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.
|Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions, by Mark Godsey. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017. 264p.
“In this unprecedented view from the trenches, prosecutor turned champion for the innocent Mark Godsey takes us inside the frailties of the human mind as they unfold in real‑world wrongful convictions. Drawing upon stories from his own career, Godsey shares how innate psychological flaws in judges, police, lawyers, and juries coupled with a “tough on crime” environment can cause investigations to go awry, leading to the convictions of innocent people.
In Blind Injustice, Godsey explores distinct psychological human weaknesses inherent in the criminal justice system—confirmation bias, memory malleability, cognitive dissonance, bureaucratic denial, dehumanization, and others—and illustrates each with stories from his time as a hard‑nosed prosecutor and then as an attorney for the Ohio Innocence Project.
He also lays bare the criminal justice system’s internal political pressures. How does the fact that judges, sheriffs, and prosecutors are elected officials influence how they view cases? How can defense attorneys support clients when many are overworked and underpaid? And how do juries overcome bias leading them to believe that police and expert witnesses know more than they do about what evidence means?
This book sheds a harsh light on the unintentional yet routine injustices committed by those charged with upholding justice. Yet in the end, Godsey recommends structural, procedural, and attitudinal changes aimed at restoring justice to the criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice, by Philip Goodman, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 240p.
“The history of criminal justice in the U.S. is often described as a pendulum, swinging back and forth between strict punishment and lenient rehabilitation. While this view is common wisdom, it is wrong. In Breaking the Pendulum, Philip Goodman, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps systematically debunk the pendulum perspective, showing that it distorts how and why criminal justice changes. The pendulum model blinds us to the blending of penal orientations, policies, and practices, as well as the struggle between actors that shapes laws, institutions, and how we think about crime, punishment, and related issues.
Through a re‑analysis of more than two hundred years of penal history, starting with the rise of penitentiaries in the 19th Century and ending with ongoing efforts to roll back mass incarceration, the authors offer an alternative approach to conceptualizing penal development. Their agonistic perspective posits that struggle is the motor force of criminal justice history. Punishment expands, contracts, and morphs because of contestation between real people in real contexts, not a mechanical “swing” of the pendulum. This alternative framework is far more accurate and empowering than metaphors that ignore or downplay the importance of struggle in shaping criminal justice.
This clearly written, engaging book is an invaluable resource for teachers, students, and scholars seeking to understand the past, present, and future of American criminal justice. By demonstrating the central role of struggle in generating major transformations, Breaking the Pendulum encourages combatants to keep fighting to change the system.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Challenging Immigration Detention: Academics, Activists and Policy-makers, edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2017. 352p.
“Governments increasingly rely upon detention to control the movement of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. The deprivation of liberty of non‑citizens due to their undocumented or irregular status is often fraught with gross injustices. This book stresses the need for global policy‑makers to address these practices in order to ensure compliance with fundamental human rights and prevent detention abuses.
Approaching detention from an interdisciplinary perspective, this volume brings together leading writers and thinkers to provide a greater understanding of why it is such an important social phenomenon and suggest ways to confront it locally and globally. Challenging Immigration Detention thematically examines a broad range of situations across the globe, with contributors providing overviews of key issues, case studies and experiences in their fields, while highlighting potential strategies for curbing detention abuses. Demonstrating the value of varied analytical frameworks and investigative angles, the contributors provide urgently needed insight into a growing human rights issue.
With cross‑disciplinary investigation into an issue with immediate global importance, Challenging Immigration Detention is vital for undergraduates, postgraduates, activists, lawyers and policy‑makers interested in international human rights. National and international humanitarian organizations and advocacy groups working in migrant and asylum rights will find this a compelling and diverse overview of migrant detention.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work, edited by Katie Hail-Jares, Corey S. Shdaimah, and Chrysanthi S. Leon. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2017. 322p.
“Are sex workers victims, criminals, or just trying to make a living? Over the last five years, public policy and academic discourse have moved from criminalization of sex workers to victim‑based understanding, shaped by human trafficking. While most research focuses on macro‑level policies and theories, less is known about the on‑the‑ground perspectives of people whose lives are impacted by sex work, including attorneys, social workers, police officers, probation officers, and sex workers themselves.
Challenging Perspectives on Street‑Based Sex Work brings the voices of lower‑echelon sex workers and those individuals charged with policy development and enforcement into conversation with one another. Chapters highlight some of the current approaches to sex work, such as diversion courts, trafficking task forces, law enforcement assisted diversion and decriminalization. It also examines how sex workers navigate seldom‑discussed social phenomena like gentrification, pregnancy, imperialism, and being subjects of research. Through dialogue, our authors reveal the complex reality of engaging in and regulating sex work in the United States and through American aid abroad.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Challenging the U.S.-Led War on Drugs: Argentina in Comparative Perspective, by Sebastian Antonino Cutrona. New York: Routledge, 2017. 158p.
“Challenging the U.S.‑Led War on Drugs explores the cases that have resisted the U.S. pressure to adopt a militarized approach to fight against drug trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Through a sweeping narrative history from the recovery of democracy in 1983 to the present, Cutrona applies international relations and comparative politics theories to understand Argentina’s different trajectory vis‑à‑vis the rest of the region. The author demonstrates that in broad questions of vulnerability to U.S. pressure, external factors often play a secondary role in explaining either balancing/resistance or bandwagoning/acceptance of the U.S. security agenda in the Americas. Emphasizing the role of domestic‑level politics, Cutrona identifies the subordination of the military to civilian oversight, the transition outcome, the system of check and balances, and the role of civil society actors such as social movements, epistemic communities, and norm entrepreneurs as Argentina’s most relevant sources explaining defection from Washington’s main dictates to combat drug trafficking.” From Publisher’s Website
|Complicated Lives: Girls, Parents, Drugs, and Juvenile Justice, by Vera Lopez. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017. 240p.
“Complicated Lives focuses on the lives of sixty‑five drug‑using girls in the juvenile justice system (living in group homes, a residential treatment center, and a youth correctional facility) who grew up in families characterized by parental drug use, violence, and child maltreatment. Vera Lopez situates girls’ relationships with parents who fail to live up to idealized parenting norms and examines how these relationships change over time, and ultimately contribute to the girls’ future drug use and involvement in the justice system.
While Lopez’s subjects express concerns and doubt in their chances for success, Lopez provides an optimistic prescription for reform and improvement of the lives of these young women and presents a number of suggestions ranging from enhanced cultural competency training for all juvenile justice professionals to developing stronger collaborations between youth and adult serving systems and agencies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry, by Keesha M. Middlemass. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 288p.
“Felony convictions restrict social interactions and hinder felons’ efforts to reintegrate into society. The educational and vocational training offered in many prisons are typically not recognized by accredited educational institutions as acceptable course work or by employers as valid work experience, making it difficult for recently‑released prisoners to find jobs. Families often will not or cannot allow their formerly incarcerated relatives to live with them. In many states, those with felony convictions cannot receive financial aid for further education, vote in elections, receive welfare benefits, or live in public housing. In short, they are not treated as full citizens, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people released from prison are forced to live on the margins of society.
Convicted and Condemned explores the issue of prisoner reentry from the felons’ perspective. It features the voices of formerly incarcerated felons as they attempt to reconnect with family, learn how to acclimate to society, try to secure housing, find a job, and complete a host of other important goals. By examining national housing, education and employment policies implemented at the state and local levels, Keesha Middlemass shows how the law challenges and undermines prisoner reentry and creates second‑class citizens.
Even if the criminal justice system never convicted another person of a felony, millions of women and men would still have to figure out how to reenter society, essentially on their own. A sobering account of the after‑effects of mass incarceration, Convicted and Condemned is a powerful exploration of how individuals, and society as a whole, suffer when a felony conviction exacts a punishment that never ends.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution: Mob Justice and Police in Petrograd, by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2017. 368p.
“Russians from all walks of life poured into the streets of the imperial capital after the February Revolution of 1917, joyously celebrating the end of Tsar Nicholas II’s monarchy. One year later, with Lenin’s Bolsheviks now in power, Petrograd’s deserted streets presented a very different scene. No celebrations marked the Revolution’s anniversary. Amid widespread civil strife and lawlessness, a fearful citizenry stayed out of sight.
In Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa offers a new perspective on Russia’s revolutionary year through the lens of violent crime and its devastating effect on ordinary people. When the Provisional Government assumed power after Nicholas II’s abdication, it set about instituting liberal reforms, including eliminating the tsar’s regular police. But dissolving this much‑hated yet efficient police force and replacing it with a new municipal police led rapidly to the breakdown of order and services. Amid the chaos, crime flourished. Gangs of criminals, deserters, and hooligans brazenly roamed the streets. Mass prison escapes became common. And vigilantism spread widely as ordinary citizens felt compelled to take the law into their own hands, often meting out mob justice on suspected wrongdoers.
The Bolsheviks swept into power in the October Revolution but had no practical plans to reestablish order. As crime continued to escalate and violent alcohol riots almost drowned the revolutionary regime, they redefined it as “counterrevolutionary activity,” to be dealt with by the secret police, whose harshly repressive, extralegal means of enforcement helped pave the way for a Communist dictatorship.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Crime Fiction and the Law, edited by Maria Aristodemou, Fiona Macmillan, and Patricia Tuitt. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: New York: Birkbeck Law Press, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group 2017. 181p.
“This book opens up a range of important perspectives on law and violence by considering the ways in which their relationship is formulated in literature, television and film. Employing critical legal theory to address the relationship between crime fiction, law and justice, it considers a range of topics, including: the relationship between crime fiction, legal reasoning and critique; questions surrounding the relationship between law and justice; gender issues; the legal, political and social impacts of fictional representations of crime and justice; post‑colonial perspectives on crime fiction; as well as the impact of law itself on the crime fiction’s development. Introducing a new sub‑field of legal and literary research, this book will be of enormous interest to scholars in critical, cultural and socio‑legal studies, as well as to others in criminology, as well as in literature.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Criminal Sentencing as Practical Wisdom, by Graeme Brown. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Bloomsbury/Hart, 2017. 244p.
“How do judges sentence? In particular, how important is judicial discretion in sentencing? Sentencing guidelines are often said to promote consistency, but is consistency in sentencing achievable or even desirable? Whilst the passing of a sentence is arguably the most public stage of the criminal justice process, there have been few attempts to examine judicial perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the sentencing process.
Through interviews with Scottish judges and by presenting a comprehensive review and analysis of recent scholarship on sentencing – including a comparative study of UK, Irish and Commonwealth sentencing jurisprudence – this book explores these issues to present a systematic theory of sentencing. Through an integration of the concept of equity as particularised justice, the Aristotelian concept of phronesis (or ‘practical wisdom’), the concept of value pluralism, and the focus of appellate courts throughout the Commonwealth on sentencing by way of ‘instinctive synthesis’, it is argued that judicial sentencing methodology is best viewed in terms of a phronetic synthesis of the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case. The author concludes that sentencing is best conceptualised as a form of case‑orientated, concrete and intuitive decision making; one that seeks individualisation through judicial recognition of the profoundly contextualised nature of the process.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Defendant Participation in the Criminal Process, by Abenaa Owusu-Bempah. London: Routledge, 2017. 200p.
“Requirements for the defendant to actively participate in the English criminal process have been increasing in recent years such that the defendant can now be penalised for their non‑cooperation. This book explores the changes to the defendant’s role as a participant in the criminal process and the ramifications of penalising a defendant’s non‑cooperation, particularly its effect on the adversarial system.
The book develops a normative theory which proposes that the criminal process should operate as a mechanism for calling the state to account for its accusations and request for official condemnation and punishment of the accused. It goes on to examine the limitations placed on the privilege against self‑incrimination, the curtailment of the right to silence, and the defendant’s duty to disclose the details of his or her case prior to trial. The book shows that, by placing participatory requirements on defendants and penalising them for their non‑cooperation, a system of obligatory participation has developed. This development is the consequence of pursuing efficient fact‑finding with little regard for principles of fairness or the rights of the defendant.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Dominici Affair: Murder and Mystery in Provence, by Martin Kitchen. Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, 2017. 360p.
“The spectacular murders of a distinguished British scientist, his wife, and their young daughter in the depths of rural France in 1952 prompted one of the most notorious criminal investigations in postwar Europe. It is still a matter of passionate debate in France.
Sir Jack Drummond, with his wife, Lady Anne, and their ten‑year‑old daughter, Elizabeth, were on holiday on the French Riviera when they stopped to make camp just off the road near a farm called La Grand’ Terre in Provence. The family was found murdered the next morning. More than two years later, the barely literate, seventy‑five‑year‑old proprietor of La Grand’ Terre, Gaston Dominici, was brought to trial, convicted, and condemned to death by guillotine.
When Dominici was convicted, there was general agreement that the ignorant, pitiless, and depraved old peasant had gotten what he deserved. At the time, he stood for everything backward and brutish about a peasantry left behind in the wake of France’s postwar transformation and burgeoning prosperity. But with time perspectives changed. Subsequent inquiries coupled with widespread doubts and misgivings prompted President de Gaulle to order his release from prison in 1960, and by the 1980s many in France came to believe—against all evidence—that Gaston Dominici was innocent. He had become a romanticized symbol of a simpler, genuine, and somehow more honest life from a bygone era.
Reconstructing the facts of the Drummond murders, The Dominici Affair redefines one of France’s most puzzling crimes and illustrates the profound changes in French society that took place following the Second World War.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Drug Control and Human Rights in International Law, by Richard Lines. Cambridge, UK: New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 238p.
“Human rights violations occurring as a consequence of drug control and enforcement are a growing concern, and raise questions of treaty interpretation and of the appropriate balancing of concomitant obligations within the drug control and human rights treaty regimes. Tracing the evolution of international drug control law since 1909, this book explores the tensions between the regime’s self‑described humanitarian aspirations and its suppression of a common human behaviour as a form of ‘evil’. Drawing on domestic, regional and international examples and case law, it posits the development of a dynamic, human rights‑based interpretative approach to resolve tensions and conflicts between the regimes in a manner that safeguards human rights. Highlighting an important and emerging area of human rights inquiry from an international legal perspective, this book is a key resource for those working and studying in this field.
Highlights a new and emerging area of human rights inquiry as the first major work on the human rights impacts of drug control
Explores the tensions and conflicts between international human rights law and international drug control law and offers models of treaty interpretation to resolve them in a manner that promotes human rights
Includes case examples in both international and domestic law and provides analysis relevant to human rights scholars.” From Publisher’s Website.
|End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice, by Brandon L. Garrett. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. 344p.
“It isn’t enough to celebrate the death penalty’s demise. We must learn from it.
When Henry McCollum was condemned to death in 1984 in rural North Carolina, death sentences were commonplace. In 2014, DNA tests set McCollum free. By then, death sentences were as rare as lethal lightning strikes. To most observers this national trend came as a surprise. What changed? Brandon Garrett hand‑collected and analyzed national data, looking for causes and implications of this turnaround. End of Its Rope explains what he found, and why the story of who killed the death penalty, and how, can be the catalyst for criminal justice reform.
No single factor put the death penalty on the road to extinction, Garrett concludes. Death row exonerations fostered rising awareness of errors in death penalty cases, at the same time that a decline in murder rates eroded law‑and‑order arguments. Defense lawyers radically improved how they litigate death cases when given adequate resources. More troubling, many states replaced the death penalty with what amounts to a virtual death sentence—life without possibility of parole. Today, the death penalty hangs on in a few scattered counties where prosecutors cling to entrenched habits and patterns of racial bias.
The failed death penalty experiment teaches us how inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments undermine the pursuit of justice. Garrett makes a strong closing case for what a future criminal justice system might look like if these injustices were remedied.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Evolution of the Juvenile Court: Race, Politics, and the Criminalizing of Juvenile Justice, by Barry C. Feld. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 392p.
“The juvenile court lies at the intersection of youth policy and crime policy. Its institutional practices reflect our changing ideas about children and crime control. The Evolution of the Juvenile Court provides a sweeping overview of the American juvenile justice system’s development and change over the past century. Noted law professor and criminologist Barry C. Feld places special emphasis on changes over the last 25 years—the ascendance of get tough crime policies and the more recent Supreme Court recognition that “children are different.”
Feld’s comprehensive historical analyses trace juvenile courts’ evolution though four periods—the original Progressive Era, the Due Process Revolution in the 1960s, the Get Tough Era of the 1980s and 1990s, and today’s Kids Are Different era. In each period, changes in the economy, cities, families, race and ethnicity, and politics have shaped juvenile courts’ policies and practices. Changes in juvenile courts’ ends and means—substance and procedure—reflect shifting notions of children’s culpability and competence.
The Evolution of the Juvenile Court examines how conservative politicians used coded racial appeals to advocate get tough policies that equated children with adults and more recent Supreme Court decisions that draw on developmental psychology and neuroscience research to bolster its conclusions about youths’ reduced criminal responsibility and diminished competence. Feld draws on lessons from the past to envision a new, developmentally appropriate justice system for children. Ultimately, providing justice for children requires structural changes to reduce social and economic inequality—concentrated poverty in segregated urban areas—that disproportionately expose children of color to juvenile courts’ punitive policies.
Historical, prescriptive, and analytical, The Evolution of the Juvenile Court evaluates the author’s past recommendations to abolish juvenile courts in light of this new evidence, and concludes that separate, but reformed, juvenile courts are necessary to protect children who commit crimes and facilitate their successful transition to adulthood. “ From Publisher’s Website.
|The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It, by Vanda Felbab Brown. London: Hurst Publishers, 2017. 288p.
“The planet is experiencing alarming levels of species loss caused in large part by intensified poaching and wildlife trafficking driven by expanding demand, for medicines, for food, and for trophies. Affecting many more species than just the iconic elephants, rhinos, and tigers, the rate of extinction is now as much as 1000 times the historical average and the worst since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. In addition to causing irretrievable biodiversity loss, wildlife trafficking also poses serious threats to public health, potentially triggering a global pandemic.
The Extinction Market explores the causes, means, and consequences of poaching and wildlife trafficking, with a view to finding ways of suppressing them. Vanda Felbab‑Brown travelled to the markets of Latin America, South and South East Asia, and eastern and southern Africa, to evaluate the effectiveness of various tools, including bans on legal trade, law enforcement, and interdiction; allowing legal supply from hunting or farming; alternative livelihoods; anti‑ money‑laundering efforts; and demand reduction strategies.
This is an urgent book offering meaningful solutions to one of the world’s most pressing crises.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Finding Their Way Again: The Experiences of Gang-Affected Refugee Youth, by Matthew Fast. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2017. 112p.
“Ongoing and protracted conflicts around the world have led to annual increases in the number of people living as refugees, a situation only worsened by anti‑immigration policies across the West. Increasingly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, is home to many of these refugees. Refugees face multiple challenges integrating into their new environments, but these challenges can be particularly difficult for youth. When positive support mechanisms are insufficient and if basic human needs are not met, young refugees are at risk for involvement in criminal and gang activity.
Using qualitative research methodology, Matthew Fast explored the perceptions, challenges and experiences of war‑affected refugee youth who became gang involved after settling in Winnipeg. Fast argues that in order to assist young refugees in their successful transition into a foreign culture and society, it is essential to understand how their perceptions and experiences inform their identity and behaviour. Such an understanding must inform policy and future approaches by government and community‑based organizations to assist refugees in their transition.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Fourth Amendment in an Age of Surveillance, by David Gray. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 304p.
“The Fourth Amendment is facing a crisis. New and emerging surveillance technologies allow government agents to track us wherever we go, to monitor our activities online and offline, and to gather massive amounts of information relating to our financial transactions, communications, and social contacts. In addition, traditional police methods like stop‑and‑frisk have grown out of control, subjecting hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens to routine searches and seizures. In this work, David Gray uncovers the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment to reveal how its historical guarantees of collective security against threats of ‘unreasonable searches and seizures’ can provide concrete solutions to the current crisis. This important work should be read by anyone concerned with the ongoing viability of one of the most important constitutional rights in an age of increasing government surveillance.
Focuses on the non‑technical definitions of search and seizure, revealing the errors of certain twentieth‑century doctrines and providing a means of correction
Provides a clear constitutional test to determine the scope and application of the Fourth Amendment
Offers concrete recommendations to help guide legislators, law enforcement, and courts as they grapple with the constitutional consequences.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Free Speech on Campus, by Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2017. 216p.
“Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean—both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates—argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can’t do when dealing with free speech controversies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training, by Carter F. Smith. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. 282p.
“Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous and growing focus on street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic extremist groups. Many of these groups have members with military training, and some actively recruit from current and former military veterans and retirees. That military experience adds to the dangerousness of veteran gang members, as well as those groups they associate with.
Communities everywhere are experiencing the damaging impact of gang criminal behavior. By observing gang activity from the Revolutionary War to today Smith examines the presence of military‑trained, often veteran, gang members in the communities. He looks at the turning points in gang investigations in the military, and also looks at the laws and policies designed to specifically counter the criminal activity the threats of gang activity pose on a community.
Grounded in current knowledge and research, Gangs and the Military successfully addresses the growing presence of criminal gang members in the United States. As well as reflects on how the authorities that counter and combat them are doing so on a national and global level.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Gangsters to Governors: The New Bosses of Gambling in America, by David Clary. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017. 344p.
“Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty‑eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?
In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state‑run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered.
Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish‑born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought‑provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Global Lynching and Collective Violence. Volume 2: The Americas and Europe, edited by Michael J. Pfeifer. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2017. 232p.
“In this second volume of the groundbreaking survey, Michael J. Pfeifer edits a collection of essays that illuminates lynching and other extrajudicial “rough justice” as a transnational phenomenon responding to cultural and legal issues.
The volume’s European‑themed topics explore why three communities of medieval people turned to mob violence, and the ways exclusion from formal institutions fueled peasant rough justice in Russia. Essays on Latin America examine how lynching in the United States influenced Brazilian debates on race and informal justice, and how shifts in religious and political power drove lynching in twentieth‑century Mexico. Finally, scholars delve into English Canadians’ use of racist and mob violence to craft identity; the Communist Party’s Depression‑era campaign against lynching in the United States; and the transnational links that helped form‑‑and later emanated from‑‑Wisconsin’s notoriously violent skinhead movement in the late twentieth century.” From Publisher’s Website.
|How America Got Its Guns: A History of the Gun Violence Crisis, by William Briggs. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2017. 352p.
“In the United States more than thirty thousand deaths each year can be attributed to firearms. This book on the history of guns in America examines the Second Amendment and the laws and court cases it has spawned. The author’s thorough and objective account shows the complexities of the issue, which are so often reduced to bumper‑sticker slogans, and suggests ways in which gun violence in this country can be reduced.
Briggs profiles not only protagonists in the national gun debate but also ordinary people, showing the ways guns have become part of the lives of many Americans. Among them are gays and lesbians, women, competitive trapshooters, people in the gun‑rights and gun‑control trenches, the NRA’s first female president, and the most successful gunsmith in American history.
Balanced and painstakingly unbiased, Briggs’s account provides the background needed to follow gun politics in America and to understand the gun culture in which we are likely to live for the foreseeable future.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Lynching of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands, by Nicholas Villanueva Jr. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2017. 240p.
“More than just a civil war, the Mexican Revolution in 1910 triggered hostilities along the border between Mexico and the United States. In particular, the decade following the revolution saw a dramatic rise in the lynching of ethnic Mexicans in Texas. This book argues that ethnic and racial tension brought on by the fighting in the borderland made Anglo‑Texans feel justified in their violent actions against Mexicans. They were able to use the legal system to their advantage, and their actions often went unpunished. Villanueva’s work further differentiates the borderland lynching of ethnic Mexicans from the Southern lynching of African Americans by asserting that the former was about citizenship and sovereignty, as many victims’ families had resources to investigate the crimes and thereby place the incidents on an international stage.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong: Inside the Mind of a Female Serial Killer, by Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. 296p.
“Marjorie Diehl‑Armstrong, as one judge described her, was “a coldly calculated criminal recidivist and serial killer.” She had experienced a lifetime of murder, mayhem, and mental illness. She killed two boyfriends, including one whose body was stuffed in a freezer. And she was convicted in one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s strangest cases: the Pizza Bomber case, in which a pizza deliveryman died when a bomb locked to his neck exploded after he robbed a bank in 2003 near Erie, Pennsylvania, Diehl‑Armstrong’s hometown.
Diehl‑Armstrong’s life unfolded in an enthralling portrait; a fascinating interplay between mental illness and the law. As a female serial killer, Marjorie Diehl‑Armstrong was in a rare category. In the early 1970s, she was a high‑achieving graduate student pursuing a career in education but suffered from bipolar disorder. Before her death, she was sentenced to serve life plus thirty years in federal prison.
In Mania and Marjorie Diehl‑Armstrong, Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella examine female serial killers by focusing on the fascinating and tragic life of one woman. This book also explores mental illness and forensic psychology and provides a history of how American jurisprudence has grappled with such complex and controversial issues as the insanity defense and mental competency to stand trial. The authors’ account shows why Marjorie Diehl‑Armstrong was unlike any other criminal – man or woman – in American history. Accounts of Diehl‑Armstrong’s travails – her difficult childhood, her murder trials, her hoarding – are interpolated with chapters about mental disorders and the law.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Oxford Handbook of Offender Decision Making, edited by Wim Bernasco, Jean-Louis Van Gelder, and Henk Elffers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 776p.
“Although the issue of offender decision‑making pervades almost every discussion of crime and law enforcement, only a few comprehensive texts cover and integrate information about the role of decision‑making in crime. The Oxford Handbook of Offender Decision Making provide high‑quality reviews of the main paradigms in offender decision‑making, such as rational choice theory and dual‑process theory. It contains up‑to‑date reviews of empirical research on decision‑making in a wide range of decision types including not only criminal initiation and desistance, but also choice of locations, times, targets, victims, methods as well as large variety crimes including homicide, robbery, domestic violence, burglary, street crime, sexual crimes, and cybercrime. Lastly, it provides in‑depth treatments of the major methods used to study offender decision‑making, including experiments, observation studies, surveys, offender interviews, and simulations.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Police in Africa: The Street Level View, edited by Jan Beek, Mirco Gopfert, Olly Owen, and Jonny Steinberg. London: Hurst, 2017. 392p.
“Often overlooked by journalists and scholars, the police forces of the African continents are a significant and little‑studied phenomenon. This book seeks to redress that lacuna. The studies span the continent, from South Africa to Sierra Leone, keeping a strong ethnographic focus on police officers and their work.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present, by Robyn Maynard. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2017. 292p.
“Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti‑blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state‑sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.
While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still‑living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state’s role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal and low graduation rates.
Emerging from a critical race feminist framework that insists that all Black lives matter, Maynard’s intersectional approach to anti‑Black racism addresses the unique and understudied impacts of state violence as it is experienced by Black women, Black people with disabilities, as well as queer, trans, and undocumented Black communities.
A call‑to‑action, Policing Black Lives urges readers to work toward dismantling structures of racial domination and re‑imagining a more just society.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement, by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 272p.
“In a high‑tech command center in downtown Los Angeles, a digital map lights up with 911 calls, television monitors track breaking news stories, surveillance cameras sweep the streets, and rows of networked computers link analysts and police officers to a wealth of law enforcement intelligence.
This is just a glimpse into a future where software predicts future crimes, algorithms generate virtual “most‑wanted” lists, and databanks collect personal and biometric information. The Rise of Big Data Policing introduces the cutting‑edge technology that is changing how the police do their jobs and shows why it is more important than ever that citizens understand the far‑reaching consequences of big data surveillance as a law enforcement tool.
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson reveals how these new technologies —viewed as race‑neutral and objective—have been eagerly adopted by police departments hoping to distance themselves from claims of racial bias and unconstitutional practices. After a series of high‑profile police shootings and federal investigations into systemic police misconduct, and in an era of law enforcement budget cutbacks, data‑driven policing has been billed as a way to “turn the page” on racial bias.
But behind the data are real people, and difficult questions remain about racial discrimination and the potential to distort constitutional protections.
In this first book on big data policing, Ferguson offers an examination of how new technologies will alter the who, where, when and how we police. These new technologies also offer data‑driven methods to improve police accountability and to remedy the underlying socio‑economic risk factors that encourage crime.
The Rise of Big Data Policing is a must read for anyone concerned with how technology will revolutionize law enforcement and its potential threat to the security, privacy, and constitutional rights of citizens.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Sex Crime and Sex Offenders: Research and Realities, by Donna Vandiver, Jeremy Braithwaite, and Mark Stafford. New York: Routledge, 2017. 354p.
“Sex Crimes and Sex Offenders: Research and Realities provides an overview of social scientific theory and research on sex crimes and sex offenders. Most other books on the market are focused on a single issue—such as treatment, rape, pedophilia, theory, etc. This book is unique in that it covers the most current theory and research along with individual cases of sex crimes (e.g., Kobe Bryant, Jerry Sandusky, and other case studies), effectively linking theory and research with the realities of sex crimes and sex offenders as well as their victims. Vandiver, Braithwaite, and Stafford are careful to dispel myths and to focus on the heterogeneity of sex crimes and sex offenders, and not on any one issue or population or theory. Instead, they weave a framework using a full range of theoretical concepts and research data to integrate their discussions of crimes, offenders, victims, treatments, and policy implications. The result is a valuable resource for students and early‑stage researchers investigating sex crimes or offenders.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Transnational Organised Crime: A Comparative Analysis, by Tom Okokata and Brian Payne. London: Routledge, 2017. 162p.
“Organised crime covers a wide range of activities, including drug trafficking, illegal trafficking of people, and fraud. The existence of a land border does not impede these operations; instead in many cases it is used to their advantage. In response, law enforcement strategies must include a transnational, multi‑agency approach.
This book critically analyses the extent to which Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been successful in implementing effective action against transnational organised crime. It explores the adoption of key law enforcement strategies and measures in these jurisdictions, and evaluates how regional (EU law) and international (UN Convention) standards have been implemented at the national level. Drawing on interviews with over 90 stakeholders including the Department of Justice Northern Ireland, the Department of Justice and Equality in Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána, Tom Obokata and Brian Payne discuss the factors affecting the effective prevention and suppression of organised crime, particularly in relation to cross‑border cooperation.
In exploring challenges of transnational crime and cooperation, this book will be of great use to students and researchers in international and transnational criminal law, criminology, and crime prevention.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism, by Marc Morje Howard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 298p.
“The United States incarcerates far more people than any other country in the world, at rates nearly ten times higher than other liberal democracies. Indeed, while the U.S. is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, it contains nearly 25 percent of its prisoners. But the extent of American cruelty goes beyond simply locking people up. At every stage of the criminal justice process ‑ plea bargaining, sentencing, prison conditions, rehabilitation, parole, and societal reentry ‑ the U.S. is harsher and more punitive than other comparable countries. In Unusually Cruel, Marc Morjé Howard argues that the American criminal justice and prison systems are exceptional ‑ in a truly shameful way. Although other scholars have focused on the internal dynamics that have produced this massive carceral system, Howard provides the first sustained comparative analysis that shows just how far the U.S. lies outside the norm of established democracies. And, by highlighting how other countries successfully apply less punitive and more productive policies, he provides plausible solutions to addressing America’s criminal justice quagmire.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Young Offenders and Open Custody, by Tove Pettersson. London; New York: Routledge, 2017. 160p.
“Young offenders given custodial sentences in youth institutions constitute an important group in the context of crime prevention research, given that offenders within this group are at high risk of reoffending or continuing with a criminal career into adulthood. This book explores the significance of custodial openness for children and youths and how this environment affects future desistance from crime.
In Young Offenders and Open Custody Tove Pettersson provides powerful support for the view that the experience of more open custodial forms during the youth custody sentence is of significance both for providing incarcerated youths with a more humane environment and for the likelihood of a positive outcome following their release. Building upon detailed interviews with convicted youths and staff at the special approved homes in Sweden, this book offers unique insights into the effect of punishment on young offenders and their understanding of social control.
Drawing upon quantitative and qualitative data, this book examines levels of reoffending over time among youths sentenced to custody, and considers the impact of open sentences. This book will be useful reading for students and researchers engaged in youth and juvenile justice, juvenile delinquency, and sentencing and punishment.” From Publisher’s Website.