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.
|Can’t Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility, by Susan Starr Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2014. 232p.
“Based on five years of fieldwork in Boston, Can’t Catch a Break documents the day-to-day lives of forty women as they struggle to survive sexual abuse, violent communities, ineffective social and therapeutic programs, discriminatory local and federal policies, criminalization, incarceration, and a broad cultural consensus that views suffering as a consequence of personal flaws and bad choices. Combining hard-hitting policy analysis with an intimate account of how marginalized women navigate an unforgiving world, Susan Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk shine new light on the deep and complex connections between suffering and social inequality.” From Publisher’s website.
|Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, by Dan Berger. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2014. 424p.
“In this pathbreaking book, Dan Berger offers a bold reconsideration of twentieth century black activism, the prison system, and the origins of mass incarceration. Throughout the civil rights era, black activists thrust the prison into public view, turning prisoners into symbols of racial oppression while arguing that confinement was an inescapable part of black life in the United States. Black prisoners became global political icons at a time when notions of race and nation were in flux. Showing that the prison was a central focus of the black radical imagination from the 1950s through the 1980s, Berger traces the dynamic and dramatic history of this political struggle.
The prison shaped the rise and spread of black activism, from civil rights demonstrators willfully risking arrests to the many current and former prisoners that built or joined organizations such as the Black Panther Party. Grounded in extensive research, Berger engagingly demonstrates that such organizing made prison walls porous and influenced generations of activists that followed.” From Publisher’s website.
|Citizen Convicts: Prisoners, Politics and the Vote, by Cormac Behan. Manchester, UK; New York: Manchester University Press, 2014. 240p.
“Prisoner enfranchisement remains one of the few contested electoral issues in twenty-first-century democracies. It is at the intersection of punishment and representative government. Many jurisdictions remain divided on whether or not prisoners should be allowed access to the franchise. This book investigates the experience of prisoner enfranchisement in the Republic of Ireland. It examines the issue in a comparative context, beginning by locating prisoner enfranchisement in a theoretical framework, exploring the arguments for and against allowing prisoners to vote. Drawing on global developments in jurisprudence and penal policy, it examines the background to, and wider significance of, this change in the law.
Using the Irish experience to examine the issue in a wider context, this book argues that the legal position concerning the voting rights of the imprisoned reveals wider historical, political and social influences in the treatment of those confined in penal institutions.” From Publisher’s website.
|Citizens, Community and Crime Control, by Karen Bullock. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 288p.
“From reporting crimes to volunteering for the police, it is clear that citizens and communities play fundamental roles in policing and the construction of crime control. Embedded in the examples of police-community consultation, community policing, Neighbourhood Watch, citizen patrols, the Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteers, this book provides a timely examination of the forms and functions of citizen and community participation in policing.
Drawing on thinkers as diverse as Plato and Putnam, Bullock explores the historical circumstances and theoretical sources that have generated ideas about citizen and community participation in crime control. The book considers how these concepts have come to inform government policy and contemporary police practice, and the impact citizen participation has had upon political decision-making, accountability and the promotion of a ‘democratic’ police service.
Analysing the nature, extent and parameters of citizens’ participation and the problems that participation may produce in practice, this book will be an essential resource for scholars of Policing and Crime Control.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses, by James T. O’Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers. Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 472p.
“The sexual abuse of children and teens by rogue priests in the U.S. Catholic Church is a heinous crime, and those who pray for a religious community as its ministers, priests and rabbis should never tolerate those who prey on that community. The legal disputes of recent years have produced many scandalous headlines and fuelled public discussion about the sexual abuse crisis within the clergy, a crisis that has cost the U.S. Catholic Church over $3 billion.
In The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses, two eminent experts, James O’Reilly and Margaret Chalmers, draw on the lessons of recent years to discern the interplay between civil damages law and global church-based canon law. In some countries civil and canon law, although autonomous systems of law, both form part of the church’s legal duties. In the United States, freedom of religion issues have complicated how the state adjudicates both cases of abuse and who can be held responsible for clerical oversight. This book examines questions of civil and criminal liability, issues of respondeat superior and oversight, issues with statutes of limitations and dealing with allegations that occurred decades ago, and how the Church’s internal judicial processes interact or clash with the civil pursuit of these cases.” From Publisher’s website.
|Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime: Australasian, European and North American Perspectives, ed. by Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 290p.
“In the world of law enforcement art and antiquity crime has in the past usually assumed a place of low interest and priority. That situation has now slowly begun to change on both the local and international level as criminals, encouraged in part by the record sums now being paid for art treasures, are now seeking to exploit the art market more systematically by means of theft, fraud and looting. In this collection academics and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North America combine to examine the challenges presented to the criminal justice system by these developments. Best practice methods of detecting, investigating, prosecuting and preventing such crimes are explored. This book will be of interest and use to academics and practitioners alike in the areas of law, crime and justice.” From Publisher’s website.
|Crime Linkage: Theory, Research, and Practice, ed. by Jessica Woodhams and Craig Bennell. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2014. 396p.
“The increasing portrayal of forensic investigative techniques in the popular media—CSI, for example, has resulted in criminals becoming “forensically aware” and more careful about leaving behind physical evidence at a crime scene. This presents law enforcement with a significant problem: how can they detect serial offenders if they cannot rely on physical forensic evidence? One solution comes from psychology. A growing body of research has amassed in the area of behavioral consistency and the detection of serial offenders. A number of innovations are taking place in the field that have important implications for the practice of crime linkage and its use by police and the courts. Crime Linkage: Theory, Research, and Practice assembles this research and discusses its practical use.” From Publisher’s website.
|Crimes against Humanity in the Land of the Free: Can a Truth and Reconciliation Process Heal Racial Conflict in America?, edited by Imani Michelle Scott. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2014. 310p.
“This vital book considers the compelling and addictive hold that racism has had on centuries of Americans, explores historical and contemporary norms complicit in the problem, and appeals to the U.S. government to improve race relations, rectify existent social imperfections, and guard against future race-based abuses.
Despite an assertion by the founding fathers that “all men are created equal” and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees “equal protection,” the race-based oppression that has characterized most of America’s history shows that in practice our society has rarely measured up to principle. Why has deep-seated racial conflict in America continued for so long? This unprecedented examination into the topic explores the evidence and consequences of what seems to be an “addiction” to racism in the United States, analyzing the related disconnect between our nation’s stated moral principles and social realities, and assessing how U.S. citizens of all races can take individual action to start the long-needed healing process.
The contributors to this work present interdisciplinary perspectives and discussions on American history, politics, philosophy, and 21st-century psycho-social conditions as they relate to the oppression, social injustice, and racism that have occurred—and continue to occur—in the United States. The discussions allow readers to grasp the serious challenges at hand and direct them towards recognizing the potential for conflict transformation and reconciliation through a non-conventional co-created Truth, Reconciliation, and Peace Process (TRPP) to begin resolving America’s dysfunction. This is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the sources of perpetual racially based conflict, disparity, and hatred in the United States; identify the social injuries of exposure to centuries of racism; move America towards harmonious interracial relationships; and improve its international standing as a peace-building nation that is truly committed to human rights throughout the world.” From Publisher’s website.
|Developing Restorative Justice Jurisprudence: Rethinking Responses to Criminal Wrongdoing, by Tony Foley. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 262p.
“What are the requirements for a just response to criminal wrongdoing? Drawing on comparative and empirical analysis of existing models of global practice, this book offers an approach aimed at restricting the current limitations of criminal justice process and addressing the current deficiencies. Putting restoration squarely alongside other aims of justice responses, the author argues that only when restorative questions are taken into account can institutional responses be truly said to be just. Using the three primary jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the book presents the leading examples of restorative justice practices incorporated in mainstream criminal justice systems from around the world. In conclusion, the work provides a fresh insight into how today’s criminal law might develop in order to bring restoration directly into the mix for tomorrow.
This book will be of interest to undergraduates, postgraduate researchers and lecturers, as well as lawyers who work in the field of criminal law, criminologists, social scientists and philosophers interested in ideas of wrongdoing and criminal justice responses to criminal offending.” From Publisher’s website.
|Environmental Crime and Its Victims: Perspectives within Green Criminology, ed. by Toine Spapens, Rob White and Marieke Kluin. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 320p.
”Environmental crime is one of the most profitable and fastest growing areas of international criminal activity. These types of crime, however, do not always produce an immediate consequence, and the harm may be diffused. As such, the complexity of victimization – in terms of time, space, impact, and who or what is victimized – is one of the reasons why governments and the enforcement community have trouble in finding suitable and effective responses.
This book provides a diverse and provocative array of arguments, critiques and recommendations from leading researchers and scholars in the field of green criminology. The chapters are divided into three main sections: the first part deals with specific characteristics of some of the major types of environmental crime and its perpetrators; the second focuses explicitly on the problem of victimization in cases of environmental crime; and the third addresses the question of how to tackle this problem.
Discussing these topics from the point of view of green criminological theory, sociology, law enforcement, community wellbeing, environmental activism and victimology, this book will be of great interest to all those concerned about crime and the environment.” From Publisher’s website.
|Financial Crime and Gambling in a Virtual World: A New Frontier in Cybercrime, by Clare Chambers-Jones and Henry Hillman. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2014. 208p.
“In this unique book, the authors examine the relationship between real world legislation and new advancements in technology, showing how this can lead to loopholes in legislative protection. They draw on empirical research to highlight the jurisprudential issues relating to economic internet crime and digital currencies.
Advancements in technology have seen gambling behaviour transverse a new path. The law has not kept pace with such advances, leaving grey areas of concern undiscussed and unregulated. The authors provide a critical discussion on laws relating to gambling in virtual worlds, commenting that terms such as ‘virtual’ or ‘fantasy’ are unhelpful in promoting effective legislation. The discussion reveals how virtual world gambling can lead on to other criminal acts within virtual worlds, and specifically examines the notion of cybercrime, economic internet crime and the problems associated with digital currencies. The book concludes by presenting the case for joined up national and international legislation to tackle virtual world crimes effectively.
This distinctive study will appeal to researchers and advanced students with an interest in cybercrime, economic internet crime and virtual economies. Practitioners, policy-makers and law enforcement officers will find this book informative in promoting suitable legislation to encompass new technologies in economic crime.” From Publisher’s website.
|The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, by Naomi Murakawa. Oxford; 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.
|The Foundations of Communication in Criminal Justice Systems, by Daniel Adrian Doss, William H. Glover, Rebecca A. Goza, and Michael Wigginton, Jr. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2014. 640p.
“Myriad forms of communication occur within the criminal justice system as judges and attorneys speak to juries, law enforcement officers interact with the public, and the news media presents stories of events in courtrooms. Hindrances abound, however. Law enforcement officers and justice system personnel often encounter challenges that affect their ability to communicate with others, ranging from language barriers, to conflicting accounts of witnessed events, to errors caused by malfunctioning technology. Examining the relevancy of the U.S. Constitution to modern communications, The Foundations of Communication in Criminal Justice Systems demonstrates how information is conveyed from multiple perspectives in a range of scenarios, enabling readers to see how these matters relate to and affect the criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era, by Michael A. Ross. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 320p.
“In June 1870, the residents of the city of New Orleans were already on edge when two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month-old Mollie Digby from in front of her New Orleans home. It was the height of Radical Reconstruction, and the old racial order had been turned upside down: black men now voted, held office, sat on juries, and served as policemen. Nervous white residents, certain that the end of slavery and resulting “Africanization” of the city would bring chaos, pointed to the Digby abduction as proof that no white child was safe. Louisiana’s twenty-eight-year old Reconstruction governor, Henry Clay Warmoth, hoping to use the investigation of the kidnapping to validate his newly integrated police force to the highly suspicious white population of New Orleans, saw to it that the city’s best Afro-Creole detective, John Baptiste Jourdain, was put on the case, and offered a huge reward for the return of Mollie Digby and the capture of her kidnappers. When the Associated Press sent the story out on the wire, newspaper readers around the country began to follow the New Orleans mystery. Eventually, police and prosecutors put two strikingly beautiful Afro-Creole women on trial for the crime, and interest in the case exploded as a tense courtroom drama unfolded.
In The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, Michael Ross offers the first full account of this event that electrified the South at one of the most critical moments in the history of American race relations. Tracing the crime from the moment it was committed through the highly publicized investigation and sensationalized trial that followed, all the while chronicling the public outcry and escalating hysteria as news and rumors surrounding the crime spread, Ross paints a vivid picture of the Reconstruction-era South and the complexities and possibilities that faced the newly integrated society. Leading readers into smoke-filled concert saloons, Garden District drawing rooms, sweltering courthouses, and squalid prisons, Ross brings this fascinating era back to life.
A stunning work of historical recreation, The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case is sure to captivate anyone interested in true crime, the Civil War and its aftermath, and the history of New Orleans and the American South.” From Publisher’s website.
|Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey, by Ryan Gingeras. Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 320p.
“Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey explores the history of organized crime in Turkey and the roles which gangs and gangsters have played in the making of the Turkish state and Turkish politics. Turkey’s underworld, which has been at the heart of several devastating scandals over the last several decades, is strongly tied to the country’s long history of opium production and heroin trafficking. As an industry at the centre of the Ottoman Empire’s long transition into the modern Turkish Republic, as important as the silk road had been in earlier centuries, the modern rise of the opium and heroin trade helped to solidify and complicate long-standing relationships between state officials and criminal syndicates. Such relationships produced not only ongoing patterns of corruption, but helped fuel and enable repeated acts of state violence.
Drawing upon new archival sources from the United States and Turkey, including declassified documents from the Prime Minister’s Archives of the Republic of Turkey and the Central Intelligence Agency, Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey provides a critical window into how a handful of criminal syndicates played supporting roles in the making of national security politics in the contemporary Turkey. The rise of the ‘Turkish mafia’, from its origins in the late Ottoman period to its role in the ‘deep state’ revealed by the so-called Susurluk and Ergenekon scandals, is a story that mirrors troubling elements in the republic’s establishment and emphasizes the transnational and comparative significance of narcotics and gangs in the country’s past.” From Publisher’s website.
|A History of Evil in Popular Culture: What Hannibal Lecter, Stephen King, and Vampires Reveal about America, edited by Sharon Packer and Jody Pennington. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2014. 825p.
“Evil isn’t simply an abstract theological or philosophical talking point. In our society, the idea of evil feeds entertainment, manifests in all sorts of media, and is a root concept in our collective psyche. This accessible and appealing book examines what evil means to us.
Evil has been with us since the Garden of Eden, when Eve unleashed evil by biting the apple. Outside of theology, evil remains a highly relevant concept in contemporary times: evil villains in films and literature make these stories entertaining; our criminal justice system decides the fate of convicted criminals based on the determination of their status as “evil” or “insane.” This book examines the many manifestations of “evil” in modern media, making it clear how this idea pervades nearly all aspects of life and helping us to reconsider some of the notions about evil that pop culture perpetuates and promotes.
Covering screen media such as film, television, and video games; print media that include novels and poetry; visual media like art and comics; music; and political polemics, the essays in this book address an eclectic range of topics. The diverse authors include Americans who left the United States during the Vietnam War era, conservative Christian political pundits, rock musicians, classical linguists, Disney fans, scholars of American slavery, and experts on Holocaust literature and films. From portrayals of evil in the television shows The Wire and 24 to the violent lyrics of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse to the storylines of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter books, readers will find themselves rethinking what evil is—and how they came to hold their beliefs.” From Publisher’s website.
|Human Trafficking in Asia: Forcing Issues, edited by Sallie Yea. Abingdon, Oxon: UK; New York: Routledge, 2014. 238p.
“By analysing the complex issues surrounding internal and cross-border human trafficking in Asia, and asserting critical perspectives and methodologies, this book extends the range of sites for discussion and sectors in which human trafficking takes place.
The book re-centres human trafficking as an area of legitimate academic inquiry in a region that is often considered as an epicentre for human trafficking: East and Southeast Asia. It thus offers an in-depth analysis and up-to-date knowledge on research methodologies and engagements, patterns and forms of human trafficking, constructively critiquing anti-trafficking campaigns and discourses, and offering examples of good practice within the region that help us move beyond the impasse that currently hampers human trafficking as a field of inquiry in the social sciences.
Providing constructive avenues for human trafficking research to proceed methodologically, theoretically and ethically, this book is of interest to students and scholars of Politics, International Relations and Southeast Asian Studies.” From Publisher’s website.
|I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done: The Language of Courtroom Apologies, by M. Catherine Gruber. New York; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 256p.
“This book examines 52 apologetic allocutions produced during federal sentencing hearings. The practice of inviting defendants to make a statement in their own behalf is a long-standing one and it is understood as offering defendants the opportunity to impress a judge or jury with their remorse, which could be a factor in the sentence that is imposed. Defendants raised the topics of the offense, mitigation, future behaviour and the sentence in different ways and this book explores the pros and cons associated with the different strategies that they used. Because there is no way of ascertaining exactly how effective (or ineffective) an individual allocution is, case law, sociolinguistic and historical resources, and judges’ final remarks are used to develop hypotheses about defendants’ communicative goals as well as what might constitute an ideal defendant stance from a judge’s point of view. The corpus is unique because, unlike official transcripts, the transcripts used for this study include paralinguistic features such as hesitations, wavering voice, and crying-while-talking. Among its highlights, the book proposes that although a ritualized apology formula (e.g., “I’m sorry” or “I apologize”) would appear to be a good fit for the context of allocution and even appears to be expected, the use of these formulas carries implications in this context that do not serve defendants’ communicative goals. I argue that the application of Austin’s (1962) performative-constative continuum reveals that offense-related utterances that fall closer to the constative end are more consistent with the discursive constraints on the speech event of allocution. Further, I propose that the ideologies associated with allocution, in particular the belief that allocution functions as a protection for defendants, obscures the ways in which the context constrains what defendants can say and how effectively they can say it.” From Publisher’s website.
|International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research, edited by A.J. Brown, David Lewis, Richard Moberty, and Wim Vandekerckhove. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2014. 648p.
“Whistleblowing – the disclosure of wrongdoing by organizational insiders –is vital to modern public accountability and integrity across all organizations and societies. This important Handbook offers original, cutting-edge analyses of the conceptual and practical challenges that researchers face in order to better inform the way whistleblowing is understood and confronted by organizations, regulatory authorities and governments.
Featuring contributions from scholars and policy practitioners in a number of diverse fields – including sociology, political science, psychology, information systems, media studies, business, management, criminology, public policy and several branches of law – the book provides a comprehensive guide to existing research and blueprints for how new research should be conducted in the future. It covers conceptual and definitional fundamentals of whistleblowing and strategies for researching whistleblowing in an organizational context, as well as law reform, regulation, management practicalities and research ethics. It also charts the lessons of 30 years of empirical research and maps out new questions and projects for future decades.
This Handbook, with its unique perspective on the complex, multi-faceted and often controversial nature of whistleblowing research, will be a vital resource for researchers, policymakers and organizations around the world.” From Publisher’s website.
|Juvenile Delinquency and the Limits of Western Influence, 1850-2000, edited by Heather Ellis. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 296p.
“Juvenile Delinquency and the Limits of Western Influence, 1850-2000 brings together a wide range of case studies from across the globe, written by some of the leading scholars in the field, to explore the complex ways in which historical understandings of childhood and juvenile delinquency have been constructed in a global context. The book highlights the continued entanglement of historical descriptions of the development of juvenile justice systems in other parts of the world with narratives of Western colonialism and the persistence of notions of a cultural divide between East and West. It also stresses the need to combine theoretical insights from traditional comparative history with new global history approaches. In doing so, the case studies examined in the volume reveal the significant limitations to the influence of Western ideas about juvenile delinquency in other parts of the world, as well as the important degree to which Western understandings of delinquency were constructed in a transnational context.” From Publisher’s website.
|Liberal Criminal Theory: Essays for Andreas von Hirsch, edited by AP Simester, Antje du Bois-Pedain and Ulfrid Neumann. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2014. 406p.
“This book celebrates Andreas (Andrew) von Hirsch’s pioneering contributions to liberal criminal theory. He is particularly noted for reinvigorating desert-based theories of punishment, for his development of principled normative constraints on the enactment of criminal laws, and for helping to bridge the gap between Anglo-American and German criminal law scholarship. Underpinning his work is a deep commitment to a liberal vision of the state. This collection brings together a distinguished group of international authors, who pay tribute to von Hirsch by engaging with topics on which he himself has focused. The essays range across sentencing theory, questions of criminalisation, and the relation between criminal law and the authority of the state. Together, they articulate and defend the ideal of a liberal criminal justice system, and present a fitting accolade to Andreas von Hirsch’s scholarly life.” From Publisher’s website.
|The Losing War: Plan Colombia and Beyond, by Jonathan D. Rosen. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2014. 200p.
“Plan Colombia was an ambitious, multibillion dollar program of American aid to the country of Colombia to fight that nation’s recreational drug industry. First signed into law by President Clinton in 2000, the program would, over a twelve year period, provide the Colombian government with more money than every other country in the region. But how successful was Plan Colombia, and is it a model worthwhile in applying to other countries? In The Losing War, Jonathan D. Rosen applies international relations theory to understand how the goals and objectives of Plan Colombia evolved over time, particularly after the events of 9/11. Rosen analyzes the evolution of Plan Colombia and evaluates whether this initiative achieved its goals. Various individuals, including Álvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia from 2002–2010, and George W. Bush, argued that Plan Columbia should be used as a model to help other countries combat drug trafficking. Plan Colombia was not mentioned in the Obama administration’s 2011 budget proposal and no longer exists today. Rosen concludes that the policy failed to make substantial inroads in curtailing drug cultivation, production, or trafficking, thus calling into question the value of applying the same strategy to other countries, such as Mexico, in the present or future.” From Publisher’s website.
|Police Corruption: Essential Readings, edited by Leslie Holmes. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2014. 712p.
“Police corruption is unquestionably one of the worst forms of corruption, as it can become a serious security issue and undermine a state’s legitimacy.
This single volume brings together the most informative scholarly and practitioner contributions on the subject in recent decades. It covers major aspects of police corruption, including its significance and impact, public perceptions, the causes of corruption and the problem of police culture. It details the situation in selected countries, and explores how and with what success they have addressed the problem.
The book will be valuable to students of criminology and political science as well as practitioners and policymakers. While the general reader will also find much in this collection that is simultaneously fascinating and disturbing.” From Publisher’s website.
|Policing Sexuality: The Mann Act and the Making of the FBI, by Jessica R. Pliley. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2014. 304p.
“America’s first anti–sex trafficking law, the 1910 Mann Act, made it illegal to transport women over state lines for prostitution “or any other immoral purpose.” It was meant to protect women and girls from being seduced or sold into sexual slavery. But, as Jessica Pliley illustrates, its enforcement resulted more often in the policing of women’s sexual behavior, reflecting conservative attitudes toward women’s roles at home and their movements in public. By citing its mandate to halt illicit sexuality, the fledgling Bureau of Investigation gained entry not only into brothels but also into private bedrooms and justified its own expansion.
Policing Sexuality links the crusade against sex trafficking to the rapid growth of the Bureau from a few dozen agents at the time of the Mann Act into a formidable law enforcement organization that cooperated with state and municipal authorities across the nation. In pursuit of offenders, the Bureau often intervened in domestic squabbles on behalf of men intent on monitoring their wives and daughters. Working prostitutes were imprisoned at dramatically increased rates, while their male clients were seldom prosecuted.
In upholding the Mann Act, the FBI reinforced sexually conservative views of the chaste woman and the respectable husband and father. It built its national power and prestige by expanding its legal authority to police Americans’ sexuality and by marginalizing the very women it was charged to protect.” From Publisher’s website.
|Prevention of Reoffending: The Value of Rehabilitation and the Management of High Risk Offenders, by P H P H M C van Kempen and Warren Young. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia, 2014. 338p.
“The need to prevent convicted prisoners and other offenders from reoffending constitutes a major challenge for both criminal justice and penitentiary systems. Reoffending rates are considerable – in many instances they are even high – while the issue is tremendously complicated. Rehabilitation (sometimes described as resocialisation, reintegration or treatment) is an important tool to prevent reoffending, but has clearly become less self-evident in many jurisdictions in recent decades. This volume therefore first of all focuses on the value of restoring offenders to a useful life from the perspective of prisoners, their family, society, the tax-payer, prison staff and administration and victims, as well as from a criminological viewpoint. Notwithstanding these actual values of rehabilitation measures, their application alone may not be sufficient to prevent someone from reoffending. This particularly applies to high risk offenders, i.e. those who pose a substantial risk of further serious offending, such as sex offenders, terrorists, and members of organized criminal groups. This volume therefore also considers measures to deal with high risk offenders during and after their sentence, and the arguments for and against their use.” From Publisher’s website.
|Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders, by Renee C. Romano. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2014. 280p.
“Few whites who violently resisted the civil rights struggle were charged with crimes in the 1950s and 1960s. But the tide of a long-deferred justice began to change in 1994, when a Mississippi jury convicted Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of Medgar Evers. Since then, more than one hundred murder cases have been reopened, resulting in more than a dozen trials. But how much did these public trials contribute to a public reckoning with America’s racist past? Racial Reckoning investigates that question, along with the political pressures and cultural forces that compelled the legal system to revisit these decades-old crimes.
Renee C. Romano brings readers into the courthouse for the trials of the civil rights era’s most infamous killings, including the Birmingham church bombing and the triple murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Mickey Schwerner. The activists who succeeded in reopening these cases hoped that bringing those responsible to justice would serve to highlight the state-sanctioned racism that had condoned the killings and the lingering effects of racial violence. Courtroom procedures, however, worked against a deeper exploration of the state’s complicity in murder or a full accounting of racial injustices, past or present. Yet the media and a new generation of white southerners—a different breed from the dying Klansmen on trial—saw the convictions as proof of the politically rehabilitated South and stamped “case closed” on America’s legacy of violent racism. Romano shows why addressing the nation’s troubled racial past will require more than legal justice.” From Publisher’s website.
|Reading Prisoners: Literature, Literacy, and the Transformation of American Punishment, 1700-1845, by Jodi Schorb. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 268p.
“Shining new light on early American prison literature—from its origins in last words, dying warnings, and gallows literature to its later works of autobiography, exposé, and imaginative literature—Reading Prisoners weaves together insights about the rise of the early American penitentiary, the history of early American literacy instruction, and the transformation of crime writing in the “long” eighteenth century.
Looking first at colonial America—an era often said to devalue jailhouse literacy—Jodi Schorb reveals that in fact this era launched the literate prisoner into public prominence. Criminal confessions published between 1700 and 1740, she shows, were crucial “literacy events” that sparked widespread public fascination with the reading habits of the condemned, consistent with the evangelical revivalism that culminated in the first Great Awakening. By century’s end, narratives by condemned criminals helped an audience of new writers navigate the perils and promises of expanded literacy.
Schorb takes us off the scaffold and inside the private world of the first penitentiaries—such as Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Prison and New York’s Newgate, Auburn, and Sing Sing. She unveils the long and contentious struggle over the value of prisoner education that ultimately led to sporadic efforts to supply prisoners with books and education. Indeed, a new philosophy emerged, one that argued that prisoners were best served by silence and hard labor, not by reading and writing—a stance that a new generation of convict authors vociferously protested.
The staggering rise of mass incarceration in America since the 1970s has brought the issue of prisoner rehabilitation once again to the fore. Reading Prisoners offers vital background to the ongoing, crucial debates over the benefits of prisoner education.” From Publisher’s website.
|Reconceptualising Penality: A Comparative Perspective on Punitiveness in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, by Claire Hamilton. Farnham, Surrey, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014. 262p.
“Drastic increases in the use of imprisonment; the introduction of ‘three strikes’ laws and mandatory sentences; restrictions on parole – all of these developments appear to signify a new, harsher era or ‘punitive turn’. Yet these features of criminal justice are not universally present in all Western countries. Drawing on empirical data, Hamilton examines the prevalence of harsher penal policies in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, thereby demonstrating the utility of viewing criminal justice from the perspective of smaller jurisdictions.
This highly innovative book is thoroughly critical of the way in which punitiveness is currently measured by leading criminologists. It is essential reading for students and scholars of criminology, penology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies, as well as criminal lawyers and practitioners.” From Publisher’s website.
|Renegade Dreams: Living through Injury in Gangland Chicago, by Laurence Ralph. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. 256p.
“Every morning Chicagoans wake up to the same stark headlines that read like some macabre score: “13 shot, 4 dead overnight across the city,” and nearly every morning the same elision occurs: what of the nine other victims? As with war, much of our focus on inner-city violence is on the death toll, but the reality is that far more victims live to see another day and must cope with their injuries—both physical and psychological—for the rest of their lives. Renegade Dreams is their story. Walking the streets of one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods—where the local gang has been active for more than fifty years—Laurence Ralph talks with people whose lives are irrecoverably damaged, seeking to understand how they cope and how they can be better helped.
Going deep into a West Side neighborhood most Chicagoans only know from news reports—a place where children have been shot just for crossing the wrong street—Ralph unearths the fragile humanity that fights to stay alive there, to thrive, against all odds. He talks to mothers, grandmothers, and pastors, to activists and gang leaders, to the maimed and the hopeful, to aspiring rappers, athletes, or those who simply want safe passage to school or a steady job. Gangland Chicago, he shows, is as complicated as ever. It’s not just a warzone but a community, a place where people’s dreams are projected against the backdrop of unemployment, dilapidated housing, incarceration, addiction, and disease, the many hallmarks of urban poverty that harden like so many scars in their lives. Recounting their stories, he wrestles with what it means to be an outsider in a place like this, whether or not his attempt to understand, to help, might not in fact inflict its own damage. Ultimately he shows that the many injuries these people carry—like dreams—are a crucial form of resilience, and that we should all think about the ghetto differently, not as an abandoned island of unmitigated violence and its helpless victims but as a neighborhood, full of homes, as a part of the larger society in which we all live, together, among one another.” From Publisher’s website.
|Residential Children’s Homes and the Youth Justice System: Identity, Power and Perceptions, by Julie Shaw. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 208p.
“By drawing upon the experiences and perspectives of children and young people who have offended whilst in residential care, as well as a number of professionals from the care and youth justice systems, this book aims to illuminate the pressing issue of why residents of children’s homes come to the attention of the youth justice system, and the consequent implications for policy and practice. Putting aside the discourses of individual culpability and responsibility, this text focuses on the necessity of an holistic approach which recognises the contribution of values and identities formed prior to entering residential care, the importance of staff-resident and peer relationships, the institutional culture and environment, and the impact of overarching policy. Only through this approach can we make realistic progress in addressing youth justice involvement in a way which benefits the greatest number of children and young people.” From Publisher’s website.
|Signal Crimes: Reactions to Crime and Social Control, by Martin Innes. London; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 224p.
“How do individuals, communities, and institutions react to crime, disorder, and social control events? How do such incidents shape the contours of social order and the make-up of society? Why do some crimes and disorders matter more than others in influencing how we think, feel, and act about our security? These are the questions that lie at the heart of Signal Crimes: Social Reactions to Crime, Disorder, and Control.
Signal Crimes brings together the key insights and findings from a ten-year programme of fieldwork investigating the concept of a ‘signal crime’: an incident that changes how people think, feel and behave about their safety due to it functioning as a signal of the presence of wider risks and threats.
Presenting ground-breaking new perspectives on social reactions to crime, Signal Crimes innovatively and rigorously examines how and why particular events trigger certain forms of reaction, and how these unfold and develop across social space and time. This includes detailed studies of: how fear travels within and across communities in the aftermath of criminal homicides; the ways rumours impact upon what we think about the prevalence and distribution of crime; the extent to which some individuals and neighbourhoods are vulnerable to being harmed more by disorder than others; how the conduct of counter-terrorism has been altered in recent years by the institutional effects of a number of signal events; and the ways in which social control interventions are used to communicate messages to public audiences.
Through examination of these diverse issues and using a range of both historical and contemporary sources, the author reveals how our individual and collective responses to problematic behaviour are organised. If a perspective constitutes a way of seeing, then the signal crimes perspective provides a new set of optics for how we see the impacts of crime, disorder, and control. Showcasing the development of this new concept, Signal Crimes argues for a radical and challenging understanding of how we think not only about the crime, but also about the ways in which we perceive and react to such problematic and troubling acts.” From Publisher’s website.
|A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience, by Emerson W. Baker. New York: London; Oxford University Press, 2014. 416p.
”Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers—mainly young women—suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history.
Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria—but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was “a perfect storm”: a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since.
Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak—the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them—and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy.
Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem’s storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.” From Publisher’s website.
|Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations, by Brandon L. Garrett. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. 384p.
“American courts routinely hand down harsh sentences to individual convicts, but a very different standard of justice applies to corporations. Too Big to Jail takes readers into a complex, compromised world of backroom deals, for an unprecedented look at what happens when criminal charges are brought against a major company in the United States.
Federal prosecutors benefit from expansive statutes that allow an entire firm to be held liable for a crime by a single employee. But when prosecutors target the Goliaths of the corporate world, they find themselves at a huge disadvantage. The government that bailed out corporations considered too economically important to fail also negotiates settlements permitting giant firms to avoid the consequences of criminal convictions. Presenting detailed data from more than a decade of federal cases, Brandon Garrett reveals a pattern of negotiation and settlement in which prosecutors demand admissions of wrongdoing, impose penalties, and require structural reforms. However, those reforms are usually vaguely defined. Many companies pay no criminal fine, and even the biggest blockbuster payments are often greatly reduced. While companies must cooperate in the investigations, high-level employees tend to get off scot-free.
The practical reality is that when prosecutors face Hydra-headed corporate defendants prepared to spend hundreds of millions on lawyers, such agreements may be the only way to get any result at all. Too Big to Jail describes concrete ways to improve corporate law enforcement by insisting on more stringent prosecution agreements, ongoing judicial review, and greater transparency.” From Publisher’s webpage.