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 Virginia Tech: Guns, Safety, and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings, by Thomas P. Kapsidelis. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019. 272p.
“In what has become the era of the mass shooting, we are routinely taken to scenes of terrible violence. Often neglected, however, is the long aftermath, including the efforts to effect change in the wake of such tragedies. On April 16, 2007, thirty-two Virginia Tech students and professors were murdered. Then the nation’s deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman, the tragedy sparked an international debate on gun culture in the United States and safety on college campuses. Experiencing profound grief and trauma, and struggling to heal both physically and emotionally, many of the survivors from Virginia Tech and their supporters put themselves on the front lines to advocate for change. Yet since that April, large-scale gun violence has continued at a horrifying pace.
In After Virginia Tech, award-winning journalist Thomas Kapsidelis examines the decade after the Virginia Tech massacre through the experiences of survivors and community members who have advocated for reforms in gun safety, campus security, trauma recovery, and mental health. Undaunted by the expansion of gun rights, they have continued their national leadership despite an often-hostile political environment and repeated mass violence. Kapsidelis also focuses on the trauma suffered by police who responded to the shootings, and the work by chaplains and a longtime police officer to create an organization dedicated to recovery. The stories Kapsidelis tells here show how people and communities affected by profound loss ultimately persevere long after the initial glare and attention inevitably fade. Reaching beyond policy implications, After Virginia Tech illuminates personal accounts of recovery and resilience that can offer a ray of hope to millions of Americans concerned about the consequences of gun violence.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Against Hate, by Carolin Emcke. Medford, MA: Polity Press, 2019. 220p.
“Racism, extremism, anti-democratic sentiment – our increasingly polarized world is dominated by a type of thinking that doubts others’ positions but never its own.
In a powerful challenge to fundamentalism in all its forms, Carolin Emcke, one of Germany’s leading intellectuals, argues that we can only preserve individual freedom and protect people’s rights by cherishing and celebrating diversity. If we want to safeguard democracy, we must have the courage to challenge hatred and the will to fight for and defend plurality in our societies. Emcke rises to the challenge that identitarian dogmas and populist narratives pose, exposing the way in which they simplify and distort our perception of the world.
Against Hate is an impassioned call to fight intolerance and defend liberal ideals. It will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the darkening politics of our time and searching for ways forward.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art Since 1970, by Vivien Green Fryd. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019. 368p.
“Pairing trauma theory with detailed analysis of American art focused on sexual violence, Fryd’s study is a timely and compelling contribution to ongoing conversations about the intersections of images and actions, art as social and political catalyst, and the impact of feminist thought in contemporary American culture.” From Publisher’s Website.
|American Presidents, Deportations, and Human Rights: From Carter to Trump, by Bill Ong Hing. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 356p.
“Of the many issues polarizing societies today, immigration is one of the most contentious. In the United States, as in Europe, immigration was a defining issue in recent national elections. Immigration not only involves government policies but also the human rights of millions of people. American Presidents, Deportations, and Human Rights Violations studies how recent immigration policies in the United States developed during the Obama administration and are now being expanded in the first months of the Trump presidency. Documenting the harsh treatment of immigrants over the past twenty years, Bill Ong Hing shows how mass detention and deportation of immigrants, from Clinton’s two terms and the Bush administration, have escalated even higher. This book questions what price the United States is willing to pay for such harsh immigration policies in terms of our national values, and the impact on the lives of the millions of immigrants who deserve the full protection of universal human rights obligations.” From Publisher’s Website.
|An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, by Alex Kotlowitz. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2019. 304p.
“From the bestselling author of There Are No Children Here, a richly textured, heartrending portrait of love and death in Chicago’s most turbulent neighborhoods. The numbers are staggering: over the past twenty years in Chicago, 14,033 people have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and community? Drawing on his decades of experience, Alex Kotlowitz set out to chronicle one summer in the city, writing about individuals who have emerged from the violence and whose stories capture the capacity–and the breaking point–of the human heart and soul. The result is a spellbinding collection of deeply intimate profiles that upend what we think we know about gun violence in America. Among others, we meet a man who as a teenager killed a rival gang member and twenty years later is still trying to come to terms with what he’s done; a devoted school social worker struggling with her favorite student, who refuses to give evidence in the shooting death of his best friend; the witness to a wrongful police shooting who can’t shake what he has seen; and an aging former gang leader who builds a place of refuge for himself and his friends. Applying the close-up, empathic reporting that made There Are No Children Here a modern classic, Kotlowitz offers a piercingly honest portrait of a city in turmoil. These sketches of those left standing will get into your bones. This one summer will stay with you.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Anatomy of a False Confession: The Interrogation and Conviction of Brendan Dassey, by Michael D. Cicchini. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018. 248p.
“When Teresa Halbach went missing and was presumed dead, the police targeted Steven Avery for the crime. But Avery’s 16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey told the police that he saw Halbach driving away from Avery’s property the day she supposedly was murdered. This version of events would be devastating to the state’s case if it ever reached Avery’s jury.
The police decided to interrogate young Dassey again. For their next go-around they questioned him four times in 48 hours—each time without an adult present and often without reading him his Miranda rights. During this process, the interrogators not only coerced the learning-disabled child into changing his story, but they also got him to confess to participating in the murder!
Even though Dassey’s so-called confession was contradicted by all of the physical evidence, the jury believed it and found him guilty. Now, more than a decade after the trial, the saga lives on. Although a federal district court reversed Dassey’s conviction, a flip-flopping federal appeals court eventually reversed the reversal. Dassey remains convicted and incarcerated; the Supreme Court of the United States is his last hope.
Anatomy of a False Confession: The Interrogation and Conviction of Brendan Dassey answers several questions, including: Why did Dassey agree to talk to his interrogators in the first place? Why weren’t they required to read him his Miranda rights? Most significantly, how did the interrogators get Dassey to confess to a crime he did not commit? If Dassey was innocent, where did he get the details for his so-called confession? Why did the jury ignore the physical evidence and convict Dassey of murder? And why did the federal courts reverse Dassey’s conviction, only to reverse their own reversal?
Anatomy of a False Confession takes the reader inside the interrogation room and inside the courtroom to expose the interrogators’ tricks, the prosecutors’ ploys, and the judicial sleight of hand that conspired to put Dassey behind bars—probably for the rest of his life. The book also discusses several ways that the law should be reformed to avoid future injustices.” From Publisher’s Website
|Beyond Virtue and Vice: Rethinking Human Rights and Criminal Law, edited by Alice M. Miller and Mindy Jane Roseman. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. 360p.
“Over the past two decades, human rights as legal doctrine and practice has shifted its engagement with criminal law from a near exclusive condemnation of it as a source of harm toward increasingly invoking it as a necessary remedy for abuses. These shifts are most visible in the context of sexuality, reproduction, and gender. Criminal law appears in modern states as a tool for societies to define forbidden acts (crimes) and prescribe punishments. It authorizes the state to use force as an aspect of expressing and establishing norms—societal expectations for acceptable behavior which when breached permit individuals to be excluded and stigmatized as unfit for inclusion. But the core principles of human rights oppose exclusion and stigma and embrace the equality and dignity of all. Therefore there is an insuperable tension when human rights actors invoke criminal law to protect and vindicate human rights violations.
Beyond Virtue and Vice examines the ways in which recourse to the criminal law features in work by human rights advocates regarding sexuality, gender, and reproduction and presents a framework for considering if, when, and under what conditions, recourse to criminal law is compatible with human rights. Contributors from a wide range of disciplinary fields and geographic locations offer historical and contemporary perspectives, doctrinal cautionary tales, and close readings of advocacy campaigns on the use of criminal law in cases involving abortion and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, sex work and prostitution law, human trafficking, sexual violence across genders, child rights and adolescent sexuality, and LGBT issues. The volume offers specific values and approaches of possible use to advocates, activists, policy makers, legislators, scholars, and students in their efforts to craft dialogue and engagement to move beyond state practices that compromise human rights in the name of restraining vice and extolling virtue.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, by Emily Bazelon. New York: Random House., 2019. 448p.
“A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders, by Thomas L. Hafemeister. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 384p.
“The complicated relationship between defendants with mental health disorders and the criminal justice system. The American criminal justice system is based on the bedrock principles of fairness and justice for all. In striving to ensure that all criminal defendants are treated equally under the law, it endeavors to handle similar cases in similar fashion, attempting to apply rules and procedures even-handedly regardless of a defendant’s social class, race, ethnicity, or gender. Yet, the criminal justice system has also recognized exceptions when special circumstances underlie a defendant’s behavior or are likely to skew the defendant’s trial. One of the most controversial set of exceptions –often poorly articulated and inconsistently applied – involves criminal defendants with a mental disorder. A series of special rules and procedures has evolved over the centuries, often without fanfare and even today with little systematic examination, that lawyers and judges apply to cases involving defendants with a mental disorder. This book provides an analysis of the key issues in this dynamic interplay between individuals with a mental disorder and the criminal justice system. The volume identifies the various stages of criminal justice proceedings when the mental status of a defendant may be relevant, associated legal and policy issues, the history and evolution of these issues, and how they are currently resolved. To assist this exploration, the text also offers an overview of mental disorders, their relevance to criminal proceedings, how forensic mental health assessments are conducted and employed during these proceedings, and their application to competency and responsibility determinations. In sum, this book provides an important resource for students and scholars with an interest in mental health, law, and criminal justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Criminalization of Mental Illness: Reader, edited by Kelly Frailing and Risdon N. Slate. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2018, 256p.
“The Criminalization of Mental Illness Reader is an indispensable accompaniment to the second and future editions of the Criminalization of Mental Illness text. The contributors to the reader, who include some of the most expert and renowned scholars in the field, expand on key ideas in the text for comprehensive coverage of issues related to people with mental illness who are justice-involved. These include correlates of offending among people with mental illness; how criminal justice system actors respond, both desirable and otherwise, to people with mental illness; the media’s role in shaping perceptions of people with mental illness who are justice-involved; and, finally, what can be done more effectively to reverse the process of criminalization of this group.” From publisher’s website.
|A Criminology of Policing and Security Frontiers, by Randy K. Lippert and Kevin Walby. Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press, 2019. 119p.
“Policing and security provision are subjects central to criminology. Yet there are newer and neglected forms that are currently unscrutinised. By examining the work of community safety officers, ambassador patrols, conservation officers, and private police foundations, who operate on and are animated by a frontier, this book reveals why criminological inquiry must reach beyond traditional conceptual and methodological boundaries in the 21st century. Including novel case studies, this multi-disciplinary and international book assembles a rich collection of policing and security frontiers both geographical (e.g. the margins of cities) and conceptual (dispersion and credentialism) not seen or acknowledged previously.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Depolicing: When Police Officers Disengage, by Willard M. Oliver. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2019. 185p.
“Depolicing—the withdrawal from proactive law enforcement by officers on the line—has become an increasing concern within both police departments and the communities that they serve. Willard Oliver, a former policeman himself, draws on extensive interviews with officers in a variety of jurisdictions to explore how prevalent depolicing has become, why officers engage in it, and what can be done to minimize it. With officer behavior under more and more intense scrutiny, Depolicing is a uniquely important contribution to ongoing debates.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation and Sexual Assault: Challenging the Myths, by Corina Schulze, Sarah Koon-Magnin, and Valerie Bryan. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019. 235p.
“The underlying argument of this groundbreaking study is this: Sexual orientation and gender identity influence how sexual assault is experienced, how it is perceived, and ultimately, how victims (and perpetrators) are treated by the criminal justice system. Focusing much of their work on the queer community—a community with a disproportionately high risk of sexual assault—the authors introduce the Identity Inclusive Sexual Assault Myth Scale (IISAMS) to explore the unique aspects of sexual assault and the process of disclosure as experienced by queer victims. They also incorporate participant recommendations, collected during interviews, as they foreground ways for more effectively preventing and responding to sexual violence throughout contemporary society.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Getting Out: Early Release in England and Wales, 1960-1995, by Thomas C. Guiney. Oxford, UK: New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 320p.
“Getting Out offers the first systematic account of the evolution of early release as a public policy concern in England and Wales between 1960 and 1995. At a time when public discourse on crime has focused, to a significant degree, upon the powers of the police and the sentence of the court this book seeks to turn current debate on its head and examine the circumstances in which policy makers have found it desirable to reduce the custodial element of a prison sentence and return prisoners to the community. Drawing upon an extensive period of archival research, and interviews with key decision-makers, this book considers three defining periods of reform that illuminate the complex ideas, trade- offs, and moments of political controversy that have shaped this secretive and little understood area of penal policy. The book argues that early release is inherently bound up with prevailing societal justifications for punishment and the appropriate use of imprisonment within our liberal democratic system. It draws attention to the uneasy constitutional balance of power between the judiciary and the executive, and reflects upon the administrative task of governing large captive populations where the hopes and expectations of inmates do not always align with the interests of prison authorities or the community at large. In so doing, Getting Out challenges widespread assumptions about penal change and shows how government policy has been shaped by the legacy of past political choices, the organisation of central government departments and the fluid balance of power within Whitehall.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America, by Kyle Swenson. New York: Picador, 2019. 304p.
”In the early 1970s, three African-American men—Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu, and Rickey Jackson—were accused and convicted of the brutal robbery and murder of a man outside of a convenience store in Cleveland, Ohio. The prosecution’s case, which resulted in a combined 106 years in prison for the three men, rested on the more-than-questionable testimony of a pre-teen, Ed Vernon.
The actual murderer was never found. Almost four decades later, Vernon recanted his testimony, and Wiley, Kwame, and Rickey were released. But while their exoneration may have ended one of American history’s most disgraceful miscarriages of justice, the corruption and decay of the city responsible for their imprisonment remain on trial.
Interweaving the dramatic details of the case with Cleveland’s history—one that, to this day, is fraught with systemic discrimination and racial tension—Swenson reveals how this outrage occurred and why. Good Kids, Bad City is a work of astonishing empathy and insight: an immersive exploration of race in America, the struggling Midwest, and how lost lives can be recovered.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Hate Crime: Typology, Motivations, and Victims, edited by Robin Maria Valeri and Kevin Borgeson. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2018. 352p.
“Hate Crimes: Typology, Motivations, and Victims offers a fresh perspective on the study of hate crimes. With separate chapters on LGBT, race, religion, and gender motivated hate crimes, the book focuses on the various targets of these crimes and examines the theories and motivations that drive perpetrators to commit these acts of hate. To address the increase in hate crimes occurring on campuses and in cyberspace, the book also includes chapters on campus hate crimes and virtual hate. Editors Robin Valeri and Kevin Borgeson and their contributors draw on theories from criminology, psychology, and sociology to explore the ideologies of hatemongers and extremist groups. No competing text offers such in-depth and nuanced coverage of hate and the contributing factors to one of the fastest growing social problems in America. A core text for courses on hate crimes as well as an excellent supplement for any social problems class, Hate Crimes: Typology, Motivations, and Victims brings its singular focus to the growth and evolution in the field of hate crimes and hate studies. The chapter themes make this a highly readable text for criminal justice, psychology, or sociology professors as well as practitioners in the field.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Human Trafficking: Trade for Sex, Labor, and Organs, by Bandana Purkayastha and Farham Navid Yousaf. Cambridge, UK; Medford, MA: Polity Press, 2018. 224p.
“The last few decades have seen a huge increase in attention paid to the trafficking of human beings, often referred to as modern-day slavery. International and national policies and protocols have been developed and billions of dollars spent to combat the issue and protect trafficking victims. Yet it continues to flourish and human beings, in both the Global North and the Global South, continue to be degraded to the level of commodities and smuggled across borders for profit. Drawing upon feminist and human rights approaches to trafficking, this book links the worlds of policy, protocols, and social structures to the lived experience and conditions of trafficked people. Recognizing that trafficking for sex, labor, and body parts often overlaps in a broader context shaped by poverty, violence, and shrinking access to rights, the authors offer a more thoroughgoing account of this social problem. Only with such an integrated approach can we understand the exploitative conditions that make people vulnerable to trafficking, and the progress – as well as gaps – in initiatives seeking to address it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|In the Weeds. Demonization, Legalization,Mmarijuana Policy, by Clayton J. Mosher and Scott Akins. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019. 314p.
“More and more states are legalizing marijuana in some form. Moreover, a majority of the U.S. population is in favor of legalizing the drug for recreational use. In the Weeds looks at how our society has become more permissive in the past 150 years—even though marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the American government. Sociologists Clayton Mosher and Scott Akins take a deep dive into marijuana policy reform, looking at the incremental developments and the historical, legal, social, and political implications of these changes. They investigate the effects, medicinal applications, and possible harms of marijuana. In the Weeds also considers arguments that youth will be heavy users of legalized cannabis, and shows how “weed” is demonized by exaggerations of the drug’s risks and claims that it lacks medicinal value. Mosher and Akins end their timely and insightful book by tracing the distinct paths to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States and other countries as well as discussing what the future of marijuana law holds.” From Publisher’s Website.
|International Perspectives on Cyberbullying: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Interventions, edited by Anna Costanza Baldry, Catherine Blaya and David P. Farrington. Cham, SWIT: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 326p.
“This book brings together an international group of experts to present the latest psychosocial and developmental criminological research on cyberbullying, cyber victimization and intervention. With contributions from a wide range of European countries, including Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, France, Hungary, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as from Canada and the USA, this authoritative volume explores the nature, risk factors, and prevalence of cyberbullying among children and adolescents. A particularly original focus is directed towards the Tabby project (Threat Assessment of online Bullying Behaviour among Youngsters), an intervention programme based on the threat and risk assessment approach which seeks to prevent the occurrence of violence and its recidivism. Presenting cutting-edge research on developmental criminology and legal psychology, International Perspectives on Cyberbullying is a comprehensive resource for practitioners, teachers, parents, and researchers, as well as scholars of criminology, psychology, and education.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Judging Justice: How Victim Witnesses Evaluate International Courts, by James David Meernik and Kimi Lynn King. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2019. 216p.
“Some injustices are so massive, so heinous, and so extraordinary that ordinary courts are no longer adequate. The creation of international courts and tribunals to confront major violations of human rights sought to bring justice to affected communities as well as to the entire world. Yet if justice is a righting of the imbalance between what has happened and what is reflected in the law, no amount of punishment and no judgment could compensate for that suffering and loss. In order to understand the meaning of justice, James David Meernik and Kimi Lynn King studied the perspective of witnesses who have testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Using a unique survey, Meernik and King look at the identity of the victims and their perception of the fairness of ICTY. Because of the need to justify the practical and emotional difficulties involved in testifying before an international tribunal, witnesses look not just to the institution to judge its effectiveness, but also to their own contribution, by testifying effectively. The central elements of the theory Meernik and King develop—identity, fairness, and experience—transcend specific conflicts and specific countries and are of importance to people everywhere.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Killing with Prejudice: Institutionalized Racism in American Capital Punishment. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 233p.
“A history of the McCleskey v. Kemp Supreme Court ruling that effectively condoned racism in capital cases. In 1978 Warren McCleskey, a black man, killed a white police officer in Georgia. He was convicted by a jury of 11 whites and 1 African American, and was sentenced to death. Although McCleskey’s lawyers were able to prove that Georgia courts applied the death penalty to blacks who killed whites four times as often as when the victim was black, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in McCleskey v.Kemp, thus institutionalizing the idea that racial bias was acceptable in the capital punishment system. After a thirteen-year legal journey, McCleskey was executed in 1991. In Killing with Prejudice, R.J. Maratea chronicles the entire litigation process which culminated in what has been called “the Dred Scott decision of our time.” Ultimately, the Supreme Court chose to overlook compelling empirical evidence that revealed the discriminatory manner in which the assailants of African Americans are systematically undercharged and the aggressors of white victims are far more likely to receive a death sentence. He draws a clear line from the lynchings of the Jim Crow era to the contemporary acceptance of the death penalty and the problem of mass incarceration today. The McCleskey decision underscores the racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in modern American capital punishment, and the case is fundamental to understanding how the death penalty functions for the defendant, victims, and within the American justice system as a whole. From publisher’s website.
|Lethal Sate: A History of the Death Penalty in North Carolina, by Seth Kotch. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2019. 320p.
“For years, American states have tinkered with the machinery of death, seeking to align capital punishment with evolving social standards and public will. Against this backdrop, North Carolina had long stood out as a prolific executioner with harsh mandatory sentencing statutes. But as the state sought to remake its image as modern and business-progressive in the early twentieth century, the question of execution preoccupied lawmakers, reformers, and state boosters alike. In this book, Seth Kotch recounts the history of the death penalty in North Carolina from its colonial origins to the present. He tracks the attempts to reform and sanitize the administration of death in a state as dedicated to its image as it was to rigid racial hierarchies. Through this lens, Lethal State helps explain not only Americans’ deep and growing uncertainty about the death penalty but also their commitment to it. Kotch argues that Jim Crow justice continued to reign in the guise of a modernizing, orderly state and offers essential insight into the relationship between race, violence, and power in North Carolina. The history of capital punishment in North Carolina, as in other states wrestling with similar issues, emerges as one of state-building through lethal punishment.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Life Imprisonment: A Global Human Rights Analysis, by Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2019. 464p.
“Life imprisonment has replaced capital punishment as the most common sentence imposed for heinous crimes worldwide. As a consequence, it has become the leading issue in international criminal justice reform. In the first global survey of prisoners serving life terms, Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton argue for a human rights–based reappraisal of this exceptionally harsh punishment. The authors estimate that nearly half a million people face life behind bars, and the number is growing as jurisdictions both abolish death sentences and impose life sentences more freely for crimes that would never have attracted capital punishment. Life Imprisonment explores this trend through systematic data collection and legal analysis, persuasively illustrated by detailed maps, charts, tables, and comprehensive statistical appendices. The central question—can life sentences be just?—is straightforward, but the answer is complicated by the vast range of penal practices that fall under the umbrella of life imprisonment. Van Zyl Smit and Appleton contend that life imprisonment without possibility of parole can never be just. While they have some sympathy for the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, they conclude that life imprisonment, in many of the ways it is implemented worldwide, infringes on the requirements of justice. They also examine the outliers—states that have no life imprisonment—to highlight the possibility of abolishing life sentences entirely. Life Imprisonment is an incomparable resource for lawyers, lawmakers, criminologists, policy scholars, and penal-reform advocates concerned with balancing justice and public safety.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Lost Childhoods: Poverty, Trauma, and Violent Crime in the Post-Welfare Era, by Michaela Soyer. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 152p.
“Lost Childhoods focuses on the life-course histories of thirty young men serving time in the Pennsylvania adult prison system for crimes they committed when they were minors. The narratives of these young men, their friends, and relatives reveal the invisible yet deep-seated connection between the childhood traumas they suffered and the violent criminal behavior they committed during adolescence. By living through domestic violence, poverty, the crack epidemic, and other circumstances, these men were forced to grow up fast all while familial ties that should have sustained them were broken at each turn. The book goes on to connect large-scale social policy decisions and their effects on family dynamics and demonstrates the limits of punitive justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mafia Organizations: The Visible Hand of Criminal Enterprise, by Maurizio Catino. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 346p.
“How do mafias work? How do they recruit people, control members, conduct legal and illegal business, and use violence? Why do they establish such a complex mix of rituals, rules, and codes of conduct? And how do they differ? Why do some mafias commit many more murders than others? This book makes sense of mafias as organizations, via a collative analysis of historical accounts, official data, investigative sources, and interviews. Catino presents a comparative study of seven mafias around the world, from three Italian mafias to the American Cosa Nostra, Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, and Russian mafia. He identifies the organizational architecture that characterizes these criminal groups, and relates different organizational models to the use of violence. Furthermore, he advances a theory on the specific functionality of mafia rules and discusses the major organizational dilemmas that mafias face. This book shows that understanding the organizational logic of mafias is an indispensable step in confronting them. Considers seven mafias around the world: the three Italian mafias, American Cosa Nostra, Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, and Russian mafia. Provides a quantitative assessment of the presence and size of mafia organizations around the world. Sheds light on how the different mafias organize themselves and how they deal with organizational dilemmas.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Modern Slavery Agenda: Policy, Politics and Practice in the U.K., edited by Gary Craig, Alex Balch, Hannah Lewis and Louise Waite. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2019. 240p.
“Despite the introduction of laws to try to stop it, so-called modern slavery—whether in the form of domestic servitude, sex trafficking, child labor, or other exploitative practices—is still on the rise in the United Kingdom and other industrialized nations. This hugely topical book, written by a team of activists and experts, is the first to provide a critical assessment of modern anti-slavery legislation. The Modern Slavery Agenda argues that, contrary to its stated ambitions, the UK’s Modern Slavery Act is inconsistent, inadequate and punitive, paradoxically fostering conditions that promote the very acts it aims to outlaw, and offers strategies for improvement in policy and practice. The authors not only gather evidence from across the field, but also provide strategies for improvements in policy and practice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|More on Legalizing Marijuana: Ongoing Shifts in American Policies, edited by Nancy E. Marion and Joshua B. Hill. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2018. 252p.
“More states continue to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use. This trend toward legalized marijuana poses new problems and concerns for individuals and governments alike. More on Legalizing Marijuana presents research by ten experts that examines issues surrounding marijuana legalization and use. The first section of chapters examines the increased social acceptance of marijuana use and legalization, and the effect that has on communities. Another area of focus is what impact the acceptance of marijuana use has on voting patterns. The second group of chapters focuses on the political influences surrounding legalization. The impact of presidential rhetoric and speeches about marijuana is the topic of one study, whereas another focuses on interest group activity. Two articles take a more critical look at marijuana legalization and how it benefits certain groups over others. The third section of the book contains a set of chapters that review public policies regarding legalization and the unintended consequences of these new laws.” From Publisher’s Website.
|New Perspectives on Prison Masculinities, edited by Matthew Maycock and Kate Hunt.Cham, SWIT: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 343p.
“This edited collection utilises recent advances in theories on masculinities to explore and analyse the ways in which prisons shape performances of gender, both within prison settings and following release from prison. The authors assess here how the highly gendered world of the prison (where the population is overwhelmingly male in most countries) impacts upon the performance of masculinities. Including original pieces from England, Australia, Scotland and the USA, as well as contributions which take a broader methodological and conceptual approach to masculinity, this engaging and original collection holds international appeal and relevance. Cumulatively, the chapters illustrate the importance of considering a nuanced understanding of masculinity within prison research, and as such, will be of particular interest for scholars of penology, gender studies, and the criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s Website.
|On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration, by David J. Harding, Jeffrey D. Morenoff, and Jessica J.B. Wyse. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. 304p.
“America’s high incarceration rates are a well-known facet of contemporary political conversations. Mentioned far less often is what happens to the nearly 700,000 former prisoners who rejoin society each year. On the Outside examines the lives of twenty-two people—varied in race and gender but united by their time in the criminal justice system—as they pass out of the prison gates and back into the world. The book takes a clear-eyed look at the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated citizens as they try to find work, housing, and stable communities. Standing alongside these individual portraits is a quantitative study conducted by the authors that followed every state prisoner in Michigan who was released on parole in 2003 (roughly 11,000 individuals) for the next seven years, providing a comprehensive view of their postprison neighborhoods, families, employment, and contact with the parole system. On the Outside delivers a powerful combination of hard data and personal narrative that shows why our country continues to struggle with the social and economic reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Penal Censure: Engagement Within and Beyond Desert Theory, edited by Antje du Bois-Pedain and Anthony E. Bottoms. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2019. 328p.
“This exploration of penal censure is inspired by the 40th anniversary of the publication of Andreas von Hirsch’s Doing Justice, which opened up a fresh set of issues in theorisation about punishment that eventually led von Hirsch to ground his proposed model of desert-based sentencing on the notion of penal censure. Von Hirsch’s work thus provides an obvious starting-point for an exploration of the importance of censure for the justification of punishment, both within his theory of just deserts and from the perspectives of other theoretical approaches. It also provides an opportunity for engaging with censure more broadly from philosophical, sociological–anthropological and individual–psychological perspectives. The essays in this collection map the conceptual territory of censure from these different perspectives, address issues for desert theory that arise from fuller understandings of censure, and consider afresh the role of censure within the jurisprudence of punishment. They show that analyses of censure from different vantage points can significantly enrich punishment theory, not least by providing a conceptual basis for perceiving common ground between and thus connecting different strands of penal theory.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing Humanitarianism: EU Policies Against Human Smuggling and Their Impact on Civil Society, by Sergio Carrera. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2019. 240p.
“Policing Humanitarianism examines the ways in which European Union policies aimed at countering the phenomenon of migrant smuggling affect civil society actors’ activities in the provision of humanitarian assistance, access to rights for irregular immigrants and asylum seekers. It explores the effects of EU policies, laws and agencies’ operations in anti-migrant smuggling actions and their implementation in the following EU Member States: Italy, Greece, Hungary and the UK. The book critically studies policies designed and implemented since 2015, during the so-called ‘European refugee humanitarian crisis’.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD, by Max Felker-Cantor. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. 392p.
“When the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts erupted in violent protest in August 1965, the uprising drew strength from decades of pent-up frustration with employment discrimination, residential segregation, and poverty. But the more immediate grievance was anger at the racist and abusive practices of the Los Angeles Police Department. Yet in the decades after Watts, the LAPD resisted all but the most limited demands for reform made by activists and residents of color, instead intensifying its power.In Policing Los Angeles, Max Felker-Kantor narrates the dynamic history of policing, anti-police abuse movements, race, and politics in Los Angeles from the 1965 Watts uprising to the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion. Using the explosions of two large-scale uprisings in Los Angeles as bookends, Felker-Kantor highlights the racism at the heart of the city’s expansive police power through a range of previously unused and rare archival sources. His book is a gripping and timely account of the transformation in police power, the convergence of interests in support of law and orders policies, and African American and Mexican American resistance to police violence after the Watts uprising.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom, by Sarah A. Seo. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. 339p.
“When Americans think of freedom, they often picture the open road. Yet nowhere are we more likely to encounter the long arm of the law than in our cars. Sarah Seo reveals how the rise of the automobile led us to accept—and expect—pervasive police power. As Policing the Open Road makes clear, this radical transformation in the nature and meaning of American freedom has had far-reaching political and legal consequences.
Before the twentieth century, most Americans rarely came into contact with police officers. But with more and more drivers behind the wheel, police departments rapidly expanded their forces and increased officers’ authority to stop citizens who violated traffic laws. The Fourth Amendment—the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures—did not effectively shield individuals from government intrusion while driving. Instead, jurists interpreted the amendment narrowly. In a society dependent on cars, everyone—the law-breaking and law-abiding alike—would be subject to discretionary policing.
Seo overturns prevailing interpretations of the Warren Court’s due process revolution. The justices’ efforts to protect Americans did more to accommodate than to limit police intervention, and the new criminal procedures inadvertently sanctioned discrimination by officers of the law. Constitutional challenges to traffic stops largely failed, and motorists “driving while black” had little recourse to question police demands. Seo shows how procedures designed to safeguard us on the road ultimately undermined the nation’s commitment to equal protection before the law.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Politicization of Safety: Critical Perspectives on Domestic Violence Responses, edited by Jane K. Stoever. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 416p.
“Domestic violence is commonly assumed to be a bipartisan, nonpolitical issue, with politicians of all stripes claiming to work to end family violence. Nevertheless, the Violence Against Women Act expired for over 500 days between 2012 and 2013 due to differences between the U.S. Senate and House, demonstrating that legal protections for domestic abuse survivors are both highly political and highly vulnerable. Racial and gender politics, the move toward criminalization, reproductive justice concerns, gun control debates, and political interests are increasingly shaping responses to domestic violence, demonstrating the need for greater consideration of the interplay of politics, domestic violence, and how the law works in people’s lives.
The Politicization of Safety provides a critical historical perspective on domestic violence responses in the United States. It grapples with the ways in which child welfare systems and civil and criminal justice responses intersect, and considers the different, overlapping ways in which survivors of domestic abuse are forced to cope with institutionalized discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. The book also examines movement politics and the feminist movement with respect to domestic violence policies. The tensions discussed in this book, similar to those involved in the #metoo movement, include questions of accountability, reckoning, redemption, healing, and forgiveness.
What is the future of feminism and the movements against gender-based violence and domestic violence? Readers are invited to question assumptions about how society and the legal system respond to intimate partner violence and to challenge the domestic violence field to move beyond old paradigms and contend with larger justice issues.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration, by Rachel Elise Barkow. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. 304p.
“America’s criminal justice policy reflects irrational fears stoked by politicians seeking to win election. A preeminent legal scholar argues that reform guided by evidence, not politics and emotions, will reduce crime and reverse mass incarceration.
The United States has the world’s highest rate of incarceration, a form of punishment that ruins lives and makes a return to prison more likely. As awful as that truth is for individuals and their families, its social consequences—recycling offenders through an overwhelmed criminal justice system, ever-mounting costs, unequal treatment before the law, and a growing class of permanently criminalized citizens—are even more devastating. With the authority of a prominent legal scholar and the practical insights gained through on-the-ground work on criminal justice reform, Rachel Barkow explains how dangerous it is to base criminal justice policy on the whims of the electorate, which puts judges, sheriffs, and politicians in office. Instead, she argues for an institutional shift toward data and expertise, following the model used to set food and workplace safety rules.
Barkow’s prescriptions are rooted in a thorough and refreshingly ideology-free cost–benefit analysis of how to cut mass incarceration while maintaining public safety. She points to specific policies that are deeply problematic on moral grounds and have failed to end the cycle of recidivism. Her concrete proposals draw on the best empirical information available to prevent crime and improve the reentry of former prisoners into society.
Prisoners of Politics aims to free criminal justice policy from the political arena, where it has repeatedly fallen prey to irrational fears and personal interest, and demonstrates that a few simple changes could make us all safer.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and Street Gangs: Scheming Legality, Resisting Criminalization, edited by Tereza Kuldova and Martin Sanchez-Jankowski. Cham, SWIT: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 234p.
“This edited collection offers in-depth essays on outlaw motorcycle clubs and street gangs. Written by sociologists, anthropologists and criminologists, it asks the question of how the self-proclaimed ‘outlaws’ integrate into society. While these groups may cultivate a deviant image, these original studies show that we should not let ourselves be deceived by appearances. These ‘outlaws’ are, paradoxically, well integrated into mainstream society. The essays read the relationship of these groups to the media, law enforcement and society through the lens of their strategies of ‘scheming legality’ and ‘resisting criminalization’. These reveal most strikingly how the knowledge of social codes, norms and mechanisms is put to use by these groups. This groundbreaking volume provides answers to previously understudied questions through well-researched case studies drawn from across Europe and United States. With wide-reaching implications for communities around the world, this exciting collection of essays will be of great interest to academics and governmental institutions as well as students and general readers of anthropology, sociology and criminology.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Rebuilding Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: Strengthening the Links with Crime Science, edited by Rachel Armitage and Paul Ekblom. New York: Routledge, 2019. 266p.
“Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a practice-oriented approach to reduce the risk of offences such as burglary and fear of crime by modifying the built environment. In recent years, this approach has been criticised for duplicating terminology and for failing to integrate successfully with other approaches.
Rebuilding Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design explores and extends the common ground between CPTED and situational crime prevention – another traditional approach in the field of crime prevention and security – via the latter’s evolution into the field of crime science. Drawing on international research to develop new interdisciplinary perspectives, this volume explores how situational crime prevention and environmental criminological theories relate to those of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and considers how crime science can be reformulated to merge different approaches, or at least articulate them better.
Rebuilding Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design will appeal to students, applied academic researchers and practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding and contribute in turn to the ongoing revitalisation of the field.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Reflections on Crime and Culpability: Problems and Puzzles, by Larry Alexander and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 224p.
“In 2009, Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan published Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law. The book set out a theory that those who deserve punishment should receive punishment commensurate with, but no greater than, that which they deserve. Reflections on Crime and Culpability: Problems and Puzzles expands on their innovative ideas on the application of punishment in criminal law. Theorists working in criminal law theory presuppose or ignore puzzles that lurk beneath the surface. Now those who wish to examine these topics will have one monograph that combines the disparate puzzles in criminal law through a unified approach to culpability. Along with some suggestions as to how they might resolve the puzzles, Alexander and Ferzan lay out the arguments and analysis so future scholars can engage with questions about our understanding of culpability that very few have addressed.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Restorative Justice: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice, by Aida Y. Hass Wisecup and Caryn E. Saxon. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2018. 372p.
“Restorative Justice: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice provides students, practitioners, and criminal justice professionals with a comprehensive introduction to restorative justice that combines theoretical foundations, guiding principles, empirical evidence, and real-world implementations of various restorative processes and practices. Through easy-to-navigate chapters, the authors present readers with information concerning how and why restorative practices are implemented within communities in order to expand and enhance conventional approaches to crime prevention, community building, and criminal justice. Though designed for the college classroom, this text is an ideal and accessible introduction for anyone interested in exploring the philosophy, evaluation, and application of restorative justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border, by leva Jusionyte. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 296p.
“Emergency responders on the US-Mexico border operate at the edges of two states. They rush patients to hospitals across country lines, tend to the broken bones of migrants who jump over the wall, and put out fires that know no national boundaries. Paramedics and firefighters on both sides of the border are tasked with saving lives and preventing disasters in the harsh terrain at the center of divisive national debates.
Ieva Jusionyte’s firsthand experience as an emergency responder provides the background for her gripping examination of the politics of injury and rescue in the militarized region surrounding the US-Mexico border. Operating in this area, firefighters and paramedics are torn between their mandate as frontline state actors and their responsibility as professional rescuers, between the limits of law and pull of ethics. From this vantage they witness what unfolds when territorial sovereignty, tactical infrastructure, and the natural environment collide. Jusionyte reveals the binational brotherhood that forms in this crucible to stand in the way of catastrophe. Through beautiful ethnography and a uniquely personal perspective, Threshold provides a new way to understand politicized issues ranging from border security and undocumented migration to public access to healthcare today.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Troublesome Women: Gender, Crime and Punishment in Antebellum Pennsylvania, by Erica Rhodes Hayden. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019. 256p.
“This book traces the lived experiences of women lawbreakers in the state of Pennsylvania from 1820 to 1860 through the records of more than six thousand criminal court cases. By following these women from the perpetration of their crimes through the state’s efforts to punish and reform them, Erica Rhodes Hayden places them at the center of their own stories.
Women constituted a small percentage of those tried in courtrooms and sentenced to prison terms during the nineteenth century, yet their experiences offer valuable insight into the era’s criminal justice system. Hayden illuminates how criminal punishment and reform intersected with larger social issues of the time, including questions of race, class, and gender, and reveals how women prisoners actively influenced their situation despite class disparities. Hayden’s focus on recovering the individual experiences of women in the criminal justice system across the state of Pennsylvania marks a significant shift from studies that focus on the structure and leadership of penal institutions and reform organizations in urban centers.
Troublesome Women advances our understanding of female crime and punishment in the antebellum period and challenges preconceived notions of nineteenth-century womanhood. Scholars of women’s history and the history of crime and punishment, as well as those interested in Pennsylvania history, will benefit greatly from Hayden’s thorough and fascinating research.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Twelve Weeks to Change a Life: At-Risk Youth in a Fractured State, by Max A. Greenberg. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2019. 248p.
“Hailed as a means to transform cultural norms and change lives, violence prevention programs signal a slow-rolling policy revolution that has reached nearly two-thirds of young people in the United States today. Max A. Greenberg takes us inside the booming market for programming and onto the asphalt campuses of Los Angeles where these programs are implemented, many just one hour a week for 12 weeks. He spotlights how these ephemeral programs, built on troves of risk data, are disconnected from the lived experiences of the young people they were created to support. Going beyond the narrow stories told about at-risk youth through data and in policy, Greenberg sketches a vivid portrait of young men and women coming of age and forming relationships in a world of abiding harm and fleeting, fragmented support. At the same time, Greenberg maps the minefield of historical and structural inequalities that program facilitators must navigate to build meaningful connections with the youth they serve. Taken together, these programs shape the stories and politics of a generation and reveal how social policy can go wrong when it ignores the lives of young people.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and A Road to Repair, by Danielle Sered. New York: The New Press, 2019. 320p.
“Although over half the people incarcerated in America today have committed violent offenses, the focus of reformers has been almost entirely on nonviolent and drug offenses. Danielle Sered’s brilliant and groundbreaking Until We Reckon steers directly and unapologetically into the question of violence, offering approaches that will help end mass incarceration and increase safety.
Widely recognized as one of the leading proponents of a restorative approach to violent crime, Sered asks us to reconsider the purposes of incarceration and argues persuasively that the needs of survivors of violent crime are better met by asking people who commit violence to accept responsibility for their actions and make amends in ways that are meaningful to those they have hurt—none of which happens in the context of a criminal trial or a prison sentence.
Sered launched and directs Common Justice, one of the few organizations offering alternatives to incarceration for people who commit serious violent crime and which has produced immensely promising results.
Critically, Sered argues that the reckoning owed is not only on the part of those who have committed violence, but also by our nation’s overreliance on incarceration to produce safety—at great cost to communities, survivors, racial equity, and the very fabric of our democracy.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Visas and Walls: Border Security in the Age of Terrorism, by Nazli Avdan. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. 256p.
“Borders traditionally served to insulate nations from other states and to provide bulwarks against intrusion by foreign armies. In the age of terrorism, borders are more frequently perceived as protection against threats from determined individuals arriving from elsewhere. After a deadly terrorist attack, leaders immediately encounter pressure to close their borders. As Nazli Avdan observes, cracking down on border crossings and policing migration enhance security. However, the imperatives of globalization demand that borders remain open to legal travel and economic exchange. While stricter border policies may be symbolically valuable and pragmatically safer, according to Avdan, they are economically costly, restricting trade between neighbors and damaging commercial ties. In Visas and Walls, Avdan argues that the balance between economics and security is contingent on how close to home threats, whether actual or potential, originate. When terrorist events affect the residents of a country or take place within its borders, economic ties matter less. When terrorist violence strikes elsewhere and does not involve its citizens, the unaffected state’s investment in globalization carries the day.
Avdan examines the visa waiver programs and visa control policies of several countries in place in 2010, including Turkey’s migration policies; analyzes the visa issuance practices of the European Union from 2003 until 2015; and explores how terrorism and trade affected states’ propensities to build border walls in the post-World War II era. Her findings challenge the claim that border crackdowns are a reflexive response to terrorist violence and qualify globalists’ assertions that economic globalization makes for open borders. Visas and Walls encourages policymakers and leaders to consider more broadly the effects of economic interdependence on policies governing borders and their permeability.” From Publisher’s Website.
|What is Wrong with Human Trafficking? Critical Perspectives on the Law, ed. By Rita Haverkamp, Ester Herlin Karnell and Claes Lernestedt. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart, 2019. 270p.
“The overarching objective of this volume is to discuss and critique the legal regulation of human trafficking in national and transnational context. Specifically, discussion is needed not only with regard to the historical and philosophical points of departure for any criminalisation of trafficking, but also, regarding the societal and social framework, the empirical dimension such as existing statistics in the area, and the need for more data. The book combines descriptive and normative analyses of the crime of trafficking in human beings from a cross-legal perspective. Notwithstanding the enhanced interest for human trafficking in politics, the public and the media, a critical perspective such as the one pursued herewith has so far been largely absent. Against this background, this approach allows for theoretical findings to be addressed by pointing out and elaborating different, interdisciplinary conflicts and inconsistencies in the regulation of human trafficking. The book discusses the phenomenon of human trafficking critically from various angles, giving it ‘shape’ and showing how it comes to life in the legal regulation.” From Publisher’s Website.