning gap between the potential impact of these individuals and what we understand about them. In Engineers of Jihad, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog uncover two unexpected facts, which they imaginatively leverage to narrow that gap: they find that a disproportionate share of Islamist radicals come from an engineering background, and that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent.
Searching for an explanation, they tackle four general questions about extremism: Under which socioeconomic conditions do people join extremist groups? Does the profile of extremists reflect how they self-select into extremism or how groups recruit them? Does ideology matter in sorting who joins which group? Lastly, is there a mindset susceptible to certain types of extremism?
Using rigorous methods and several new datasets, they explain the link between educational discipline and type of radicalism by looking at two key factors: the social mobility (or lack thereof) for engineers in the Muslim world, and a particular mindset seeking order and hierarchy that is found more frequently among engineers. Engineers’ presence in some extremist groups and not others, the authors argue, is a proxy for individual traits that may account for the much larger question of selective recruitment to radical activism.
Opening up markedly new perspectives on the motivations of political violence, Engineers of Jihad yields unexpected answers about the nature and emergence of extremism.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Evidence for Criminal Justice, by Cliff Roberson and Robert Winters. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 332p.
“Evidence for Criminal Justice is a textbook for instructors who desire a comprehensive text for their evidence courses. It can serve as the core text for a one-semester undergraduate class in evidence, providing a clear and readable account of the law of evidence while acknowledging the importance of arguments about the fundamental facts, principles, and rules. The text explains the Federal Rules, selected state variations, major cases, essential doctrines, and important underlying policies. Frequent practical examples are used from courtroom practice to bring the subject matter to life and provide the context in which evidence problems arise, point out the issues involved, and familiarize students with the language of the courtroom. In addition to serving as a student textbook, this book is also a one-stop refresher for professionals in the field, covering evidentiary concepts for law enforcement and other public safety personnel who need an introduction to the rules of evidence.
The text contains eleven chapters, with each chapter covering one group of evidence issues. While the chapters are arranged to be covered in sequential order, the instructor may vary the order of presentation. Evidence for Criminal Justice is designed so that students can understand the material without the instructor needing to take up valuable class time by explaining what the authors mean. Supplementary materials include a test bank, PowerPoint slides, and an instructor’s manual.” From Publisher’s Website.
|An Expressive Theory of Punishment, by Bill Wringe. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 188p.
”This book argues that punishment’s function is to communicate a message about an offenders’ wrongdoing to society at large. It discusses both ‘paradigmatic’ cases of punishment, where a state punishes its own citizens, and non-paradigmatic cases such as the punishment of corporations and the punishment of war criminals by international tribunals.” From Publisher’s Website.
|From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, by Elizabeth Hinton. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. 449p.
“In the United States today, one in every thirty-one adults is under some form of penal control, including one in eleven African American men. How did the “land of the free” become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Challenging the belief that America’s prison problem originated with the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs, Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: the social welfare programs of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era.
Johnson’s War on Poverty policies sought to foster equality and economic opportunity. But these initiatives were also rooted in widely shared assumptions about African Americans’ role in urban disorder, which prompted Johnson to call for a simultaneous War on Crime. The 1965 Law Enforcement Assistance Act empowered the national government to take a direct role in militarizing local police. Federal anticrime funding soon incentivized social service providers to ally with police departments, courts, and prisons. Under Richard Nixon and his successors, welfare programs fell by the wayside while investment in policing and punishment expanded. Anticipating future crime, policymakers urged states to build new prisons and introduced law enforcement measures into urban schools and public housing, turning neighborhoods into targets of police surveillance.
By the 1980s, crime control and incarceration dominated national responses to poverty and inequality. The initiatives of that decade were less a sharp departure than the full realization of the punitive transformation of urban policy implemented by Republicans and Democrats alike since the 1960s.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Governing the Police: Experience in Six Democracies, by David H. Bayley and Philip C. Stenning. New Brunswick, NJ; London: Transaction Publishers, 2016. 216p.
“Every modern democracy in our increasingly complex world must confront a fundamental problem: how should politicians manage police, ensuring that they act in the public interest while avoiding the temptation to utilize them in a partisan manner? Drawing on first-hand experiences from six democracies, the authors describe how frequently disagreements arise between politicians and police commanders, what issues are involved, and how they are resolved.
Governing the Police is organized into three parts: the intellectual and governmental context of democratic governance; the experience of chief officers in that relationship; and the reflections on lessons learned. Instead of describing practices within each individual country, it compares them across countries, developing generalizations about practices, explanations for differences, and assessments of success in managing the police/political relationship.
Focusing mainly on the daily, informal interactions between politicians and police as they balance their respective duties, this book compares the experiences and opinions of chief police officers in Australia, Britain, Canada, India, New Zealand, and the United States. By examining the experiences of important officials, the authors explain how the balance between accountability and independence can be managed and what challenges leaders face. The authors conclude by posing well-informed recommendations for improving police governance.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Homicide, Gender and Responsibility: An International Perspective, edited by Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Sandra Walklate. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 184p.
“The crime of homicide has long animated academic debate, community concern and political attention. The discussion has often centered on the perceived (in)adequacy of legal responses to homicide, questions of culpability, and divergent representations of victims and offenders. Within this, notions of gender, responsibility and justice are pivotal. This edited collection builds on existing scholarship by examining these concerns not only in the context of the ‘private’ world of domestic murder but also in the more ‘public’ world of the state, the corporation, war, and genocide. In so doing this book draws from key frameworks of criminological thought, legal analysis and empirical evidence to critically examine the relationship between homicide, gender and responsibility.
Bringing together leading international criminology and legal scholars, this collection provides a unique contribution to the academic and policy engagement with what is, more often than not, an ordinary and mundane crime. Analysing the crime in a variety of different social contexts alongside an in-depth and critical analysis of the interconnections between the ordinary act of lethal violence, gender and notions of responsibility, this book will be of interest to students, scholars and policymakers working in criminology and socio-legal studies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Intersection Between Intimate Partner Abuse, Technology, and Cybercrime, Edited by Jordana N. Navarro, Shelly Clevenger, and Catherine D. Marcum. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 246p.
“Research studies continue to show that intimate partner abuse is a global social problem with severe consequences. However, while studies have advanced the understanding of what constitutes abuse (e.g., emotional abuse, financial abuse, etc.), there remains a dearth of information on how technology is utilized by perpetrators. The sparse information that is available indicates that technology has indeed become a tool by which abusers exert power and control over survivors. As a result, some have suggested the idea of “feeling safe” from perpetrators has eroded for survivors of intimate partner abuse. Thus, the purpose of this book is to present the current state of knowledge on the intersection between intimate partner abuse, technology, and cybercrime through the contributions of experts in criminology, psychology, and sociology.
In order to present this research, the book begins with an overview of the current state of knowledge on intimate partner abuse. In addition, a chapter is devoted to how the Internet has changed the manner by which relationships (positive and negative) are formed. Then, in the next set of chapters, specific types of cybercrime that intersect with intimate partner abuse (e.g., cyberharassment, cyberstalking, etc.) are discussed in great detail by experts in the field. Along with the aforementioned chapters, a section of the text also focuses on characteristics of the online predator specifically. Finally, chapters discussing policing initiatives and legislative reactions are also included. “ From Publisher’s Website.
|Islam and the Infidels: The Politics of Jihad, Da’Wah, and Hijrah, by David Bukay. New Brunswick, NJ; London: Transaction Publishing, 2016. 311p.
”This book discusses Islam, its relationship with the world, and how Muslims perceive the world and their role within it. Using Islamic scriptures and the works of important Muslim clerics, the author explores the Islamic notion that Muslims represent the best of humanity, and as such, have the duty and the right to propagate their faith throughout the world by any means, including violence.
Islam and the Infidels warns of the dangers Muslim immigration poses to free societies. Using a diplomacy of deceit, Islamists immigrate to Western societies. Having done so, they establish closed ethnic communities that are estranged from their host countries, and are breeding grounds for native-born malcontents who may attack and destroy Western nations from within. The author is especially critical of Western apologists who not only pretend that Islam is not inherently aggressive and dangerous, but also denigrate those who point out the threat to liberal values posed by fundamentalist Islamic ideology.
Bukay argues that to meet the Islamic threat, the West must understand Islam’s true nature, and the best way of doing so is by analyzing its scriptures and history. Bukay argues that Western societies should embrace the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is the root of their cultural heritage. In light of the mounting Muslim threat to liberalism in Western societies, citizens should resist oppressive Islamic practices and doctrines rather than accept them.”
|The Jury in America: Triumph and Decline, by Dennis Hale. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2016. 478p.
“The jury trial is one of the formative elements of American government, vitally important even when Americans were still colonial subjects of Great Britain. When the founding generation enshrined the jury in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they were not inventing something new, but protecting something old: one of the traditional and essential rights of all free men. Judgment by an “impartial jury” would henceforth put citizen panels at the very heart of the American legal order. And yet at the dawn of the 21st century, juries resolve just two percent of the nation’s legal cases and critics warn that the jury is “vanishing” from both the criminal and civil courts. The jury’s critics point to sensational jury trials like those in the O. J. Simpson and Menendez cases, and conclude that the disappearance of the jury is no great loss. The jury’s defenders, from journeyman trial lawyers to members of the Supreme Court, take a different view, warning that the disappearance of the jury trial would be a profound loss.
In The Jury in America, a work that deftly combines legal history, political analysis, and storytelling, Dennis Hale takes us to the very heart of this debate to show us what the American jury system was, what it has become, and what the changes in the jury system tell us about our common political and civic life. Because the jury is so old, continuously present in the life of the American republic, it can act as a mirror, reflecting the changes going on around it. And yet because the jury is embedded in the Constitution, it has held on to its original shape more stubbornly than almost any other element in the American regime. Looking back to juries at the time of America’s founding, and forward to the fraught and diminished juries of our day, Hale traces a transformation in our understanding of ideas about sedition, race relations, negligence, expertise, the responsibilities of citizenship, and what it means to be a citizen who is “good and true” and therefore suited to the difficult tasks of judgment.
Criminal and civil trials and the jury decisions that result from them involve the most fundamental questions of right, and so go to the core of what makes the nation what it is. In this light, in conclusion, Hale considers four controversial modern trials for what they can tell us about what a jury is, and about the fate of republican government in America today.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Justice and Penal Reform: Re-shaping the Penal Landscape, ed. by Stephen Farrall, et al. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 220p.
”In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, Western societies entered a climate of austerity which has limited the penal expansion experienced in the US, UK and elsewhere over recent decades. These altered conditions have led to introspection and new thinking on punishment even among those on the political right who were previously champions of the punitive turn. This volume brings together a group of international leading scholars with a shared interest in using this opportunity to encourage new avenues of reform in the penal sphere.
Justice is a famously contested concept and this book takes a deliberately capacious approach to the question of how justice can be mobilised to inform new reform agendas. Some of the contributors revisit an antique question in penal theory and reconsider the question of what fair or just punishment should look like today. Others seek to make gender central to understanding of crime and punishment, or actively reflect on the part that related concepts such as human rights, legitimacy and trust can and should play in thinking about the creation of more just crime control arrangements.
Faced with the expansive penal developments of recent decades, much research and commentary about crime control has been gloom-laden and dystopian. By contrast, this volume seeks to contribute to a more constructive sensibility in the social analysis of penality: one that is worldly, hopeful and actively engaged in thinking about how to create more just penal arrangements.
Justice and Penal Reform is a key resource for academics and as a supplementary text for students undertaking courses on punishment, penology, prisons, criminal justice and public policy. This book approaches penal reform from an international perspective and offers a fresh and diverse approach within an established field.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Language of Asylum: Refugees and Discourse, by Steve Kirkwood et al. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 216p.
“The early part of the 21st century has been marked by widespread social upheaval and geographical displacement of people. This book examines how refugees, asylum-seekers, locals and professional refugee workers make sense of asylum and refuge in the context of current UK asylum policies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Legalizing Marijuana: A Shift in Policies Across America, edited by Nancy E. Marion & Joshua B. Hill. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 274p.
“The debate over the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana is raging across the United States. Some states have opted to legalize or decriminalize the drug despite federal laws that ban its manufacture, distribution, and possession. Legalizing Marijuana is a collection of articles that examines different aspects of marijuana legalization in the US, an area that is constantly changing and evolving. Each article is written by an expert in the field, chosen from both academics and practitioners, who provide a distinct perspective on the legalization debate.
The first group of articles provides readers with a background of drug policy in the US and other nations. The second group of articles focuses on the state-wide political campaigns and media coverage associated with the push to change laws. The third group of articles examines the response of the criminal justice system to legalized marijuana. This includes articles on law enforcement agencies, court responses, and the effects of the new policies on corrections systems. Finally, some policy perspectives are provided on the impact of marijuana legalization on college campuses and businesses in those states that allow it. The articles are thought provoking and informative, and can serve as a basis for debate and discussion on many aspects of marijuana legalization.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Making Things Stick: Surveillance Technologies and Mexico’s War on Crime, by Keith Guzik. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 254p.
“With Mexico’s War on Crime as the backdrop, Making Things Stick offers an innovative analysis of how surveillance technologies impact governance in the global society. More than just tools to monitor ordinary people, surveillance technologies are imagined by government officials as a way to reform the national state by focusing on the material things—cellular phones, automobiles, human bodies—that can enable crime. In describing the challenges that the Mexican government has encountered in implementing this novel approach to social control, Keith Guzik presents surveillance technologies as a sign of state weakness rather than strength and as an opportunity for civic engagement rather than retreat.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities, by Jaclyn Schildkraut and H. Jaymi Elsass. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016. 239p.
“This book provides readers and researchers with a critical examination of mass shootings as told by the media, offering research-based, factual answers to oft-asked questions and investigating common myths about these tragic events.
When a mass shooting happens, the news media is flooded with headlines and breaking information about the shooters, victims, and acts themselves. What is notably absent in the news reporting are any concrete details that serve to inform news consumers how prevalent these mass shootings really are (or are not, when considering crime statistics as a whole), what legitimate causes for concern are, and how likely an individual is to be involved in such an incident. Instead, these events often are used as catalysts for conversations about larger issues such as gun control and mental health care reform.
What critical points are we missing when the media focuses on only what “people want to hear”? This book explores the media attention to mass shootings and helps readers understand the problem of mass shootings and public gun violence from its inception to its existence in contemporary society. It discusses how the issue is defined, its history, and its prevalence in both the United States and other countries, and provides an exploration of the responses to these events and strategies for the prevention of future violence.
The book focuses on the myths purported about these unfortunate events, their victims, and their perpetrators through typical U.S. media coverage as well as evidence-based facts to contradict such narratives. The book’s authors pay primary attention to contemporary shootings in the United States but also discuss early events dating back to the 1700s and those occurring internationally. The accessible writing enables readers of varying grade levels, including laypersons, to gain a more in-depth—and accurate—understanding of the context of mass shootings in the United States. As a result, readers will be better able to contribute to meaningful discussions related to mass shooting events and the resulting responses and policies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Men, Masculinities and Violence: An Ethnographic Study, by Anthony Ellis. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 166p.
“Why do some men use physical violence against others? How do some men come to value physical violence as a resource? Drawing on in-depth ethnographic research conducted with men involved in serious violence and crime over a period of two years in the North of England, Anthony Ellis addresses these questions and the complex relationship between these men and their use of physical violence against others.
Using detailed life-history interviews and extended periods of observation with these men, Men, Masculinities and Violence describes their ‘inner’ subjective lives and experiences, exploring how they came to value violence, why they are willing to use it against others and risk serious harm to themselves in the process. Over the course of the book a picture emerges of a group of men that have experienced and perpetrated serious violence throughout their lives. This book advances a critical psychosocial understanding of such violence by situating these masculine biographies within their immediate contexts of de-industrialisation, fracturing working class community and culture, and broader shifts within the political economy of liberal capitalism.
With its synthesis of rich ethnographic material and new developments in criminological theory, this book is essential reading for students and academics interested in issues of gender and violence.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mental Health, Crime and Criminal Justice: Responses and Reforms, edited by Jane Winstone. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 301p.
“It has long been known that the pathway through the criminal justice system for those with mental health needs is fraught with difficulty. This interdisciplinary collection explores key issues in mental health, crime and criminal justice, including: offenders’ rights; intervention designs; desistance; health-informed approaches to offending and the medical needs of offenders; psychological jurisprudence, and; collaborative and multi-agency practice.
This volume draws on the knowledge of professionals and academics working in this field internationally, as well as the experience of service users. It offers a solution-focused response to these issues, and promotes both equality and quality of experience for service users. It will be essential reading for practitioners, scholars and students with an interest in forensic mental health and criminal justice.“ From Publisher’s Website.
|The Money and Politics of Criminal Justice Policy, by O. Hayden Griffin, III, Vanessa H. Woodward & John J. Sloan, III. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 304p.
“The criminal justice system is framed predominantly by notions of justice, as well as the creation of policies that will most effectively prevent and/or punish crime. The pedagogy of criminal justice often overlooks the expenditures that are necessary to enact these policies or how people actually benefit from the creation of these policies. While there is certainly a relationship between fiscal concerns and criminal justice policy, this relationship is oftentimes mediated by a political process that is dictated by stereotypical views of crime, as well as outright mythology concerning the nature of criminality. Thus, the purpose of this book is to address these issues, by concentrating on the different sectors of the criminal justice system and what effect money and politics have on these sectors. The topics covered in the textbook include determining the costs of crime, the fear of crime and crime myths, how theory affects paradigms of criminal justice regarding money and politics, federalism and the criminal justice system, interests groups that affect criminal justice policy, policing, corrections, and courts. In the concluding chapter, we pose the question of what should the relationship be between criminal justice policy, politics, and money.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Parental Incarceration: Personal Accounts and Developmental Impact, edited by Denise Johnston and Megan Sullivan. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 177p.
“Parental Incarceration makes available personal stories by adults who have had the childhood experience of parental incarceration. These stories help readers better understand the complex circumstances that influence these children’s health and development, as well as their high risk for intergenerational crime and incarceration. Denise Johnston examines her own children’s experience of her incarceration within the context of what the research and her 30 years of practice with prisoners and their children has taught her, arguing that it is imperative to attempt to understand parental incarceration within a developmental framework. Megan Sullivan, a scholar in the Humanities, examines the effects of her father’s incarceration on her family, and underscores the importance of the reentry process for families.
The number of arrested, jailed, and imprisoned persons in the United States has increased since 1960, most dramatically between 1985 and 2000. As the majority of these incarcerated persons are parents, the number of minor children with an incarcerated parent has increased alongside, peaking at an estimated 2.9 million in 2006. The impact of the experience of parental incarceration has garnered attention by researchers, but to date attention has been focused on the period when parents are actually in jail or prison. This work goes beyond that to examine the developmental impact of children’s experiences that extend long beyond that timeframe. A valuable resource for students in corrections, human services, social work, counseling, and related courses, as well as practitioners, program/agency administrators, policymakers, advocates, and others involved with families of the incarcerated, this book is testimony that the consequences of mass incarceration reach far beyond just the offender.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping, by Lucy Maddox. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2016. 256p.
“In 1851, Elizabeth Parker, a free black child in Chester County, Pennsylvania, was bound and gagged, snatched from a local farm, and hurried off to a Baltimore slave pen. Two weeks later, her teenage sister, Rachel, was abducted from another Chester County farm. Because slave catchers could take fugitive slaves and free blacks across state lines to be sold, the border country of Pennsylvania/Maryland had become a dangerous place for most black people.
In The Parker Sisters, Lucy Maddox gives an eloquent, urgent account of the tragic kidnapping of these young women. Using archival news and courtroom reports, Maddox tells the larger story of the disastrous effect of the Fugitive Slave Act on the small farming communities of Chester County and the significant, widening consequences for the state and the nation.
The Parker Sisters is also a story about families whose lives and fates were deeply embedded in both the daily rounds of their community and the madness and violence consuming all of antebellum America. Maddox’s account of this horrific and startling crime reveals the strength and vulnerability of the Parker sisters and the African American population.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Peer Pressure, Peer Prevention: The Role of Friends in Crime and Conformity, by Barbara J. Costello and Trina L. Hope. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 121p.
“Criminological research has largely neglected the possibility that positive peer influence is a potentially powerful source of social control. Quantitative methods tease out cause, effect, and spuriousness in the relationship between peer delinquency and personal delinquency, but these methods do little or nothing to reveal how and why peers might influence each other toward–or away from–deviance.
Costello and Hope take a first step toward uncovering the mechanisms of peer influence, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data collected from two convenience samples of university students. Their quantitative analyses showed that positive peer influence occurs most frequently among those who associate with the most deviant peers and self-report the most deviance, contrary to predictions drawn from social learning theories. Their qualitative data revealed a variety of methods of negative influence, including encouraging deviant behavior for others’ amusement, a motive for peer influence never before reported in the literature.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Power of the Prosecutor: Gatekeepers of the Criminal Justice System, by Joan E. Jacoby and Edward C. Ratledge. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016. 227p.
Prosecutors have a powerful and generally little-understood role in the criminal justice system. Their important powers include accepting or rejecting cases, making decisions about dismissing charges, or moving cases to disposition and recommending a sentence–all of which can critically affect not only individuals but society through their ability to shape our criminal justice system. “The Power of the Prosecutor: Gatekeepers of the Criminal Justice System” explores the real-world actions and outcomes of local prosecutors through five well-known cases, documenting the variety of pressures prosecutors face both within and outside their offices as they attempt to make the best decisions about crimes and defendants.
Written by individuals who have actively engaged prosecutors in practically every U.S. state over 30 years’ time, the book examines actual case profiles that enable readers to witness how prosecutors reach their behind-the-scenes decisions and grasp how the criminal justice system operates. The authors explain the variations in prosecution, including the effects of policies and priorities, action choices available, and the types of both internal and external relationships with other participants in the system: the police, the courts, the defense counsel, and the community they represent. Readers will come away with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complexities and pressures faced by prosecutors in upholding justice under a wide variety of conditions.
|Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections Work in Theory and Practice, by Kathryn Morgan. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 302p.
“Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections Work in Theory and Practice is a comprehensive examination of probation, parole, and other correctional practices that are alternatives to incarceration. The textbook covers important topics related to community corrections, including an overview of correctional programs used as alternatives to incarceration (probation, parole, home confinement, and electronic monitoring); the history and development of community correctional practices; current controversies; and legal issues affecting probation, parole, and community correctional practices. Critical thinking questions in each chapter along with case studies and case scenarios reflect the book’s balanced approach to examining community corrections. The emphasis on developing problem solving, report writing, and critical thinking skills makes this book an excellent choice for students who desire to enter the field. Students completing a course using this book will have not only an understanding of the dynamic forces of community corrections but also the skill competence that prepares them for entry-level positions in community corrections agencies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers: Adolescent Development, Discrimination and Consent Law, by Jennifer Ann Drobac. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 352p.
“When we consider the concept of sexual abuse and harassment, our minds tend to jump either towards adults caught in unhealthy relationships or criminals who take advantage of children. But the millions of maturing teenagers who also deal with sexual harassment can fall between the cracks.
When it comes to sexual relationships, adolescents pose a particular problem. Few teenagers possess all of the emotional and intellectual tools needed to navigate these threats, including the all too real advances made by supervisors, teachers, and mentors. In Sexual Exploitation of Teenagers, Jennifer Drobac explores the shockingly common problem of maturing adolescents who are harassed and exploited by adults in their lives. Reviewing the neuroscience and psychosocial evidence of adolescent development, she explains why teens are so vulnerable to adult harassers. Even today, in an age of increasing public awareness, criminal and civil law regarding the sexual abuse of minors remains tragically inept and irregular from state to state. Drobac uses six recent cases of teens suffering sexual harassment to illuminate the flaws and contradictions of this system, skillfully showing how our current laws fail to protect youths, and offering an array of imaginative legal reforms that could achieve increased justice for adolescent victims of sexual coercion.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Smuggling: Seven Centuries of Contraband, by Simon Harvey. London: Reaktion Books, 2016. 333p.
“A cellar door creaking open in the middle of the night, or a hand slipping quickly into a trench coat – the most compelling transactions are surely those we never see. Smuggling can conjure images of adventure and rebellion in popular culture, but as this fascinating book shows, it has also had a profound effect on the geopolitics of the world. Shining a light onto seven centuries of dark history, it illuminates a world of intrigue and fortune, hinged on furtive desires and those who have been willing to fulfil them.
World-changing contraband has ranged from silk, spices and silver in the Age of Exploration to gold, opium, tea and rubber in times of empire, as well as drugs, people and blood diamonds today. Guns and art have always been smuggled, as have the most dangerous of all contraband – ideas. Central to this story are the (not always) legitimate forces of the Dutch and British East India Companies, the luminaries of the Spanish Empire, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Nazis, Soviet trophy brigades and the CIA, all of whom, at one point or another, have made smuggling part of their business. In addition, Simon Harvey traces out the smaller-time smugglers, the micro-economies of everyday goods, precious objects and people, drawing these stories together into a map of a subterranean world criss-crossed by smugglers’ paths.
All told, this is the story of an unrelenting drive of markets to subvert the law, and of the invisible seams that have sewn the globe together.” From Publisher’s Website.
|State Crime and Immorality: The Corrupting Influence of the Powerful, by Mark Monaghan and Simon Prideaux. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. (Distributed in the US by the University of Chicago Press).
“This is the first book to examine the activities of UK and international ‘role models’ through the lens of state crime and social policy. Written by experts in the field of sociology and social policy, it defines the ideal state as a single, functioning whole that ensures uniformity in the name of legitimacy. It then details the ways that states do not constitute the ideal in terms of the dangers associated with the maintenance of legitimacy and state power. Anti-democratic measures, such as the invasions of other nation states, the idea that the media can both reinforce and influence the state and the problems of over-zealous policing of a state’s own populace, are covered.
Using the topical example of Rupert Murdoch and the activities of his media organisation to show how powerful individuals and corporations can and do exert political influence, the book provides a comprehensive discussion of state immorality and deviance generally and state crime in particular. It will appeal to range of academics and practitioners in broader disciplines such as criminology, sociology, politics and political science.”
|The Subject of Prostitution: Sex Work, Law and Social Theory, by Jane Scoular. London; New York: Routledge, 2015. 189p.
“Subject of Prostitution offers a distinctive analysis of the links between prostitution and social theory in order to advance a critical analysis of the relationship of law to sex work.
Using the lens of social theory to disrupt fixed meanings the book provides an advanced analytical framework through which to understand the complexity and contingencies of sex work in late modernity. The book analyses contemporary citizenship discourse and the law’s ability to meet the competing demands of empowerment by sex workers and protection by radical feminists who view prostitution as the epitome of patriarchal sexual and economic relations. Its central focus is the role of law in both structuring and responding to the ‘problem of prostitution’. By developing a distinctive constitutive approach to law, the author offers a more advanced analytical framework from which to understand how law matters in contemporary debates and also suggests how law could matter in more imaginative justice reforms. This is particularly pertinent in a period of unprecedented legal reform, both internationally and nationally, as legal norms simultaneously attempt to protect, empower and criminalise parties involved in the purchase of sexual services. The Subject of Prostitution aims to overcome the current aporia in these debates and suggest new ways to engage with the subject and law.
As such, The Subject of Prostitution provides an advanced theoretical resource for policymakers, researchers and activists involved in contemporary struggles over the meanings and place of sex work in late modernity.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Undocumented Fears: Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, by Jamie Longazel. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2016. 226p.
“The Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA), passed in the small Rustbelt city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 2006, was a local ordinance that laid out penalties for renting to or hiring undocumented immigrants and declared English the city’s official language. The notorious IIRA gained national prominence and kicked off a parade of local and state-level legislative initiatives designed to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
In his cogent and timely book, Undocumented Fears, Jamie Longazel uses the debate around Hazleton’s controversial ordinance as a case study that reveals the mechanics of contemporary divide and conquer politics. He shows how neoliberal ideology, misconceptions about Latina/o immigrants, and nostalgic imagery of “Small Town, America” led to a racialized account of an undocumented immigrant “invasion,” masking the real story of a city beset by large-scale loss of manufacturing jobs.
Offering an up-close look at how the local debate unfolded in the city that set off this broader trend, Undocumented Fears makes an important connection between immigration politics and the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s, by Rias Goluboff. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. 480p.
“In 1950s America, it was remarkably easy for police to arrest almost anyone for almost any reason. The criminal justice system-and especially the age-old law of vagrancy-served not only to maintain safety and order but also to enforce conventional standards of morality and propriety. A person could be arrested for sporting a beard, making a speech, or working too little. Yet by the end of the 1960s, vagrancy laws were discredited and American society was fundamentally transformed. What happened?
In Vagrant Nation, Risa Goluboff answers that question by showing how constitutional challenges to vagrancy laws shaped the multiple movements that made “the 1960s.” Vagrancy laws were so broad and flexible that they made it possible for the police to arrest anyone out of place: Beats and hippies; Communists and Vietnam War protestors; racial minorities and civil rights activists; gays, single women, and prostitutes. As hundreds of these “vagrants” and their lawyers challenged vagrancy laws in court, the laws became a flashpoint for debates about radically different visions of order and freedom.
Goluboff’s compelling account of those challenges rewrites the history of the civil rights, peace, gay rights, welfare rights, sexual, and cultural revolutions. As Goluboff links the human stories of those arrested to the great controversies of the time, she makes coherent an era that often seems chaotic. She also powerfully demonstrates how ordinary people, with the help of lawyers and judges, can change the meaning of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s 1972 decision declaring vagrancy laws unconstitutional continues to shape conflicts between police power and constitutional rights, including clashes over stop-and-frisk, homelessness, sexual freedom, and public protests. Since the downfall of vagrancy law, battles over what, if anything, should replace it, like battles over the legacy of the sixties transformations themselves, are far from over.” From Publisher’s Website.
|What Matters in Policing? Change, Values and Leadership in Turbulent Times, by Auke van Dijk, Frank Hoogewoning, and Maurice Punch. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2015. 226p. (Distributed in the US by the University of Chicago Press).
“Studies of policing tend to focus on effectiveness—on what works—rather than on the more important question of what matters, of why policing should be done in particular ways or reformed or restructured. This book explores that angle, looking at the implications of recent restructurings in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, with a special emphasis on the dilemmas faced by police leadership as they confront change.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Why American Prisons Fail: How to Fix Them Without Spending More Money (Maybe Less), by Peyton Paxson & George H. Watson. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2016. 266p.
“In Why American Prisons Fail: How to Fix Them without Spending More Money (Maybe Less), two former law school classmates, Peyton Paxson, a criminal justice professor, and George H. Watson, a past federal inmate and former attorney, address the issues currently facing our corrections system. They begin by describing how events in the late twentieth century caused the US to have the highest incarceration rate in the world today. They go on to discuss how Watson found himself in prison and his observations of how prisons fail to do their job—to rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them for reintegration back into society. The book provides brief surveys of the history of criminological theory and American prisons and compares U.S. penology with that of other Western democracies. The authors also examine the political and economic factors that drive today’s mass incarceration phenomenon. They conclude with a discussion of existing best practices and proposed reforms to move away from expensive and unsuccessful mass incarceration toward a more effective system. Why American Prisons Fail is particularly timely, as there are rising bipartisan calls in Washington and among the states to adopt a different response to crime.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Women Doing Life: Gender, Punishment, and the Struggle for Identity, by Lora Bex Lempert. New York: New York University Press, 2016. 320p.
“How do women – mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces and grandmothers — make sense of judgment to a lifetime behind bars? In Women Doing Life, Lora Bex Lempert examines the carceral experiences of women serving life sentences, presenting a typology of the ways that life-sentenced women grow and self-actualize, resist prison definitions, reflect on and “own” their criminal acts, and ultimately create meaningful lives behind prison walls. Looking beyond the explosive headlines that often characterize these women as monsters, Lempert offers rare insight into this vulnerable, little studied population. Her gendered analysis considers the ways that women “do crime” differently than men and how they have qualitatively different experiences of imprisonment than their male counterparts. Through in-depth interviews with 72 women serving life sentences in Michigan, Lempert brings these women back into the public arena, drawing analytical attention to their complicated, contradictory, and yet compelling lives.
Women Doing Life focuses particular attention on how women cope with their no-exit sentences and explores how their lifetime imprisonment catalyzes personal reflection, accountability for choices, reconstruction of their stigmatized identities, and rebuilding of social bonds. Most of the women in her study reported childhoods in environments where violence and disorder were common; many were victims before they were offenders. Lempert vividly illustrates how, behind the prison gates, life-serving women can develop lives that are meaningful, capable and, oftentimes, even ordinary. Women Doing Life shows both the scope and the limit of human possibility available to women incarcerated for life.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Young Offenders: Crime, Prison and Struggles for Desistance, by Mark Halsey and Simone Deegan. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 263p.
“Young Offenders provides one of the most in-depth studies of young males seeking, if often failing, to find a life beyond crime and punishment. Through rich interview data of young offenders over a ten year period, this book explores the complex personal and situational factors that promote and derail the desistance process.” From Publisher’s Website.