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.
|After Life Imprisonment: Reentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration, by Marieke Liem. NY: New York University Press, 2016. 288p.
“One out of every ten prisoners in the United States is serving a life sentence—roughly 130,000 people. While some have been sentenced to life in prison without parole, the majority of prisoners serving ‘life’ will be released back into society. But what becomes of those people who reenter the everyday world after serving life in prison?
In After Life Imprisonment, Marieke Liem carefully examines the experiences of ‘lifers’ upon release. Through interviews with over sixty homicide offenders sentenced to life but granted parole, Liem tracks those able to build a new life on the outside and those who were re-incarcerated. The interviews reveal prisoners’ reflections on being sentenced to life, as well as the challenges of employment, housing, and interpersonal relationships upon release. Liem explores the increase in handing out of life sentences, and specifically provides a basis for discussions of the goals, costs, and effects of long-term imprisonment, ultimately unpacking public policy and discourse surrounding long-term incarceration. A profound criminological examination, After Life Imprisonment reveals the untold, lived experiences of prisoners before and after their life sentences.” From Publisher’s website.
|American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016. 280p.
“To defend its citizens from harm, must the government have unfettered access to all information? Or, must personal privacy be defended at all costs from the encroachment of a surveillance state? And, doesn’t the Constitution already protect us from such intrusions? When the topic of discussion is intelligence-gathering, privacy, or Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the result is usually more heat than light.
Anthony Gregory challenges such simplifications, offering a nuanced history and analysis of these difficult issues. He highlights the complexity of the relationship between the gathering of intelligence for national security and countervailing efforts to safeguard individual privacy. The Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures offers no panacea, he finds, in combating assaults on privacy—whether by the NSA, the FBI, local police, or more mundane administrative agencies. Given the growth of technology, together with the ambiguities and practical problems of enforcing the Fourth Amendment, advocates for privacy protections need to work on multiple policy fronts.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information, by Frank Pasquale. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015. 320p.
“Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behavior—silently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. The data compiled and portraits created are incredibly detailed, to the point of being invasive. But who connects the dots about what firms are doing with this information? The Black Box Society argues that we all need to be able to do so—and to set limits on how big data affects our lives.
Hidden algorithms can make (or ruin) reputations, decide the destiny of entrepreneurs, or even devastate an entire economy. Shrouded in secrecy and complexity, decisions at major Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms were long assumed to be neutral and technical. But leaks, whistleblowers, and legal disputes have shed new light on automated judgment. Self-serving and reckless behavior is surprisingly common, and easy to hide in code protected by legal and real secrecy. Even after billions of dollars of fines have been levied, underfunded regulators may have only scratched the surface of this troubling behavior.
Frank Pasquale exposes how powerful interests abuse secrecy for profit and explains ways to rein them in. Demanding transparency is only the first step. An intelligible society would assure that key decisions of its most important firms are fair, nondiscriminatory, and open to criticism. Silicon Valley and Wall Street need to accept as much accountability as they impose on others.” From Publisher’s website.
|Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson. New York: Pantheon Press, 2016. 752p.
“The first definitive history of the infamous 1971 Attica prison uprising, the state’s violent response, and the victims’ decades-long quest for justice.
On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed.
On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men—hostages as well as prisoners—and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the ensuing hours, weeks, and months, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. And, ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath and neglecting to provide support to the survivors and the families of the men who had been killed.
Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout)” From Publisher’s website.
|Criminalisation and Criminal Responsibility in Australia, edited by Thomas Crofts and Arlie Loughman. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press, 2015. 214p.
“Criminalisation and Criminal Responsibility in Australia brings together significant contributions across the two major axes structuring criminal law scholarly thinking and criminal law scholarship in the current era – criminalisation and criminal responsibility. The contributions to this collection have been written by some of Australia’s leading criminal law and procedure scholars and canvass the law in all the states and territories in Australia. As such, the collection provides a snapshot of key issues apparent across the Australian criminal justice landscape, and showcases up-to-date critical scholarly analysis of these issues.” From Publisher’s website.
|Cybercrime among Companies: Research into Cybercrime Victimisation among Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises and One-Man Businesses in the Netherlands, by Sander Veenstra, Renske Zuurveen, and Wouter Stol. The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2016. 214p.
“The digitisation of society offers businesses opportunities, but also poses risks. However, scientific evidence on the extent to which businesses actually fall victim to cybercrime is scarce. This book contains the findings of a study into cybercrime victimisation among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and One-Man Businesses (OMBs) in the Netherlands that was conducted from 2013 until 2015. Over 1,200 SMEs and more than 1,600 OMBs were surveyed. The report presents unique figures on the extent and impact of cybercrime amongst businesses. The results indicate that more than a quarter of Dutch businesses are confronted with cybercrime. Victims are self-reliant: they seldom contact law enforcement, but instead take action to prevent and solve cybercrime problems themselves. As a consequence, police lack insight into the nature and extent of cybercrime amongst SMEs and OMBs, which hampers the ability of law enforcement to contribute effectively to the fight against cybercrime.” From Publisher’s website.
|Control and Protect: Collaboration, Carceral Protection, and Domestic Sex Trafficking in the United States, by Jennifer Musto. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 256p.
“Control and Protect explores the meaning and significance of efforts designed to combat sex trafficking in the United States. A striking case study of the new ways in which law enforcement agents, social service providers, and nongovernmental advocates have joined forces in this campaign, this book reveals how these collaborations consolidate state power and carceral control. This book examines how partnerships forged in the name of fighting domestic sex trafficking have blurred the boundaries between punishment and protection, victim and offender, and state and nonstate authority.” From Publisher’s website
|Convict Criminology: Inside and Out, by Rod Earle. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. 176p.
“Convict criminology is a promising new approach to criminology that is rooted in the study of criminology by people who have firsthand experience of imprisonment. This book is the first to trace the emergence of convict criminology and explore its potential relevance outside the United States, specifically in the United Kingdom and Europe. Presenting uniquely reflective scholarship that combines personal experience with critical perspectives, it examines the ways that prisoners, ex-prisoners, and prison research contribute to knowledge of criminology and the ways that racism, colonialism, and class shape both the penal experience and the social world beyond the prison. Rooted in the author’s own experience of imprisonment, Convict Criminology will be of use for students, scholars, and practitioners in the field.” From Publisher’s website.
|Covering Canadian Crime: What Journalists Should Know and the Public Should Question, edited by Chris Richardson and Romayne Smith Pullerton. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. 440p.
“Crime reporting, in one form or another, is as old as crime itself. Almost all young reporters have spent some time on this beat, and their work affects all of us. Covering Canadian Crime offers a deep and detailed look at perennial issues in crime reporting and how changes in technology, business practices, and professional ethics are affecting today’s crime coverage.
Social media in the courtroom, the stigmatization of mental illness, the influence of police media units, the practice of knocking on victims’ doors, the culture of masculinity in the newsroom: these are among the topics of discussion, explored from various disciplinary perspectives and combined with poignant interviews and thought-provoking introspection from seasoned journalists such as Christie Blatchford, Timothy Appleby, Linden MacIntyre, Kim Bolan, and Peter Edwards. A critical account of the challenges involved in crime reporting in ethical, informed, and powerful ways, Covering Canadian Crime poses the questions that reporters, journalism students, and the public at large need to ask and to answer.” From Publisher’s website.
|Crime, The Mystery of the Common-Sense Concept, by Robert Reiner. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. 272p.
“Crime is a source of endless fascination and fear. Yet behind the apparent consensus that crime must be fought, there is considerable conflict about what should or should not be treated as criminal, and even the most shocking crimes can inspire divisive debate.
This concise book explores the seemingly simple, common-sense concept of crime revealing the huge complexities, ambiguities and tensions that lie beneath it. Criminal law is often at odds with different moral perspectives and the practices of different cultures. The mass media distort the picture profoundly, as do politicians in pursuit of law and order votes. The criminal justice system tackles only a limited range of crimes almost entirely ones committed by the poor and relatively powerless while often neglecting the most dangerous and harmful activities of corporations and states, from the carnage of unjust wars to the tragedies engendered by austerity. It is only by examining the multiple and varied perspectives on crime that we can begin to understand and respond appropriately to this social phenomenon.
Written by a world-leading criminologist, this insightful book will be an invaluable and captivating introduction for students and interested readers of criminology, law, sociology and politics.” From Publisher’s website.
|Desert in a Reparative Frame: Re-defining Contemporary Criminal Justice, by David J. Cornwell. The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2016. 182p.
“This work re-configures the concept of Desert within criminal punishment philosophy and practice away from its traditional and predominantly retributive orientation and towards a reparative and restorative mode of criminal justice delivery inclusive of all the stakeholders within the justice process. Its pragmatic prescriptions for ‘doing justice better’ will be of operational interest to a wide range of criminal justice practitioners, academics, legal professionals, policy-makers, students of criminology, and informed members of the media and general public alike.
Though written from a mainly British contemporary perspective, this work has resonance for penal reform within many jurisdictions world-wide, both developed and developing, and bearing the burden of excessive penal populations at unacceptable financial and social cost. It focuses upon giving victims of crime due and proper consideration, and many less serious offenders the opportunity to take responsibility and make amends for their wrongdoing as a practical means towards their social restoration. Summarily, it shifts the contemporary justice paradigm away from crime control and towards crime reduction.” From Publisher’s website.
|Down, Out and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row, by Forrest Stuart. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 352p.
“In his first year working in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Forrest Stuart was stopped on the street by police fourteen times. Usually for doing little more than standing there.
Juliette, a woman he met during that time, has been stopped by police well over one hundred times, arrested upward of sixty times, and has given up more than a year of her life serving week-long jail sentences. Her most common crime? Simply sitting on the sidewalk—an arrestable offense in LA.
Why? What purpose did those arrests serve, for society or for Juliette? How did we reach a point where we’ve cut support for our poorest citizens, yet are spending ever more on policing and prisons? That’s the complicated, maddening story that Stuart tells in Down, Out and Under Arrest, a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. What emerges from Stuart’s years of fieldwork—not only with Skid Row residents, but with the police charged with managing them—is a tragedy built on mistakes and misplaced priorities more than on heroes and villains. He reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short. Sometimes, in ways that do serious harm.
At a time when distrust between police and the residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods has never been higher, Stuart’s book helps us see where we’ve gone wrong, and what steps we could take to begin to change the lives of our poorest citizens—and ultimately our society itself—for the better.” From Publisher’s website.
|A Dream Denied: Incarceration, Recidivism, and Young Minority Men in America, by Michaela Soyer. Oakland, CA: University Of California Press, 2016. 184p.
“Young minority men are often portrayed in popular media as victims of poverty and discrimination. A Dream Denied delves deeper, investigating the social and cultural implications of the ‘American dream’ narrative for young minority men in the juvenile justice systems in Boston and Chicago. This book connects young male offenders’ cycles of desistance and recidivism with normative assumptions about success and failure in American society, exposing a tragic disconnect between structural reality and juvenile justice policy. This book challenges us to reconsider how American society relates to its most vulnerable members, how it responds to their personal failures, and how it promises them a better future.” From Publisher’s website.
|Exiled Home: Salvadoran Transnational Youth in the Aftermath of Violence, by Susan Bibler Coutin. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016. 288p.
“In Exiled Home, Susan Bibler Coutin recounts the experiences of Salvadoran children who migrated with their families to the United States during the 1980–1992 civil war. Because of their youth and the violence they left behind, as well as their uncertain legal status in the United States, many grew up with distant memories of El Salvador and a profound sense of disjuncture in their adopted homeland. Through interviews in both countries, Coutin examines how they sought to understand and overcome the trauma of war and displacement through such strategies as recording community histories, advocating for undocumented immigrants, forging new relationships with the Salvadoran state, and, for those deported from the United States, reconstructing their lives in El Salvador. In focusing on the case of Salvadoran youth, Coutin’s nuanced analysis shows how the violence associated with migration can be countered through practices that recuperate historical memory while also reclaiming national membership.” From Publisher’s website
|Expanding the Gaze: Gender and the Politics of Surveillance, edited by Emily van der Meulen and Robert Heynen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. 328p.
“From sexualized selfies and hidden camera documentaries to the bouncers monitoring patrons at Australian nightclubs, the ubiquity of contemporary surveillance goes far beyond the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection or the proliferation of security cameras on every corner.
Expanding the Gaze is a collection of important new empirical and theoretical works that demonstrate the significance of the gendered dynamics of surveillance. Bringing together contributors from criminology, sociology, communication studies, and women’s studies, the eleven essays in the volume suggest that we cannot properly understand the implications of the rapid expansion of surveillance practices today without paying close attention to its gendered nature. Together, they constitute a timely interdisciplinary contribution to the development of feminist surveillance studies.” From Publisher’s website.
|Gang Transitions and Transformations in an International Context, edited by Cheryl L. Maxson and Finn-Aage Esbensen. New York: Springer, 2016. 314p.
“This unique volume explores why and how youth join and leave gangs, as a lens for exploring intervention and prevention through comparative, international research. The book explores three key questions: how do youth gangs form and how do they change over time? Why do youth join street gangs, and why do they leave? How can we use this knowledge to foster more effective interventions for gang problems? Drawing from research conducted in ten different countries (Belgium, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Venezuela) and a variety of disciplines, sixteen original chapters provide unique insights into:
1) patterns of gang participation and how it impacts individual behavior
This work will be of interest to researchers in Criminology and Criminal Justice, particularly with an interest in youth gangs, developmental and life-course criminology, criminal careers, and criminal networks, as well as related fields such as sociology, psychology, and comparative law, and public health.” From Publisher’s website.
|Global Perspectives on Desistance: Reviewing What We Know and Looking to the Future, edited by Joanna Shapland, Stephen Farrall and Anthony Bottoms. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. 314p.
“In recent years attention has switched from how adolescents are attracted into crime, to how adults reduce their offending and then stop – the process of desistance. There are now around a dozen major longitudinal and in-depth studies around the world which have followed or are following offenders over their life course, charting their offending history and their social and economic circumstances.
The book is the first to offer a global perspective on desistance and brings together international leading experts in the field from countries including the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, the USA, and Australia to set out what we know about desistance, and to advance our theoretical understanding. Drawing on leading studies, this book sets the academic agenda for future work on desistance and examines the implications and potential positive effects of this research on desistance processes among current offenders.
Global Perspectives on Desistance is divided into three sections:
Comprehensive and forward-thinking, this book is ideal for students studying criminology, probation and social work, social policy, sociology, and psychology. It is also essential reading for academic criminologists, sociologists, and policy makers and practitioners working in corrections and reform.” From Publisher’s website.
|How the Police Generate False Confessions: An Inside Look at the Interrogation Room, by James L. Trainum. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. 328p.
“Despite the rising number of confirmed false confession cases, most people have a hard time grasping why someone would confess to a crime they did not commit, or even why a guilty person would admit to something that could put them in jail for life. How the Police Generate False Confessions takes you inside the interrogation room, exposing the tactics that law enforcement uses to make confessions happen.
James L. Trainum reveals how innocent people can become suspects and then confessed criminals even when they have not committed a crime. Using real stories, he looks at the inherent coerciveness of the interrogation process and why so many false confessions contain so many of the details that only the true perpetrator would know. More disturbingly, the book examines how these same processes corrupt witness and victim statements, create lying informants and cooperators, and induce innocent people to plead guilty. Trainum also offers recommendations for change in the U.S. by looking at how other countries are changing the process to prevent such miscarriages of justice.
The reasons that people falsely confess can be complex and varied; throughout How the Police Generate False Confessions Trainum encourages readers to critically evaluate confessions on their own by gaining a better understanding of the interrogation process.” From Publisher’s website.
|Imprisonment Worldwide: The Current Situation and an Alternative Future, by Andrew Coyle, Helen Fair, Jessica Jacobson, and Roy Walmsley. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. 180p.
“How many people are imprisoned across the globe? What factors can help explain variations in the use of imprisonment in different countries? What ethical considerations should apply to the way imprisonment is used? Providing a comprehensive account of prison populations worldwide, this new work links prison statistics from the last 15 years with considerations of how prisons and prison populations are managed. With commentary from its well-known, respected authors on what is meant by an ethical approach to the use of imprisonment, and how this can be sustained in ever more challenging social, economic and political environments, this book is a major contribution to the knowledge of those currently debating prisons and the use of imprisonment, whether from academic, policy, practitioner, activist or lay perspectives. Its accessible, informative infographics also make it an engaging read and a valuable teaching resource for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology, law, political science and public policy.” From Publisher’s website.
|Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State, by Jordan T. Camp. Oakland, CA: University Of California Press, 2016. 268p.
“The United States currently has the largest prison population on the planet. Over the last four decades, structural unemployment, concentrated urban poverty, and mass homelessness have also become permanent features of the political economy. These developments are without historical precedent, but not without historical explanation. In this searing critique, Jordan T. Camp traces the rise of the neoliberal carceral state through a series of turning points in U.S. history including the Watts insurrection in 1965, the Detroit rebellion in 1967, the Attica uprising in 1971, the Los Angeles revolt in 1992, and events in post-Katrina New Orleans in 2005. Incarcerating the Crisis argues that these dramatic events coincided with the emergence of neoliberal capitalism and the state’s attempts to crush radical social movements. Through an examination of the poetic visions of social movements—including those by James Baldwin, Marvin Gaye, June Jordan, José Ramírez, and Sunni Patterson—it also suggests that alternative outcomes have been and continue to be possible.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Integrity of Criminal Processes: From Theory into Practice, edited by Jill Hunter, Paul Roberts, Simon N M Young and David Dixon. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2016. 448p.
“Criminal proceedings, it is often now said, ought to be conducted with integrity. But what, exactly, does it mean for criminal process to have, or to lack, ‘integrity’? Is integrity in this sense merely an aspirational normative ideal, with possibly diffuse influence on conceptions of professional responsibility? Or is it also a juridical concept with robust institutional purchase and enforceable practical consequences in criminal litigation? The 16 new essays contained in this collection, written by prominent legal scholars and criminologists from Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and the USA, engage systematically with – and seek to generate further debate about – the theoretical and practical significance of ‘integrity’ at all stages of the criminal process. Reflecting the flexibility and scope of a putative ‘integrity principle’, the essays range widely over many of the most hotly contested issues in contemporary criminal justice theory, policy and practice, including: the ethics of police investigations, charging practice and discretionary enforcement; prosecutorial independence, policy and operational decision-making; plea bargaining; the perils of witness coaching and accomplice testimony; expert evidence; doctrines of admissibility and abuse of process; lay participation in criminal adjudication; the role of remorse in criminal trials; the ethics of appellate judgment writing; innocence projects; and state compensation for miscarriages of justice.” From Publisher’s website.
|Killing the Competition: Economic Inequality and Homicide, by Martin Daly. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2016. 249p.
“Criminologists have known for decades that income inequality is the best predictor of the local homicide rate, but why this is so has eluded them. There is a simple, compelling answer: most homicides are the dénouements of competitive interactions between men. Relatively speaking, where desired goods are distributed inequitably and competition for those goods is severe, dangerous tactics of competition are appealing and a high homicide rate is just one of many unfortunate consequences. Killing the Competition is about this relationship between economic inequality and lethal interpersonal violence.
Suggesting that economic inequality is a cause of social problems and violence elicits fierce opposition from inequality’s beneficiaries. Three main arguments have been presented by those who would acquit inequality of the charges against it: that ‘absolute’ poverty is the real problem and inequality is just an incidental correlate; that ‘primitive’ egalitarian societies have surprisingly high homicide rates, and that inequality and homicide rates do not change in synchrony and are therefore mutually irrelevant. With detailed but accessible data analyses and thorough reviews of relevant research, Martin Daly dispels all three arguments.
Killing the Competition applies basic principles of behavioral biology to explain why killers are usually men, not women, and counters the view that attitudes and values prevailing in ‘cultures of violence’ make change impossible.” From Publisher’s website.
|Long Walk to Nowhere: Human Trafficking in Post-Mandela South Africa, by Philip Frankel. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2016. 286p.
“The end of apartheid has triggered massive illegal immigration into South Africa from all parts of Africa and beyond. Along with urbanization and internal migration, the end of apartheid has encouraged human smuggling and the trafficking of men, women, and children into the commercial sex market and various sectors of the economy from mining to agriculture and the service industries. Long Walk to Nowhere analyzes the impact of these developments on Nelson Mandela’s vision for a democratic South Africa.
Frankel explores human rights, the political culture, public health, the criminal justice system, and institutional development as South Africa moves into its third decade after liberation. Using migration and human trafficking as barometers for democratic success, Frankel establishes that South Africa has become more unstable under two post-Mandela presidencies.
The book covers the three major modes of human trafficking—commercial sex trafficking, child trafficking, and labor trafficking. It also looks at the dynamics of trafficking with a perpetrator-focus, the complex issues of dominance, and the policy responses in light of South Africa’s first comprehensive counter-trafficking legislation designed for implementation in late 2015. Long Walk to Nowhere blends South African experiences with contemporary mass political movements which challenge human rights and good governance on a world-wide basis.” From Publisher’s website.
|Methamphetamine: A Love Story, by Rashi K. Shukla. Oakland, CA: University Of California Press, 2016. 264p.
“Methamphetamine: A Love Story presents an insider’s view of the world of methamphetamine based on the life stories of thirty-three adults formerly immersed in using, dealing, and manufacturing meth in rural Oklahoma. Using a respectful tone towards her subjects, Shukla illuminates their often decades-long love affair with the drug, the attractions of the lifestyle, the eventual unsustainability of it, and the challenges of exiting the life. These personal stories reveal how and why people with limited economic means and inadequate resources become entrapped in the drug epidemic, while challenging longstanding societal views about addiction, drugs, drug policy, and public health.” From Publisher’s website.
|Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction, by Nathan P. Jones. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2016. 240p.
“Mexican drug networks are large and violent, engaging in activities like the trafficking of narcotics, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, and mass murder. Despite the impact of these activities in Mexico and abroad, these illicit networks are remarkably resilient to state intervention. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and interviews with US and Mexican law enforcement, government officials, organized crime victims, and criminals, Nathan P. Jones examines the comparative resilience of two basic types of drug networks—‘territorial’ and ‘transactional’—that are differentiated by their business strategies and provoke wildly different responses from the state. Transactional networks focus on trafficking and are more likely to collude with the state through corruption, while territorial networks that seek to control territory for the purpose of taxation, extortion, and their own security often trigger a strong backlash from the state. Timely and authoritative, Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction provides crucial insight into why Mexico targets some drug networks over others, reassesses the impact of the war on drugs, and proposes new solutions for weak states in their battles with drug networks.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles, by Cid Gregory Martinez. New York: New York University Press, 2016. 272p.
“South Los Angeles is often seen as ground zero for inter-racial conflict and violence in the United States. Since the 1940s, South LA has been predominantly a low-income African American neighborhood, and yet since the early 1990s Latino immigrants—mostly from Mexico and many undocumented—have moved in record numbers to the area. Given that more than a quarter million people live in South LA and that poverty rates exceed 30 percent, inter-racial conflict and violence surprises no one. The real question is: why hasn’t there been more? Through vivid stories and interviews, The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules provides an answer to this question.
Based on in-depth ethnographic field work collected when the author, Cid Martinez, lived and worked in schools in South Central, this study reveals the day-to-day ways in which vibrant social institutions in South LA— its churches, its local politicians, and even its gangs—have reduced conflict and kept violence to a level that is manageable for its residents. Martinez argues that inter-racial conflict has not been managed through any coalition between different groups, but rather that these institutions have allowed established African Americans and newcomer Latinos to co-exist through avoidance—an under-appreciated strategy for managing conflict that plays a crucial role in America’s low-income communities. Ultimately, this book proposes a different understanding of how neighborhood institutions are able to mitigate conflict and violence through several community dimensions of informal social controls.” From Publisher’s website.
|Punishment and the History of Political Philosophy: From Classical Republicanism and the Crisis of Modern Criminal Justice, by Arthur Shuster. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. 192p.
“Contemporary philosophy still lacks a satisfying theory of punishment, one that adequately addresses our basic moral concerns. Yet, as the crisis of incarceration in the United States and elsewhere shows, the need for a deeper understanding of punishment’s purpose has never been greater.
In Punishment and the History of Political Philosophy, Arthur Shuster offers an insightful study of punishment in the works of Plato, Hobbes, Montesquieu, Beccaria, Kant, and Foucault. Through careful interpretation of their key texts, he argues that continuing tensions over retribution’s role in punishment reflect the shift in political philosophy from classical republicanism to modern notions of individual natural rights and the social contract.
This book will be vital reading for political theorists, philosophers, criminologists, and legal scholars looking for a new perspective on the moral challenges faced by the modern criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s website.
|Race, Riots, and the Police, by Howard Rahtz. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2016. 210p.
“Reflected almost daily in headlines, the enormous rift between the police and the communities they serve—especially African American communities—remains one of the major challenges facing the United States. And race-related riots continue to be a violent manifestation of that rift. Can this dismal state of affairs be changed? Can the distrust between black citizens and the police ever be transformed into mutual respect?
Howard Rahtz addresses this issue, first tracing the history of race riots in the US and then drawing on both the lessons of that history and his own first-hand experience to offer a realistic approach for developing and maintaining a police force that is a true community partner.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Real School Safety Problem: The Long-Term Consequences of Harsh School Punishment, by Aaron Kupchik. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 176p.
“Schools across the U.S. look very different today than they did a generation ago. Police officers, drug-sniffing dogs, surveillance cameras, and high suspension rates have become commonplace. The Real School Safety Problem uncovers the unintended but far-reaching effects of harsh school discipline climates. Evidence shows that current school security practices may do more harm than good by broadly affecting the entire family, encouraging less civic participation in adulthood, and garnering future financial costs in the form of high rates of arrests, incarceration, and unemployment. This text presents a blueprint for reform that emphasizes problem-solving and accountability while encouraging the need to implement smarter school policies.” From Publisher’s website.
|Revisiting Moral Panics, edited by Viviene E. Cree, Gary Clapton, and Mark Smith. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. 276p.
“We live in a world that is increasingly characterized as risky, dangerous, and threatening. Every day, a new social issue emerges seemingly designed to provoke a shared sense of panic. Drawing on the popular UK Economic Social and Research Council seminar series, this book uses the concept of moral panic to examine these social issues and anxieties and the solutions to them. With an introduction by Charles Critcher—coeditor of Moral Panics in the Contemporary World—and contributions from both well-known and up-and-coming researchers and practitioners, this book offers a stimulating and innovative overview of moral panic ideas for students and practitioners and an accessible introduction to the concept for a wider general public.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Risk of School Rampage: Assessing and Preventing Threats of School Violence, by Eric Madfis. New York: Palgrave Pivot, 2016. 153p.
“By examining averted school rampage incidents, this work addresses problematic gaps in school violence scholarship and advances existing knowledge about mass murder, violence prevention, bystander intervention, threat assessment, and disciplinary policy in school contexts.” From Publisher’s website.
|Robert Nixon and Police Torture in Chicago, 1871-1971, by Elizabeth Dale. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2016. 184p.
“In 2015, Chicago became the first city in the United States to create a reparations fund for victims of police torture, after investigations revealed that former Chicago police commander Jon Burge tortured numerous suspects in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. But claims of police torture have even deeper roots in Chicago. In the late 19th century, suspects maintained that Chicago police officers put them in sweatboxes or held them incommunicado until they confessed to crimes they had not committed. In the first decades of the 20th century, suspects and witnesses stated that they admitted guilt only because Chicago officers beat them, threatened them, and subjected them to ‘sweatbox methods.’ Those claims continued into the 1960s.
In Robert Nixon and Police Torture in Chicago, 1871–1971, Elizabeth Dale uncovers the lost history of police torture in Chicago between the Chicago Fire and 1971, tracing the types of torture claims made in cases across that period. To show why the criminal justice system failed to adequately deal with many of those allegations of police torture, Dale examines one case in particular, the 1938 murder trial of Robert Nixon. Nixon’s case is famous for being the basis for the novel Native Son, by Richard Wright. Dale considers the part of Nixon’s story that Wright left out: that the legal system mistreated Nixon’s claim that he only confessed after being strung up by his wrists and beaten. This original study will appeal to scholars and students interested in the history of criminal justice, and general readers interested in Midwest history, criminal cases, and the topic of police torture.” From Publisher’s website.
|Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control, by Diana Rickard. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016. 216p.
“The 1990s witnessed a flurry of legislative initiatives—most notably, ‘Megan’s Law’—designed to control a population of sex offenders (child abusers) widely reviled as sick, evil, and incurable. In Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control, Diana Rickard provides the reader with an in-depth view of six such men, exploring how they manage to cope with their highly stigmatized role as social outcasts.
The six men discussed in the book are typical convicted sex offenders—neither serial pedophiles nor individuals convicted of the type of brutal act that looms large in public perceptions about sex crimes. Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control explores how these individuals, who have been cast as social pariahs, construct their sense of self. How does being labeled in this way and controlled by measures such as Megan’s Law affect one’s identity and sense of social being? Unlike traditional criminological and psychological studies of this population, this book frames their experiences in concepts of both deviance and identity, asking how men so highly stigmatized cope with the most extreme form of social marginality. Placing their stories within the context of the current culture of mass incarceration and zero-tolerance, Rickard provides a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between public policy and lived experience, as well as an understanding of the social challenges faced by this population, whose re-integration into society is far from simple or assured.
Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control makes a significant contribution to our understanding of sex offenders, offering a unique window into how individuals make meaning out of their experiences and present a viable—not monstrous—social self to themselves and others.” From Publisher’s website.
|Sports Criminology: A Critical Criminology of Sport and Games, by Nic Groombridge. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016. 176p.
“From doping among professional athletes to crime prevention through sports, the discussion of crime in sports seems to be on the rise. This is the first book to provide a critical criminological perspective on sports and the myriad connections between sports and crime. Part of Policy’s New Horizons in Criminology series, it utilizes the interdisciplinary nature of criminology to incorporate emerging perspectives from diverse fields like the study of social harm, gender and sexuality studies, and green criminology. Written from an international perspective, Sports Criminology covers both a range of topics, from sports scandals to the possibility of crime prevention, and a range of sports disciplines. American football, boxing, soccer, and sumo are all examined, making this book an essential read for scholars of sports law and the sociology of sports alike.” From Publisher’s website.
|This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organized Crime, by Stephen Ellis. New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016. 256p.
“Nigeria and Nigerians have acquired a notorious reputation for involvement in drug-trafficking, fraud, cyber-crime and other types of serious crime. Successful Nigerian criminal networks have a global reach, interacting with their Italian, Latin American and Russian counterparts. Yet in 1944, a British colonial official wrote that ‘the number of persistent and professional criminals is not great’ in Nigeria and that ‘crime as a career has so far made little appeal to the young Nigerian’.
This book traces the origins of Nigerian organised crime to the last years of colonial rule, when nationalist politicians acquired power at a regional level. In need of funds for campaigning, they offered government contracts to foreign businesses in return for kickbacks, in a pattern that recurs to this day. Political corruption encouraged a wider disrespect for the law that spread throughout Nigerian society. When the country’s oil boom came to an end in the early 1980s, young Nigerian college graduates headed abroad, eager to make money by any means. Nigerian crime went global at the very moment new criminal markets were emerging all over the world.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Women in Blue Helmets: Gender, Policing, and the UN’s First All-Female Peacekeeping Unit, Lesley J. Pruitt. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 176p.
“The Women in Blue Helmets tells the story of the first all-female police unit deployed by India to the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia in January 2007. Lesley J. Pruitt investigates how the unit was originated, developed, and implemented, offering an important historical record of this unique initiative. Examining precedents in policing in the troop-contributing country and recent developments in policing in the host country, the book offers contextually rich examination of all-female units, explores the potential benefits of and challenges to women’s participation in peacekeeping, and illuminates broader questions about the relationship between gender, peace, and security.” From Publisher’s website.
|Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Lessons from the Balkans, edited by Martina Fischer and Olivera Simić. Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2016. 272p.
“Scholars and practitioners alike agree that somehow the past needs to be addressed in order to enable individuals and collectives to rebuild trust and relationships. However, they also continue to struggle with critical questions. When is the right moment to address the legacies of the past after violent conflict? How can societies address the past without deepening the pain that arises from memories related to the violence and crimes committed in war? How can cultures of remembrance be established that would include and acknowledges the victims of all sides involved in violent conflict? How can various actors deal constructively with different interpretations of facts and history?
Two decades after the wars, societies in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia – albeit to different degrees – are still facing the legacies of the wars of the 1990s on a daily basis. Reconciliation between and within these societies remains a formidable challenge, given that all three countries are still facing unresolved disputes either at a cross-border level or amongst parallel societies that persist at a local community level.
This book engages scholars and practitioners from the regions of former Yugoslavia, as well as international experts, to reflect on the achievements and obstacles that characterise efforts to deal with the past. Drawing variously on empirical studies, theoretical discussions, and practical experience, their contributions offer invaluable insights into the complex relationship between transitional justice and conflict transformation.” From Publisher’s website.