Connect:   |  Home

Books Received
March 2015

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.

2011
November
September
2012
November
September
July
May
March
January
2013
November
September
July
May
March
January
2014
November
September
July
May
March
January
2015
March
January
 
Loading...

American Tax Resisters, by Romain D. Huret. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. 384p.

“The American taxpayer”—angered by government waste and satisfied only with spending cuts—has preoccupied elected officials and political commentators since the Reagan Revolution. But resistance to progressive taxation has older, deeper roots. American Tax Resisters presents the full history of the American anti-tax movement that has defended the pursuit of limited taxes on wealth and battled efforts to secure social justice through income redistribution for the past 150 years.

From the Tea Party to the Koch brothers, the major players in today’s anti-tax crusade emerge in Romain Huret’s account as the heirs of a formidable—and far from ephemeral—political movement. Diverse coalitions of Americans have rallied around the flag of tax opposition since the Civil War, their grievances fueled by a determination to defend private life against government intrusion and a steadfast belief in the economic benefits and just rewards of untaxed income. Local tax resisters were actively mobilized by business and corporate interests throughout the early twentieth century, undeterred by such setbacks as the Sixteenth Amendment establishing a federal income tax. Zealously petitioning Congress and chipping at the edges of progressive tax policies, they bequeathed hard-won experience to younger generations of conservatives in their pursuit of laissez-faire capitalism.

Capturing the decisive moments in U.S. history when tax resisters convinced a majority of Americans to join their crusade, Romain Huret explains how a once marginal ideology became mainstream, elevating economic success and individual entrepreneurialism over social sacrifice and solidarity.” From Publisher’s Website.

Being imprisoned: Punishment, Adaptation and Desistance, by Marguerite Schinkel. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 192p.

“Little attention has been paid to the way in which criminal punishment is interpreted and narrated by offenders. This book uniquely addresses this area, examining the narratives of long-term prisoners with a special focus on the meaning they ascribe to their sentence, its impact on their lives and how it affects their inclination to offend in the future.

Through a range of in-depth narrative interviews with male prisoners at different stages of their sentences, Schinkel considers their views on the legitimacy of their sentence, analysing what factors play a role in the shaping of these perspectives including life circumstances and the effects of rehabilitation.

xploring what purposes of punishment prisoners support and perceive as achieved by their sentence, the book argues that the need to survive the prison environment and the need to tell a progressive narrative outweighed the individual characteristics of each case, leading prisoners to accept their sentence even when they had cause to oppose it.

Being Imprisoned offers new insights into how prisoners perceive their sentences and brings together issues of prison life, the moral performance of prisons, desistance and the purposes and legitimacy of criminal punishment.” From Publisher’s Website.

Brooklyn Thrill-Kill Gang and the Great Comic Book Scare of the 1950s, by Mariah Adin. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2014. 167p.

“What caused four recently bar mitzvahed middle-class youths to go on a crime spree of assault and murder in 1954? This book provides a compelling narrative retelling of the boys, their crimes, and a U.S. culture obsessed with juvenile delinquency.

After ongoing months of daily headlines about gang shootouts, stomp-killings, and millions of dollars worth of vandalism, by the summer of 1954, America had had enough of juvenile delinquency. It was in this environment that 18-year-old Jack Koslow and the other three teenage members of the Brooklyn Thrill Killers committed their heinous crimes and achieved notoriety. The Brooklyn Thrill-Kill Gang and the Great Comic Book Scare of the 1950s exposes the underbelly of America's mid-century, the terrible price of assimilation, the uncomfortable bedfellows of comic books and juvenile delinquency, and the dystopia already in bloom amongst American youth well before the 1960s. Readers will be engrossed and horrified by the tale of the Brooklyn Thrill-Kill Gang whose shocking, front-page story could easily have been copy-pasted from today's online news sites.

Author Mariah Adin takes readers along for a breathtaking moment-by-moment retelling of the crime spree, the subsequent interrogations, and the dramatic courtroom showdown, interspersed with expository chapters on juvenile delinquency, America's Jewish community in the post-Holocaust period, and the anti-comics movement. This book serves to merge the history of juvenile delinquency with that of the Great Comic Book Scare, highlights the assimilation of immigrants into America's white mainstream gone wrong, and complicates our understanding of America's ‘Golden Age.’” From Publisher’s Website.

Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, by Marie Gottschalk. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014. 496p.

“The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders today, yet reforms to reduce the number of people in U.S. jails and prisons have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, a carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment, extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It includes not only the country’s vast archipelago of jails and prisons but also the growing range of penal punishments and controls that lie in the never-never land between prison and full citizenship, from probation and parole to immigrant detention, felon disenfranchisement, and extensive lifetime restrictions on sex offenders. As it sunders families and communities and reworks conceptions of democracy, rights, and citizenship, this ever-widening carceral state poses a formidable political and social challenge.

In this book, Marie Gottschalk examines why the carceral state, with its growing number of outcasts, remains so tenacious in the United States. She analyzes the shortcomings of the two dominant penal reform strategies—one focused on addressing racial disparities, the other on seeking bipartisan, race-neutral solutions centered on reentry, justice reinvestment, and reducing recidivism.

In this bracing appraisal of the politics of penal reform, Gottschalk exposes the broader pathologies in American politics that are preventing the country from solving its most pressing problems, including the stranglehold that neoliberalism exerts on public policy. She concludes by sketching out a promising alternative path to begin dismantling the carceral state.” From Publisher’s Website.

Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment, by Hadar Aviram. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 272p.

“After forty years of increasing prison construction and incarceration rates, winds of change are blowing through the American correctional system. The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated the unsustainability of the incarceration project, thereby empowering policy makers to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity. In Cheap on Crime, Hadar Aviram draws on years of archival and journalistic research and builds on social history and economics literature to show the powerful impact of recession-era discourse on the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care, and other aspects of the American correctional landscape.” From Publisher’s Website.

Chicago Hustle and Flow: Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class, by Geoff Harness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 264p.

“On September 4, 2012, Joseph Coleman, an eighteen-year-old aspiring gangsta rapper, was gunned down in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Police immediately began investigating the connections between Coleman’s murder and an online war of words and music he was having with another Chicago rapper in a rival gang. In Chicago Hustle and Flow, Geoff Harkness points out how common this type of incident can be when rap groups form as extensions of gangs. Gangs and rap music, he argues, can be a deadly combination.

Set in one of the largest underground music scenes in the nation, this book takes readers into the heart of gangsta rap culture in Chicago. From the electric buzz of nightclubs to the sights and sounds of bedroom recording studios, Harkness presents gripping accounts of the lives, beliefs, and ambitions of the gang members and rappers with whom he spent six years. A music genre obsessed with authenticity, gangsta rap promised those from crime-infested neighborhoods a ticket out of poverty. But while firsthand experiences with gangs and crime gave rappers a leg up, it also meant carrying weapons and traveling collectively for protection.” From Publisher’s Website.

Criminal Capital: How the Finance Industry Facilitates Crime, by Stephen Platt. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 248p.

“In the first book to expose the role played by the international financial services industry in facilitating crime and laundering criminal property, one of the world's leading anti-financial crime specialists scrutinises the vulnerability of banks, brokerages, trust companies, and investment funds to criminal abuse.
Discover:

- How the finance industry enables corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking, proliferation, piracy, and tax evasion
- Why extreme and dangerous industry behaviour correlates with the risk taking that toppled the global economy in 2008
- What measures can be taken to prevent criminals from compromising the legitimacy of the global financial system

Examining the role of the traditional powerhouse financial centres as well as offshore centres and rapidly emerging international financial centres in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, this highly informative book challenges the reader to consider whether following the 2008 crisis, sufficient steps have been taken to address toxic behaviours in financial services; or whether radical reform is needed.” From Publisher’s Website.

Cyberbullying: Causes, Consequences, and Coping Strategies, by Nicole L. Weber and William V. Pelfrey, Jr. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 227p.

“Weber and Pelfrey examine qualitative and quantitative data collected from middle and high school students in a large urban area regarding the use of social technologies in cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. They further explore the interconnectedness between the online and face-to-face environments created by these advancements in technology which may produce risk taking behaviors and school safety issues. Students reported a carryover between environments (during school and after school via social technology) that create a constant access to peers and a reciprocal relationship between cyberbullying perpetrators and victims who become perpetrators in retaliation. The book also provides insight from school staff regarding policies, protocols, and approaches to combating cyberbullying in school.” From Publisher’s Website.

Decoding Albanian Organized Crime: Culture, Politics, and Globalization, by Jana Arsovska. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 312p.

“The expansion of organized crime across national borders has become a key security concern for the international community. In this theoretically and empirically vibrant portrait of a global phenomenon, Jana Arsovska examines some of the most widespread myths about the so-called Albanian Mafia. Based on more than a decade of research, including interviews with victims, offenders, and law enforcement across ten countries, as well as court files and confidential intelligence reports, Decoding Albanian Organized Crime presents a comprehensive overview of the causes, codes of conduct, activities, migration, and structure of Albanian organized crime groups in the Balkans, Western Europe, and the United States. Paying particular attention to the dynamic relationships among culture, politics, and organized crime, the book develops a framework for understanding the global growth of the criminal underworld and provides a model for future comparative research.” From Publisher’s Website.

Desistance: Ecological Factors in an Inner-City Sample, by Sophie M. Aiyer. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 160p.

Aiyer aims to improve our understanding about exposure to risk and promotive factors in individual, family, and neighborhood domains during adolescence on desistance in early adulthood. She seeks to identify factors that distinguish high-risk, inner-city males who desisted from those who continued to offend. She finds that aggression, discipline practices, and exposure to neighborhood violence predicted desistance. Further, discipline altered the effect of aggression, suggesting that parenting may play a complex role in the lives of aggressive, inner-city male youth. Overall, the research supports a developmental-ecological theoretical perspective to studying antisocial behavior. Findings additionally suggest that programs designed to improve parent-child dynamics would benefit at-risk youth.´From Publisher’s Website.

Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade, and Control, ed. by Gernot Klantschnig, Neil Carrier and Charles Ambler. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 220p.

“Africa has very recently emerged as a focal point of the global "War on Drugs," as international drug control agencies warn of the continent's growing role as a distribution hub for cocaine and heroin, while also lamenting the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol commerce and use, especially among African youths. Both illegal drugs and legal substances such as alcohol are increasingly tied to broader economic and public health issues including unemployment, criminality, family disintegration, and HIV infection. Notwithstanding this growing alarm, there is relatively little serious scholarship addressing the issue of drugs in Africa. This cutting-edge volume is the first to address the burgeoning interest in drugs and Africa among scholars, policymakers, and the general public: no other book offers an Africa-wide analysis of the subject. It brings together an interdisciplinary group of leading academics and practitioners to explore the use, trade, production, and control of mind-altering substances on the continent, from heroin and cannabis to alcohol and khat. In particular, it examines the tension between integrative social practices and socially disruptive vices, revealing these categories to be largely arbitrary and tools of social control.” From Publisher’s Website.

Environmental Law, Crime, and Justice, by Michael J. Lynch, Ronald G. Burns, and Paul Stretesky. 2d ed. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 339p.

This second edition provides data documenting trends in pollution and environmental enforcement. Integrates recent developments in green criminology to analyze harms associated with air, land, and water pollution, and inclusion of new topics such as climate change and the role of powerful actors and civil society in shaping environmental law. It remains a timely appraisal of environmental policing, contemporary environmental law, environmental policy, and environmental justice, blending together areas that are often treated or studied individually or in isolation from one another. Designed for classroom use, Environmental Law, Crime and Justice exposes readers to the variety of issues that are important in reducing environmental crime. The text illustrates the serious nature of emerging environmental problems and demonstrates how students can become involved in studying environmental crime, law and justice. From Publisher’s Website.

The Expressive Powers of Law: Theories and Limits, by Richard H. McAdams. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015. 336p.

“When asked why people obey the law, legal scholars usually give two answers. Law deters illicit activities by specifying sanctions, and it possesses legitimate authority in the eyes of society. Richard McAdams shifts the prism on this familiar question to offer another compelling explanation of how the law creates compliance: through its expressive power to coordinate our behavior and inform our beliefs.

People seek order, and they sometimes obtain a mutually shared benefit when each expects the other to behave in accordance with law. Traffic regulations, for example, coordinate behavior by expressing an orderly means of driving. A traffic sign that tells one driver to yield to another creates expectations in the minds of both drivers and so allows each to avoid collision. McAdams generalizes from traffic to constitutional and international law and many other domains. In addition to its coordinating function, law expresses information. Legislation reveals something important about the risks of the behavior being regulated, and social attitudes toward it. Anti-smoking laws, for example, signal both the lawmakers’ recognition of the health risks associated with smoking and the public’s general disapproval. This information causes individuals to update their beliefs and alter their behavior.

McAdams shows how an expressive theory explains the law’s sometimes puzzling efficacy, as when tribunals are able to resolve disputes even though they lack coercive power or legitimacy. The Expressive Powers of Law contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms by which law—simply by what it says rather than what it sanctions—generates compliance.” From Publisher’s Website.

The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, by Naomi Murakawa. Oxford, UK: New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 280p.

“The explosive rise in the U.S. incarceration rate in the second half of the twentieth century, and the racial transformation of the prison population from mostly white at mid-century to sixty-five percent black and Latino in the present day, is a trend that cannot easily be ignored. Many believe that this shift began with the "tough on crime" policies advocated by Republicans and southern Democrats beginning in the late 1960s, which sought longer prison sentences, more frequent use of the death penalty, and the explicit or implicit targeting of politically marginalized people. In The First Civil Right, Naomi Murakawa inverts the conventional wisdom by arguing that the expansion of the federal carceral state-a system that disproportionately imprisons blacks and Latinos-was, in fact, rooted in the civil-rights liberalism of the 1940s and early 1960s, not in the period after.

Murakawa traces the development of the modern American prison system through several presidencies, both Republican and Democrat. Responding to calls to end the lawlessness and violence against blacks at the state and local levels, the Truman administration expanded the scope of what was previously a weak federal system. Later administrations from Johnson to Clinton expanded the federal presence even more. Ironically, these steps laid the groundwork for the creation of the vast penal archipelago that now exists in the United States. What began as a liberal initiative to curb the mob violence and police brutality that had deprived racial minorities of their 'first civil right-physical safety-eventually evolved into the federal correctional system that now deprives them, in unjustly large numbers, of another important right: freedom. The First Civil Right is a groundbreaking analysis of root of the conflicts that lie at the intersection of race and the legal system in America.” From Publisher’s Website.

General Defences in Criminal Law: Domestic and Comparative Perspectives, ed. by Alan Reed, Michael Bohlander, with Nicola Wake and Emma Smitih. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2014. 360p.

“The law relating to general defences is one of the most important areas in the criminal law, yet the current state of the law in the United Kingdom reveals significant problems in the adoption of a consistent approach to their doctrinal and theoretical underpinnings, as exemplified by a number of recent developments in legislation and case law. A coherent and joined-up approach is still missing. This volume provides an analysis of the main contentious areas in British law, and proposes ways forward for reform.

The collection includes contributions from leading experts across various jurisdictions. Part I examines the law in the United Kingdom, with specialist contributions on Irish and Scottish law. Part II consists of contributions by authors from a number of foreign jurisdictions, all written to a common research grid for maximum comparability, which provide a wider background of how other legal systems treat problems relating to general defences in the context of the criminal law, and which may serve as points of reference for domestic law reform.” From Publisher’s Website.

A Halfway House for Women: Oppression and Resistance, by Gail A. Caputo. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 2014. 296p.

“Although halfway houses have been touted for years as affirmative rehabilitation locations that ready women for life in the outside world, in this remarkable case study Gail Caputo shows how these places reinforce patterns of control and abuse that reaffirm the dependency and victimization of the inmates. Based on observations made while living and working alongside women at a halfway house within the prison system in a city in the Northeast, Caputo's analysis is anchored in the words and experiences of over a dozen women. Organized according to the progression of "levels" residents traverse during their time in the house, and the rules and behaviors associated with each level, Caputo offers a riveting look at what passes for "rehabilitation" and "reintegration" in such places, and delineates the many ways these women retain agency by resisting regulations designed to keep them in their place.” From Publisher’s Website.

Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty, by Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier. London; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 448p.

“Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty connects the history of the American death penalty to the case of Warren McCleskey. By highlighting the relation between American history and an individual case, Imprisoned by the Past provides a unique understanding of the big picture of capital punishment in the context of a compelling human story.

McCleskey's criminal law case resulted in one of the most important Supreme Court cases in U.S. legal history, where the Court confronted evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of capital punishment. The case marks the last that the Supreme Court realistically might have held that capital punishment violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As such, the constitutional law case also created a turning point in the death penalty debate in the country. The book connects McCleskey's case -- as well as his life and crime -- to the issues that have haunted the American death penalty debate since the first executions by early settlers and that still affect the legal system today.

Imprisoned by the Past ties together three unique American stories in U.S history. First, the book considers the changing American death penalty across centuries where drastic changes have occurred in the last fifty years. Second, the book discusses the role that race played in that history. And third, the book tells the story of Warren McCleskey and how his life and legal case brought together the other two narratives.” From the Publisher’s Website.

In Search of Police Legitimacy: Territoriality, Isomorphism, and Changes in Policing Practices, by Jonathon A. Cooper, El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 214p.

“Cooper answers two questions: why do police precincts look similar, despite being situated in very different environments? And, why do police engage in behavior that does not result in crime control? These two questions are closely related. Drawing from institutional theory and employing spatial analytic techniques, Cooper finds that certain police precincts unduly influence the behavior of neighboring precincts. In the language of institutional theory, this is sovereign isomorphism: precincts behave similarly because they see other precincts as leaders. Such isomorphism results in behavior that does not reduce crime because the borrowed behavior has no connection with the precinct’s immediate environment. These findings hold great potential for inducing organizational change by tapping into the strategic power of such sovereign precincts.” From Publisher’s Website.

International Law and Child Soldiers, by Gus Waschefort. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2015. 233p.

“This book commences with an analysis of the current state of child soldiering internationally. Thereafter the proscriptive content of contemporary norms on the prohibition of the use and recruitment of child soldiers is evaluated, so as to determine whether these norms are capable of better enforcement. An 'issues-based' approach is adopted, in terms of which no specific regime of law, such as international humanitarian law (IHL), is deemed dominant. Instead, universal and regional human rights law, international criminal law and IHL are assessed cumulatively, so as to create a mutually reinforcing web of protection. Ultimately, it is argued that the effective implementation of child soldier prohibitive norms does not require major changes to any entity or functionary engaged in such prevention; rather, it requires the constant reassessment and refinement of all such entities and functionaries, and here, some changes are suggested. International judicial, quasi-judicial and non-judicial entities and functionaries most relevant to child soldier prevention are critically assessed. Ultimately the conclusions reached are assessed in light of a case study on the use and recruitment of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” From Publisher’s Website

Legal Rights of the Convicted, by Barbara Belbot, Craig Hemmens and Michael R. Cavanaugh. 2nd ed. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2015. 281p.

“The second edition offers an updated discussion of relevant and current case law. New topics, including juvenile life without parole (LWOP), habeas corpus for enemy combatants, and transgendered inmates were addressed. New sections on DNA collection and testing, Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), and deportation of legal residents were included in the updated edition. More significant court cases and their summaries were also added to the end of the book.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Marion Experiment: Long-Term Solitary Confinement and the Supermax Movement, ed. by Stephen C. Richards. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. 336p.

“Taking readers into the darkness of solitary confinement, this searing collection of convict experiences, academic research, and policy recommendations shines a light on the proliferation of supermax (super-maximum-security) prisons and the detrimental effects of long-term high-security confinement on prisoners and their families.

Stephen C. Richards, an ex-convict who served time in nine federal prisons before earning his PhD in criminology, argues the supermax prison era began in 1983 at USP Marion in southern Illinois, where the first “control units” were built by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Marion Experiment, written from a convict criminology perspective, offers an introduction to long-term solitary confinement and supermax prisons, followed by a series of first-person accounts by prisoners—some of whom are scholars—previously or currently incarcerated in high-security facilities, including some of the roughest prisons in the western world. Scholars also address the widespread “Marionization” of solitary confinement; its impact on female, adolescent, and mentally ill prisoners and families; and international perspectives on imprisonment.

As a bold step toward rethinking supermax prisons, Richards presents the most comprehensive view of the topic to date to raise awareness of the negative aspects of long-term solitary confinement and the need to reevaluate how prisoners are housed and treated.” From Publisher’s Website.

Media representations of police and crime: Shaping the Police Television Drama, by Marianne Colbran. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 336p.

“Police series are prime time viewing. They are important in shaping public perceptions and preferences about the role and the nature of policing in society. But how are these stories created? How important is authenticity to the makers? And what is the appeal for audiences in watching these dramas?
Written by a former police drama scriptwriter, this book is the first criminological study of its kind to explore the impact of production processes in shaping fictional representations of police and crime in television drama. Drawing on media and criminological theory, it analyses how commercial imperatives, working processes and artistic constraints shape storytelling on ten key British and European police dramas from the last twenty-five years including The Bill, Between the Lines, Broadchurch and popular French drama Spiral.

Providing a revealing insight into the television industry and the factors which play a part in determining how and why representations of the police have changed over time, this book will appeal to scholars in Criminology, Media Studies and Sociology. “ From Publisher’s Website.

Murder in the Courtroom: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Violence, by Brigitte Vallabhajosula. London; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 352p.

“Answers to many legal questions often depend on our understanding of the relationship between the human brain and behavior. While there is no evidence to suggest that violence is the sole result of cognitive impairment, research does suggest that frontal lobe impairment in particular may contribute to the etiology of violent behavior.

Murder in the Courtroom presents a comprehensive and detailed analysis of issues most relevant to answering questions regarding the link between cognitive functioning and violence. It is the first book to focus exclusively on the etiology and assessment of cognitive impairment in the context of violent behavior and the challenges courts face in determining the reliability of neuroscience evidence; provide objective discussions of currently available neuropsychological tests and neuroimaging techniques, and their strengths and limitations; provide a methodology for the assessment of cognitive dysfunction in the context of violent behavior that is likely to withstand a Daubert challenge; and include detailed discussions of criminal cases to illustrate important points. Clinical and forensic psychologists and psychiatrists, cognitive neuroscientists, and legal professionals will be able to use this book to further their understanding of the relationship between brain function and extreme violence.” From Publisher’s Website.

New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law, ed. by Lynn Comella and Shira Tarrant. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2015. 465p.

“This book presents thought-provoking research and data about pornography that will prompt readers to reconsider their positions on a highly controversial and current issue.

How does pornography impact society and affect our views on sexuality?

Why do people use pornography? Is porn addiction a fact or myth? What is revenge porn and is it illegal? Can pornography be more diverse? This interdisciplinary collection presents well-researched facts and up-to-date data that encourage informed discussion about controversial and relevant issues in contemporary society. Chapters address topics such as the history and cultural trends of pornography, labor and production practices in creating porn, the effects of technology, current issues in obscenity law, and myths and facts about the effects of pornography.

New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law challenges assumptions about this popular yet controversial industry. Contributors include top scholars from media studies, sociology, psychology, gender studies, criminology, politics, and the law. This book provides a comprehensive overview of pornography that will help students, educators, and general readers deepen their understanding of this provocative subject.” From Publisher’s Website.

Political Geographies of Piracy: Constructing Threats and Containing Bodies in Somalia, by Brittany Gilmer. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 212p.

“Political Geographies of Piracy examines the new security-development framework for combating piracy off the coast of Somalia. It demonstrates how counter piracy actors, particularly in the development sector, are reworking territorial sovereignties and reproducing markets of security and development in Somalia. Underlying onshore counter piracy strategies is a desire to both simultaneously secure and develop Somalia. However, the wider goal of these security-development strategies is to prevent and contain particular racialized and gendered actions and bodies on shore in Somalia. Drawing upon unique insider knowledge of the international counter piracy regime, Gilmer reveals the institutional machinations at stake in efforts to simultaneously combat and profit from Somali piracy. Research conducted on the ground in Somalia, and with convicted piracy prisoners detained in the Seychelles, also provides a rare glimpse into how security-development strategies for combating piracy are being promoted and resisted among various Somali communities.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Pirate Myth: Genealogies of an Imperial Concept , by Amedeo Policante. Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2015. 244p.

“The image of the pirate is at once spectral and ubiquitous. It haunts the imagination of international legal scholars, diplomats and statesmen involved in the war on terror. It returns in the headlines of international newspapers as an untimely ‘security threat’. It materializes on the most provincial cinematic screen and the most acclaimed works of fiction. It casts its shadow over the liquid spatiality of the Net, where cyber-activists, file-sharers and a large part of the global youth are condemned as pirates, often embracing that definition with pride rather than resentment. Today, the pirate remains a powerful political icon, embodying at once the persistent nightmare of an anomic wilderness at the fringe of civilization, and the fantasy of a possible anarchic freedom beyond the rigid norms of the state and of the market. And yet, what are the origins of this persistent ‘pirate myth’ in the Western political imagination? Can we trace the historical trajectory that has charged this ambiguous figure with the emotional, political and imaginary tensions that continue to characterize it? What can we learn from the history of piracy and the ways in which it intertwines with the history of imperialism and international trade? Drawing on international law, political theory, and popular literature, The Pirate Myth offers an authoritative genealogy of this immortal political and cultural icon, showing that the history of piracy – the different ways in which pirates have been used, outlawed and suppressed by the major global powers, but also fantasized, imagined and romanticised by popular culture – can shed unexpected light on the different forms of violence that remain at the basis of our contemporary global order. “ From Publisher’s Website.

The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice, by Nina M. Moore. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 406p.

“The race problem in the American criminal justice system persists because we enable it. The tendency of liberals to point a finger at law enforcement, racial conservatives, the War on Drugs, is misguided. Black as well as white voters, Democrat as much as Republican lawmakers, President Obama as much as Reagan, both Congress and the Supreme Court alike; all are implicated. We all are 'The Man'. Whether the problem is defined in terms of blacks’ overrepresentation in prisons or in terms of the disproportional use of deadly police force against blacks, not enough of us demand that something be done. The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice is the story of how the race problem in criminal justice is continually enabled in the national crime policy process, and why.” From Publisher’s Website.

Precarious Lives: Forced Labour, Exploitation and Asylum, by Hannah Lewis, Peter Swyer, Stuart Hodkinson, and Louise Waite . Bristol, UK; Policy Press, 234p. (In US: Available from the University of Chicago Press)

“This ground breaking book presents the first evidence of forced labour among displaced migrants who seek refuge in the UK. Through a critical engagement with contemporary debates about precarity, unfreedom and socio-legal status, the book explores how asylum and forced labour are linked, and enmeshed in a broader picture of modern slavery produced through globalised working conditions. Drawing on original evidence generated in fieldwork with refugees and asylum seekers, this is important reading for students and academics in social policy, social geography, sociology, politics, refugee, labour and migration studies, and policy makers and practitioners working to support migrants and tackle forced labour.” From Publisher’s Website.

Privatising Public Prisons: Labour Law and the Public Procurement Process, by Amy Ludlow. Oxford, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2015. 229p.

“Successive UK Governments have pursued ambitious programmes of private sector competition in public services that they promise will deliver cheaper, higher quality services, but not at the expense of public sector workers. The public procurement rules (most significantly Directive 2004/18/EC) often provide the legal framework within which the Government must deliver on its promises. This book goes behind the operation of these rules and explores their interaction with the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE); regulations that were intended to offer workers protection when their employer is restructuring his business. The practical effectiveness of both sources of regulation is critiqued from a social protection perspective by reference to empirical findings from a case study of the competitive tendering exercise for management of HMP Birmingham that was held by the National Offender Management Service between 2009 and 2011.

Overall, the book challenges the Government's portrayal of competition policies as self-evident sources of improvement for public services. It highlights the damage that can be caused by competitive processes to social capital and the organisational, cultural and employment strengths of a public service Overall it casts doubt upon the desirability and suitability of using competition as a policy mechanism to improve public services” From Publisher’s Website.

Remorse, Penal Theory and Sentencing, by Hannah Maslen. Oxford, UK: Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2015. 224p.

This monograph addresses a contested but under-discussed question in the field of criminal sentencing: should an offender's remorse affect the sentence he or she receives? Answering this question involves tackling a series of others: is it possible to justify mitigation for remorse within a retributive sentencing framework? Precisely how should remorse enter into the sentencing equation? How should the mitigating weight of remorse interact with other aggravating and mitigating factors? Are there some offence or offender characteristics that preclude remorse-based mitigation? Remorse is recognised as a legitimate mitigating factor in many sentencing regimes around the world, with powerful effects on sentence severity. Although there has been some discussion of whether this practice can be justified within the literature on sentencing and penal theory, this monograph provides the first comprehensive and in-depth study of possible theoretical justifications. Whilst the emphasis here is on theoretical justification, the monograph also offers analysis of how normative conclusions would play out in the broader context of sentencing decisions and the guidance intended to structure them. The conclusions reached have relevance for sentencing systems around the world.” From Publisher’s Website.

Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala, by Kevin Lewis O’Neill. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015. 304p.

““I’m not perfect,” Mateo confessed. “Nobody is. But I try.” Secure the Soul shuttles between the life of Mateo, a born-again ex-gang member in Guatemala and the gang prevention programs that work so hard to keep him alive. Along the way, this poignantly written ethnography uncovers the Christian underpinnings of Central American security. In the streets of Guatemala City—amid angry lynch mobs, overcrowded prisons, and paramilitary death squads—millions of dollars empower church missions, faith-based programs, and seemingly secular security projects to prevent gang violence through the practice of Christian piety. With Guatemala increasingly defined by both God and gangs, Secure the Soul details an emerging strategy of geopolitical significance: regional security by way of good Christian living.” From Publisher’s Website.

Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary, by Dennis Childs. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. 280p.

“The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed in 1865, has long been viewed as a definitive break with the nation’s past by abolishing slavery and ushering in an inexorable march toward black freedom. Slaves of the State presents a stunning counterhistory to this linear narrative of racial, social, and legal progress in America.

Dennis Childs argues that the incarceration of black people and other historically repressed groups in chain gangs, peon camps, prison plantations, and penitentiaries represents a ghostly perpetuation of chattel slavery. He exposes how the Thirteenth Amendment’s exception clause—allowing for enslavement as “punishment for a crime”—has inaugurated forms of racial capitalist misogynist incarceration that serve as haunting returns of conditions Africans endured in the barracoons and slave ship holds of the Middle Passage, on plantations, and in chattel slavery.

Childs seeks out the historically muted voices of those entombed within terrorizing spaces such as the chain gang rolling cage and the modern solitary confinement cell, engaging the writings of Toni Morrison and Chester Himes as well as a broad range of archival materials, including landmark court cases, prison songs, and testimonies, reaching back to the birth of modern slave plantations such as Louisiana’s “Angola” penitentiary.

Slaves of the State paves the way for a new understanding of chattel slavery as a continuing social reality of U.S. empire—one resting at the very foundation of today’s prison industrial complex that now holds more than 2.3 million people within the country’s jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers. “ From Publisher’s Website.

Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities: Resisting a Dangerous Order, by Shawna Ferris. Edmonton, AB, Canada: University of Alberta Press, 2015.

“Canadian cities are striving for high safety ratings by eliminating crime, which includes “cleaning” urban areas of the street sex industry. Ironically, those same sex workers also want to live and work in a safe environment. Shawna Ferris interrogates sanitizing political agendas, analyzes exclusionary legislative and police initiatives, and examines media representations. She gives a voice to sex workers who are often pushed to the background, even by those who fight for them. In the name of urban safety and orderliness, street sex workers face stigma, racism, and ignorance. Their human rights are ignored, and some even lose their lives. Ferris aims to reveal the cultural dimensions of this discrimination through literary and art-critical theory, legal and sociological research, and activist intervention. This book has much to offer to educators and activists, sex workers and anti-violence organizations, and academics studying women, cultural, gender, or indigenous issues.” From Publisher’s Website.

Substandard Medical Care in U.S. Prisons: Improvement through Civil Liability Actions, by Lily Chi-Fang Tsai. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 154p.

“Contrary to the ideal set up in Estelle v. Gamble (1976), inmates’ medical needs were infrequently recognized by state courts and normally rejected through the examination of the two-pronged standard. Tsai contributes to existing literature by examining inadequate medical care and medical malpractice litigation against prison and jail physicians who have been sued in state courts by inmates during the past decade. By classifying the treatment actions or inactions that led inmates to file for civil remedies and examining the negative health outcomes that resulted from physicians’ actions and inactions and their responses and justification techniques, Tsai analyzes state cases and develops a descriptive profile of how inmates, physicians, and the courts are defining and responding to medical misconduct in U.S. correctional facilities.” From Publisher’s Website.

The Three Graces of Raymond Street: Murder, Madness, Sex, and Politics in 1870s Brooklyn, by Robert E. Murphy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2015. 253p.

”Between January 1872 and September 1873, the city of Brooklyn was gripped by accounts of three murders allegedly committed by young women: a factory girl shot her employer and seducer, an evidently peculiar woman shot a philandering member of a prominent Brooklyn family, and a former nun was arrested on suspicion of having hanged her best friend and onetime convent mate. Two were detained at the county jail on Raymond Street, while one remained at large, and her pursuit and eventual arrest was complicated by dissension in the police department. Lawyers for all three women prepared insanity defenses, and citizens thronged the courtrooms to witness the suspenseful trials. An intriguing account of the events surrounding the cases, which became entwined with Brooklyn’s politics and religious differences, The Three Graces of Raymond Street offers insights into the sexual mores of the times and illustrates the development of the modern American city.” From Publisher’s Website.

Torturing Terrorists: Exploring the Limits of Law, Human Rights and Academic Freedom, by Philip N.S. Rumney. Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 224p.

“This book considers the theoretical, policy and empirical arguments relevant to the debate concerning the legalisation of interrogational torture. Torturing Terrorists examines, as part of a consequentialist analysis, the nature and impact of torture and the implications of its legal regulation on individuals, institutions and wider society. In making an argument against the use of torture, the book engages in a wide ranging interdisciplinary analysis of the arguments and claims that are put forward by the proponents and opponents of legalised torture.

This book examines the ticking bomb hypothetical and explains how the component parts of the hypothetical are expansively interpreted in theory and practice. It also considers the effectiveness of torture in producing ‘ticking bomb’ and ‘infrastructure’ intelligence and examines the use of interrogational torture and coercion by state officials in Northern Ireland, Algeria, Israel, and as part of the CIA’s ‘High Value Detainee’ interrogation programme. As part of an empirical slippery slope argument, this book examines the difficulties in drafting the text of a torture statute; the difficulties of controlling the use of interrogational torture and problems such a law could create for state officials and wider society. Finally, it critically evaluates suggestions that debating the legalisation of torture is dangerous and should be avoided.” From Publisher’s Website

Unravelling Tort and Crime, ed. by Matthew Dyson. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 432p.

“Tort law and criminal law are closely bound together but their relationship rarely receives sustained and rigorous scrutiny. This is the first significant project in England and Wales to address that shortcoming. Building on growing interest amongst both academics and practitioners in the relationship between tort and crime, it draws together leading experts to chart the field and explore key points of interest. It uses a range of perspectives from legal theory, doctrine, legal history and comparative law to address some of the most important and interesting links between tort and crime. Examples include how the illegality defence operates to avoid stultification of the law, the difference between criminal and civil causation, how the Motor Insurers' Bureau not only insures but acts to enforce laws and alter behaviour, and why civil law only very rarely restores specific property but the criminal law does it daily.” From Publisher’s Website.

Violence Against Women: impacts on Women’s Health Derived from a U.S. Nationwide Study, by Megan C. Stewart. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2014. 168p.

“Using data from the National Violence Against Women Study (NVAWS) and general strain theory (GST) as a theoretical basis, Stewart explores the impact of the victim-offender relationship on psychological and physical health and wellbeing for the crimes of rape, stalking, and physical assault. She asks two questions: first, what is the prevalence of violence against women by victim-offender relationship? and, second, what is the effect of the victim-offender relationship on health outcomes? Findings indicate that a variety of perpetrators are responsible for violence against women. Additionally, while victimization is related to negative health outcomes, the victim-offender relationship does not significantly contribute to increased odds of experiencing negative health outcomes.” From Publisher’s Website.

What is Criminology About? Philosophical Reflections, ed. by Don Crewe and Ronnie Lippens. Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2015. 208p.

“Since its inception, criminology has had trouble answering the question of what it is about. But although many consider the answer to this question to be self-evident, this book pursues the provocative possibility that criminology does not know what the object of its study is; it merely knows what it is called. Aiming to foster dissent among those who claim to know what criminology is about – and those who don’t – writers from different schools of thought come together in this collection to answer the question "what is criminology about?" Building on a resurgence of interest in the nature of the object of criminology, their responses aim to deepen, and to expand, the current debate. This book will, then, be of considerable interest to contemporary proponents and students of criminology and law.” From Publisher’s Website.

HOME  |  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, copyright © 2011.
Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books is a joint project of Rutgers School of Law-Newark and Rutgers School of Criminal Justice.

Website designed by Red Dream Studios
Become a Fan on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter