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.
|Ages of Anxiety: Historical and Transnational Perspectives on Juvenile Justice, edited by William S. Bush and David S. Tanenhaus. New York: New York University Press, 2018. 224p.
“Ages of Anxiety presents six case studies of juvenile justice policy in the twentieth century from around the world, adding context to the urgent and international conversation about youth, crime, and justice. By focusing on magistrates, social workers, probation and police officers, and youth themselves, editors William S. Bush and David S. Tanenhaus highlight the role of ordinary people as meaningful and consequential historical actors.
After providing an international perspective on the social history of ideas about how children are different from adults, the contributors explain why those differences should matter for the administration of justice. They examine how reformers used the idea of modernization to build and legitimize juvenile justice systems in Europe and Mexico, and present histories of policing and punishing youth crime.
Ages of Anxiety introduces a new theoretical model for interpreting historical research to demonstrate the usefulness of social histories of children and youth for policy analysis and decision-making in the twenty-first century. Shedding new light on the substantive aims of the juvenile court, the book is a historically informed perspective on the critical topic of youth, crime, and justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, edited by Arjun Singh Sethi. New York: New Press, 2018. 208p.
“In American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, Arjun Singh Sethi, a community activist and civil rights lawyer, chronicles the stories of individuals affected by hate. In a series of powerful, unfiltered testimonials, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe how the bigoted rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have intensified bullying, discrimination, and even violence toward them and their communities.
We hear from the family of Khalid Jabara, who was murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in August 2016 by a man who had previously harassed and threatened them because they were Arab American. Sethi brings us the story of Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four who took sanctuary in a Denver church in February 2017 because she feared deportation under Trump’s cruel immigration enforcement regime. Sethi interviews Taylor Dumpson, a young black woman who was elected student body president at American University only to find nooses hanging across campus on her first day in office. We hear from many more people impacted by the Trump administration, including Native, black, Arab, Latinx, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, undocumented, refugee, transgender, queer, and people with disabilities.
A necessary book for these times, American Hate explores this tragic moment in U.S. history by empowering survivors whose voices white supremacists and right-wing populist movements have tried to silence. It also provides ideas and practices for resistance that all of us can take to combat hate both now and in the future.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Antisocial Media: Crime-watching in the Internet Age, by Mark A. Wood. Switzerland: Palgrave, 2017. 238p.
“This book provides a cutting-edge introduction to Internet-facilitated crime-watching and examines how social media have shifted the landscape for producing, distributing, and consuming footage of crime. In this thought-provoking work, Mark Wood examines the phenomenon of antisocial media: participatory online domains where footage of crime is aggregated, sympathetically curated, and consumed as entertainment. Focusing on Facebook pages dedicated to hosting footage of street fights, brawls, and other forms of bareknuckle violence, Wood demonstrates that to properly grapple with antisocial media, we must address not only their content, but also their software. In doing so, this study goes a long way to addressing the fundamental question: how have social media changed the way we consume crime?
Synthesizing criminology, media theory, software studies, and digital sociology, Antisocial Media is media criminology for the Facebook age. It is essential reading for students and scholars interested in social media, cultural criminology, and the crime-media interface.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Big Heist: The Real Story of the Lufthansa Heist, the Mafia, and Murder, by Anthony M. DeStefano. New York: Citadel Press, 2017. 272p.
“A straightforward update to the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Airlines heist.
Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter DeStefano (Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History, 2015, etc.) understands the difficulty of opening new aspects of a crime immortalized in journalism, memoirs, and the film Goodfellas: “Of all the Mafia heists, rip-offs, scores, and plunders, none has been more iconic a part of American popular culture than the brazen [Lufthansa] robbery.” The author focuses on the 2015 trial of Vincent Asaro, an aged survivor of the era’s Five Families crews. Asaro, whose alleged participation in the crime had not been recognized, was wiretapped over several years for the FBI by his cousin Gaspare Valenti, another low-level mobster. The tapes revealed both men scuffling for years as their influence faded within the mob, itself more constricted in today’s New York City, as well as the chilling moment when Asaro realized Valenti’s betrayal. DeStefano leads up to Asaro’s trial with a narrative re-creation of the crime, its murderous aftermath, and the notorious figures involved, including Lucchese family underboss Paul Vario, robbery mastermind Jimmy Burke, and turncoat Henry Hill, the protagonist of Goodfellas. The author tries to counter the ambiguity surrounding the crime, noting, “while Hill’s public statements on the heist excluded Asaro…he had actually claimed to law enforcement as far back as 1983 that Asaro was involved.” Following the heist and the murders of many participants, Asaro ran stolen car operations for a Bonanno family crew, finding himself marginalized over time: “Part of the problem was Asaro’s volatility and temper.” Despite Valenti’s testimony, Asaro was acquitted at trial, a startling development. Though Asaro’s connection to Lufthansa still seems inconclusive, DeStefano paints him as a poignant if unlikable character, a criminal journeyman who survived a violent life to watch his status, wealth, and cherished lifestyle slip away.
The book will please Mafia completists, but the overall arc will feel more familiar than revelatory to most true-crime readers.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Caged Women: Incarceration, Representation, and Media, edited by Shirley A. Jackson and Laurie L. Gordy. New York: Routledge, 2018. 240p.
“The Netflix series Orange is the New Black has drawn widespread attention to many of the dysfunctions of prisons and the impact prisons have on those who live and work behind the prison gates. This anthology deepens this public awareness through scholarship on the television program and by exploring the real-world social, psychological, and legal issues female prisoners face. Each chapter references a particular connection to the Netflix series as its starting point of analysis.
The book brings together scholars to consider both media representations as well as the social justice issues for female inmates alluded to in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. The chapters address myriad issues including cultural representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality; social justice issues for transgender inmates; racial dynamics within female prisons; gender and female prison structures/policies; treatment of women in prison; re-incarcerated and previously incarcerated women; self and identity; gender, race, and sentencing; and reproduction and parenting for female inmates.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Carmine the Snake: Carmine Persico and his Murderous Mafia Family, by Frank Dimatteo and Michael Benson. New York: Citadel Press, 2018. 293p.
“In the golden age of organized crime, Carmine “The Snake” Persico was the King of the Streets. The defacto boss of the Colombo Mafia family since the 1970s, he oversaw gang wars, murders, and major rackets, even from prison. He is suspected of personally murdering as many as 60 people and ordering the hits of hundreds more. Sentenced to 139 years in the fed, he continued to exert power over a vast criminal empire from behind bars. His brutal rise and bloody reign is the stuff of legend.
In this blistering street-level account, “Mafia survivor” Frank Dimatteo teams up with true-crime master Michael Benson to take down one of the most notorious figures in the American La Cosa Nostra. This is the real inside story of Carmine “The Snake” Persico, from his crime-filled childhood on the streets of Brooklyn to the long-term jail sentences that didn’t stop him from controlling his criminal empire with the help of his brother, the equally kill-crazy Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico.
His deadly teen years as leader of the fearsome Garfield Boys. His recruitment into the Profaci—later the Colombo—crime family. His bloody betrayal of the Gallo brothers. His role in the hair-raising ambush-slaying of Albert Anastasia—the Lord High Executioner of Murder, Inc.—as he sat in a barbershop chair getting a shave. The terror he struck into the hearts of the New York Mafia’s other families, and even his own crews. And the many courtroom trials where Persico walked after witnesses came down with sudden cases of amnesia.
Today, Carmine “The Snake” Persico schmoozes with Ponzi king Bernard Madoff behind bars where at age 84 his legend, packed as it is with coldblooded brutality, continues to inspire goodfellas everywhere.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity, edited by Louis P. Nelson and Claudrena N. Harold. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018. 244p.
“When hate groups descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, triggering an eruption of racist violence, the tragic conflict reverberated throughout the world. It also had a profound effect on the University of Virginia’s expansive community, many of whose members are involved in teaching issues of racism, public art, free speech, and social ethics. In the wake of this momentous incident, scholars, educators, and researchers have come together in this important new volume to thoughtfully reflect on the historic events of August 11 and 12, 2017.
How should we respond to the moral and ethical challenges of our times? What are our individual and collective responsibilities in advancing the principles of democracy and justice? Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity brings together the work of these UVA faculty members catalyzed by last summer’s events to examine their community’s history more deeply and more broadly. Their essays—ranging from John Mason on the local legacy of the Lost Cause to Leslie Kendrick on free speech to Rachel Wahl on the paradoxes of activism—examine truth telling, engaged listening, and ethical responses, and aim to inspire individual reflection, as well as to provoke considered and responsible dialogue. This prescient new collection is a conversation that understands and owns America’s past and—crucially—shows that our past is very much part of our present.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Chicago Heights: Little Joe College, the Outfit, and the Fall of Sam Giancana, by Charles Hager with David T. Miller. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2018. 184p.
“In this riveting true story of coming of age in the Chicago Mob, Charles “Charley” Hager is plucked from his rural West Virginia home by an uncle in the 1960s and thrown into an underworld of money, cars, crime, and murder on the streets of Chicago Heights.
Street-smart and good with his hands, Hager is accepted into the working life of a chauffeur and “street tax” collector, earning the moniker “Little Joe College” by notorious mob boss Albert Tocco. But when his childhood friend is gunned down by a hit man, Hager finds himself a bit player in the events surrounding the mysterious, and yet unsolved, murder of mafia chief Sam Giancana.
Chicago Heights is part rags-to-riches story, part murder mystery, and part redemption tale. Hager, with author David T. Miller, juxtaposes his early years in West Virginia with his life in crime, intricately weaving his own experiences into the fabric of mob life, its many characters, and the murder of Giancana.
Fueled by vivid recollections of turf wars and chop shops, of fix-ridden harness racing and the turbulent politics of the 1960s, Chicago Heights reveals similarities between high-level organized crime in the city and the corrupt lawlessness of Appalachia. Hager candidly reveals how he got caught up in a criminal life, what it cost him, and how he rebuilt his life back in West Virginia with a prison record.
Based on interviews with Hager and supplemented by additional interviews and extensive research by Miller, the book also adds Hager’s unique voice to the volumes of speculation about Giancana’s murder, offering a plausible theory of what happened on that June night in 1975.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Confronting the Shadow State: An International Law Perspective on State Organized Crime, by Henri Decoeur. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 304p.
“This book examines the rules and mechanisms of international law relevant to the suppression of state organized crime, and provides a normative justification for developing international legal mechanisms specifically designed to address this phenomenon.
State organized crime refers to the use by senior state officials of the resources of the state to facilitate or participate in organized crime, in pursuit of policy objectives or personal profit. This concept covers diverse forms of government misconduct, including strategic partnerships with drug traffickers, the plundering of a country’s resources by kleptocrats, and high-level corruption schemes.
The book identifies the distinctive criminological characteristics of state organized crime, and analyses the applicability, potential, and limits of the norms and mechanisms of international law relevant to the suppression of state organized crime. In particular, it discusses whether the involvement of state organs or agents in organized crime may amount to an internationally wrongful act giving rise to the international responsibility of the state, and highlights a number of practical and normative shortcomings of the legal framework established by relevant crime-suppression conventions.
The book also sketches proposals to develop an international legal framework designed to hold perpetrators of state organized crime accountable. It presents a normative justification for criminalizing and suppressing state organized crime at the international level, proposes draft provisions for an international convention for the suppression of state organized crime, and discusses the potential role of the UN Security Council and of international criminal courts and tribunals, respectively, in holding perpetrators accountable.
Providing the first comprehensive analysis, from the perspective of international law, of a phenomenon so far mainly studied by criminologists, this study would appeal to researchers, social activists, and policy makers alike.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Consent on Campus: A Manifesto, by Donna Freitas. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 248p.
“A 2015 survey of twenty-seven elite colleges found that twenty-three percent of respondents reported personal experiences of sexual misconduct on their campuses. That figure has not changed since the 1980s, when people first began collecting data on sexual violence. What has changed is the level of attention that the American public is paying to these statistics. Reports of sexual abuse repeatedly make headlines, and universities are scrambling to address the crisis.
Their current strategy, Donna Freitas argues, is wholly inadequate. Universities must take a radically different approach to educating their campus communities about sexual assault and consent. Consent education is often a one-time affair, devised by overburdened student affairs officers. Universities seem more focused on insulating themselves from lawsuits and scandals than on bringing about real change. What is needed, Freitas shows, is an effort by the entire university community to deal with the deeper questions about sex, ethics, values, and how we treat one another, including facing up to the perils of hookup culture-and to do so in the university’s most important space: the classroom. We need to offer more than a section in the student handbook about sexual assault, and expand our education around consent far beyond “Yes Means Yes.” We need to transform our campuses into places where consent is genuinely valued.
Freitas advocates for teaching not just how to consent, but why it’s important to care about consent and to treat one’s sexual partners with dignity and respect. Consent on Campus is a call to action for university administrators, faculty, parents, and students themselves, urging them to create cultures of consent on their campuses, and offering a blueprint for how to do it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Conviviality and Survival: Co-Producing Brazilian Prison Order, by Sacha Darke. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 358p.
“Brazilian authorities continuously fail to comply with international norms on minimal conditions of incarceration. Brazil’s prison population has risen ten-fold since the country’s return to democracy in the 1980s. Its prisons typically operate at double official capacity and with 100 prisoners for each guard on duty. At the same time, however, the average Brazilian prison is not as disorderly or its staff-inmate relations so conflictual as our established theories on prison life might predict. This monograph explores the means by which Brazilian prisons function in the absence of guards. More specifically, the means by which prison security and inmate discipline is negotiated between prison managers, gangs and the wider inmate body. While fragile and varied, this historical tradition of co-produced governance has for decades kept most prisons in better order and enabled most prisoners to better survive.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Dannemora: Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State, by Charles A. Gardner. New York: Citadel Press, 2018. 272p.
“In June 2015 two vicious convicted murderers broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, in New York’s “North Country,” launching the most extensive manhunt in state history. Aided by prison employee Joyce Mitchell, double murderer Richard Matt and cop-killer David Sweat slipped out of their cells, followed a network of tunnels and pipes under the thirty-foot prison wall, and climbed out of a manhole to freedom.
For three weeks, the residents of local communities were virtual prisoners in their own homes as law enforcement from across the nation swept the rural wilderness near the Canadian border. The manhunt made front-page headlines—as did the prison sex scandal involving both inmates and Joyce Mitchell—and culminated in a dramatic and bloody standoff.
Now Charles A. Gardner—a lifelong resident of the community and a former prison guard who began his training at Clinton and ultimately oversaw the training of staff in twelve prisons, including Clinton—tells the whole story from an insider’s point of view.
From the lax ethics and sexual hunger that drove Joyce Mitchell to fraternize with Matt and Sweat, smuggle them tools, and offer to be their getaway driver, to the state budget cuts that paved the way for prison corruption, to the brave and tireless efforts to bring the escaped killers to justice, Dannemora is a gripping account of the circumstances that led to the bold breakout and the 23-day search that culminated in one man dead, and one man back in custody—and lingering questions about those who set the deadly drama in motion.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence, by Leigh Goodmark. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. 216p.
“Decriminalizing Domestic Violence asks the crucial, yet often overlooked, question of why and how the criminal legal system became the primary response to intimate partner violence in the United States. It introduces readers, both new and well versed in the subject, to the ways in which the criminal legal system harms rather than helps those who are subjected to abuse and violence in their homes and communities, and shares how it drives, rather than deters, intimate partner violence. The book examines how social, legal, and financial resources are diverted into a criminal legal apparatus that is often unable to deliver justice or safety to victims or to prevent intimate partner violence in the first place. Envisioned for both courses and research topics in domestic violence, family violence, gender and law, and sociology of law, the book challenges readers to understand intimate partner violence not solely, or even primarily, as a criminal law concern but as an economic, public health, community, and human rights problem. It also argues that only by viewing intimate partner violence through these lenses can we develop a balanced policy agenda for addressing it. At a moment when we are examining our national addiction to punishment, Decriminalizing Domestic Violence offers a thoughtful, pragmatic roadmap to real reform.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Disorder in the Court: Morality, Myth, and the Insanity Defense, by Andrea L. Alden. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2018. 197p.
“The insanity defense is considered one of the most controversial, most misunderstood, and least straightforward subjects in the American legal system. Disorder in the Court: Morality, Myth, and the Insanity Defense traces the US legal standards for the insanity defense as they have evolved from 1843, when they were first codified in England, to 1984, when the US government attempted to revise them through the Insanity Defense Reform Act. Throughout this period “insanity” existed primarily as a legal term rather than a medical one; yet the testimony of psychiatric experts is required in cases in which an insanity defense is raised.
The adjudication of such cases by courtroom practice is caught between two different but overlapping discourses, the legal and the medical, both of which have historically sought to assert and maintain firm disciplinary boundaries. Both expert and lay audiences have struggled to understand and apply commonplace definitions of sanity, and the portrayal of the insanity defense in popular culture has only served to further frustrate such understandings.
Andrea L. Alden argues that the problems with understanding the insanity defense are, at their foundation, rhetorical. The legal concept of what constitutes insanity and, therefore, an abdication of responsibility for one’s actions does not map neatly onto the mental health professions’ understandings of mental illness and how that affects an individual’s ability to understand or control his or her actions. Additionally, there are multiple layers of persuasion involved in any effort to convince a judge, jury—or a public, for that matter—that a defendant is or is not responsible for his or her actions at a particular moment in time.
Alden examines landmark court cases such as the trial of Daniel McNaughtan,Durham v. United States, and the trial of John Hinckley Jr. that signal the major shifts in the legal definitions of the insanity defense. Combining archival, textual, and rhetorical analysis, Alden offers a close reading of texts including trial transcripts, appellate court opinions, and relevant medical literature from the time period. She contextualizes these analyses through popular texts—for example, newspaper articles and editorials—showing that while all societies have maintained some version of mental illness as a mitigating factor in their penal systems, the insanity defense has always been fraught with controversy.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Dual Penal State: The Crisis of Criminal Law in Comparative-Historical Perspective, by Markus D. Dubber. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 304p.
“The Dual Penal State addresses one of today’s most pressing social and political issues: the rampant, at best haphazard, and ever-expanding use of penal power by states ostensibly committed to the enlightenment-based legal-political project of Western liberal democracy. Penal regimes in these states operate in a wide field of ill-considered and barely constrained violence where radical and prolonged interference with citizens, upon whose autonomy the legitimacy of state power supposedly rests, has been utterly normalized. At its heart, the crisis of modern penality is a crisis of the liberal project itself and the penal paradox is the sharpest formulation of the general paradox of power in a liberal state: the legitimacy of state sovereignty in the name of personal autonomy.
To capture the depth and range of the crisis of contemporary penality in ostensibly liberal states the book adopts a fresh approach. It uses historical and comparative analysis to reveal the fundamental distinction between two conceptions of penal power – penal law and penal police – that runs through Western legal-political history: one rooted in autonomy, equality, and interpersonal respect, and the other in heteronomy, hierarchy, and patriarchal power. This dual penal state analysis illuminates how the law/police distinction manifests itself in various penal systems, from the American war on crime to the ahistorical methods of German criminal law science.” From Publisher’s Website.
|A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil, by Candice Delmas. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 312p.
“What are our responsibilities in the face of injustice? How far should we go to fight it? Many would argue that as long as a state is nearly just, citizens have a moral duty to obey the law. Proponents of civil disobedience generally hold that, given this moral duty, a person needs a solid justification to break the law. But activists from Henry David Thoreau and Mohandas Gandhi to the Movement for Black Lives have long recognized that there are times when, rather than having a duty to obey the law, we have a duty to disobey it.
Taking seriously the history of this activism, A Duty to Resist wrestles with the problem of political obligation in real world societies that harbor injustice. Candice Delmas argues that the duty of justice, the principle of fairness, the Samaritan duty, and political association impose responsibility to resist under conditions of injustice. We must expand political obligation to include a duty to resist unjust laws and social conditions even in legitimate states.
For Delmas, this duty to resist demands principled disobedience, and such disobedience need not always be civil. At times, covert, violent, evasive, or offensive acts of lawbreaking can be justified, even required. Delmas defends the viability and necessity of illegal assistance to undocumented migrants, leaks of classified information, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, sabotage, armed self-defense, guerrilla art, and other modes of resistance. There are limits: principle alone does not justify law breaking. But uncivil disobedience can sometimes be not only permissible but required in the effort to resist injustice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Embodying Punishment: Emotions, Identities, and Lived Experiences in Women’s Prisons, by Anastasia Chamberlen. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 288p.
“Embodying Punishment offers a theoretical and empirical exploration of women’s lived experiences of imprisonment in England. It puts forward a feminist critique of the prison, arguing that prisoner bodies are central to our understanding of modern punishment, and particularly of women’s survival and resistance during and after prison. Drawing on a feminist phenomenological framework informed by a serious engagement with scholars such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Simone de Beauvoir, Erwin Goffman, Michel Foucault, Sandra Lee Bartky and Tori Moi, Embodying Punishment revisits and expands the literature on the pains of imprisonment, and offers an interdisciplinary examination of the embodiment and identities of prisoners and former prisoners, pressing the need for a body-aware approach to criminology and penology. The book develops this argument through a qualitative study with prisoners and former prisoners, discussing themes such as: the perception of the prison through time, space, smells and sounds; the change of prisoner bodies; the presentation of self in and after prison, including the centrality of appearance and prison dress in the management of prisoner and ex-prisoner identities; and a range of coping strategies adopted during and after imprisonment, including prison food, drug misuse, and a case study on women’s self-injuring practices. Embodying Punishment brings to the fore and critically analyses longstanding and urgent problems surrounding women’s multifaceted oppression through imprisonment, including matters of discriminatory and gendered treatment as well as issues around penal harm, and argues for an experientially grounded critique of punishment.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Female Imprisonment: An Ethnography of Everyday Life in Confinement, by Catarina Frois. New York: Palgrave, 2017. 231p.
“This book is a reflection on the nature of confinement, experienced by prison inmates as everyday life. It explores the meanings, purposes, and consequences involved with spending every day inside prison. Female Imprisonment results from an ethnographic study carried out in a small prison facility located in the south of Portugal, and Frois uses the data to analyze how incarcerated women talk about their lives, crimes, and expectations. Crucially, this work examines how these women consider prison: rather than primarily being a place of confinement designed to inflict punishment, it can equally be a place of transformation that enables them to regain a sense of selfhood. From in-depth ethnographic research involving close interaction with the prison population, in which inmates present their life histories marked by poverty, violence, and abuse (whether as victims, as agents, or both), Frois observes that the traditional idea of “doing time”, in the sense of a strenuous, repressive, or restrictive experience, is paradoxically transformed into “having time” – an experience of expanded self-awareness, identity reconstruction, or even of deliverance. Ultimately, this engaging and compassionate study questions and defies customary accounts of the impact of prisons on those subjected to incarceration, and as such it will be of great interest for scholars and students of penology and the criminal justice system.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives, edited by Ronnie MacKay and Warren Brookbanks. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 368p.
“The law relating to fitness to plead is an increasingly important area of the criminal law. While criminalization may be justified whenever an offender commits a sufficiently serious moral wrong requiring that he or she be called to account, the doctrine of fitness to plead calls this principle into question in the case of a person who lacks the capacity or ability to participate meaningfully in a criminal trial. In light of the emerging focus on capacity-based approaches to decision-making and the international human rights requirement that the law should treat defendants fairly, this volume offers a benchmark for the theory and practice of fitness to plead, providing readers with a unique opportunity to consider differing perspectives and debate on the future development and direction of a doctrine which has up till now been under-discussed and under-researched.
The fitness to plead rules stand as an exception to notions of public accountability for criminal wrongdoing yet, despite the doctrine’s long-standing function in criminal procedure, it has proven complex to apply in practice and has given rise to many varied legislative models and considerable litigation in different jurisdictions. Particularly troublesome is the question of what is to be done with someone who has been found unfit to stand trial. Here the law is required to balance the need to protect those defendants who are unable to participate effectively in their own trial, whether permanently or for a defined period, and the need to protect the public from people who may have caused serious social harm as a result of their antisocial behaviour. The challenge for law reformers, legislators, and judges, is to create rules that ensure that everyone who can properly be tried is tried, while seeking to preserve confidence in the fairness of the legal system by ensuring that people who cannot properly engage in the criminal trial process are not forced to endure it.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Gang Paradox: Inequalities and Miracles on the U.S.-Mexico Border, by Robert J. Duran. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. 320p.
“The areas along the U.S.-Mexico border are commonly portrayed as a hot spot for gang activity, drug trafficking, and violence. Yet when Robert J. Durán conducted almost a decade’s worth of ethnographic research in border towns between El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico—a region notorious for gang activity, according to federal officials—he found significantly less gang membership and activity than common fearmongering claims would have us believe. Instead, he witnessed how the gang label was used to criminalize youth of Mexican descent—to justify the overrepresentation of Latinos in the justice system, the implementation of punitive practices in the school system, and the request for additional resources by law enforcement.
In The Gang Paradox, Durán analyzes the impact of deportation, incarceration, and racialized perceptions of criminality on Latino families and youth along the border. He draws on ethnography, archival research, official data sources, and interviews with practitioners and community members to present a compelling portrait of Latino residents’ struggles amid deep structural disadvantages. Durán, himself a former gang member, offers keen insights into youth experience with schools, juvenile probation, and law enforcement. The Gang Paradox is a powerful community study that sheds new light on intertwined criminalization and racialization, with policy relevance toward issues of gangs, juvenile delinquency, and the lack of resources in border regions.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Industry of Autonomy: Inside the Business of Cybercrime, by Jonathan Lusthaus. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2018. 304p.
“Cybercrime seems invisible. Attacks arrive out of nowhere, their origins hidden by layers of sophisticated technology. Only the victims are clear. But every crime has its perpetrator—specific individuals or groups sitting somewhere behind keyboards and screens. Jonathan Lusthaus lifts the veil on the world of these cybercriminals in the most extensive account yet of the lives they lead, and the vast international industry they have created.
We are long past the age of the lone adolescent hacker tapping away in his parents’ basement. Cybercrime now operates like a business. Its goods and services may be illicit, but it is highly organized, complex, driven by profit, and globally interconnected. Having traveled to cybercrime hotspots around the world to meet with hundreds of law enforcement agents, security gurus, hackers, and criminals, Lusthaus takes us inside this murky underworld and reveals how this business works. He explains the strategies criminals use to build a thriving industry in a low-trust environment characterized by a precarious combination of anonymity and teamwork. Crime takes hold where there is more technical talent than legitimate opportunity, and where authorities turn a blind eye—perhaps for a price. In the fight against cybercrime, understanding what drives people into this industry is as important as advanced security.
Based on seven years of fieldwork from Eastern Europe to West Africa, Industry of Anonymity is a compelling and revealing study of a rational business model which, however much we might wish otherwise, has become a defining feature of the modern world.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Inside Story: How Narratives Drive Mass Harm, by Lois Presser. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. 200p.
“Stories have persuasive powers: they can influence how a person thinks and acts. Inside Story explores the capacity of stories to direct our thinking, heighten our emotions, and thereby motivate people to do harm to others and to tolerate harm done by others. From terrorist violence to “mere” complacency with institutionalized harm, the book weds case study to cross-disciplinary theory. It builds upon timely work in the field of narrative criminology and provides a thorough analysis of how stories can promote or inhibit harmful action. By offering a sociological analysis of the emotional yet intersubjective experience of dangerous stories, the book fleshes out the perplexing mechanics of cultural influence on crime and other forms of harm.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Psychology of False Confessions: Forty Years of Science and Practice, by Gisli H. Gudjonsson. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2018. 552p.
“Four decades ago, little was known or understood about false confessions and the reasons behind them. So much has changed since then due in part to the diligent work done by Gisli H. Gudjonsson. This eye-opening book by the Icelandic/British clinical forensic psychologist, who in the mid-1970s had worked as detective in Reykjavik, offers a complete and current analysis of how the study of the psychology of false confessions came about, including the relevant theories and empirical/experimental evidence base. It also provides a reflective review of the gradual development of the science and how it can be applied to real life cases.
Based on Gudjonsson’s personal account of the biggest murder investigations in Iceland’s history, as well as other landmark cases, The Psychology of False Confessions: Forty Years of Science and Practice takes readers inside the minds of those who sit on both sides of the interrogation table to examine why confessions to crimes occur even when the confessor is innocent. Presented in three parts, the book covers how the science of studying false confessions emerged and grew to become a regular field of practice. It then goes deep into the investigation of the mid-1970s assumed murders of two men in Iceland and the people held responsible for them. It finishes with an in-depth psychological analysis of the confessions of the six people convicted.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Law of Good People: Challenging States’ Ability to Regulate Human Behavior, by Yuval Feldman. New York: Cambridge, 2018. 254p.
“Currently, the dominant enforcement paradigm is based on the idea that states deal with ‘bad people’ – or those pursuing their own self-interests – with laws that exact a price for misbehavior through sanctions and punishment. At the same time, by contrast, behavioral ethics posits that ‘good people’ are guided by cognitive processes and biases that enable them to bend the laws within the confines of their conscience. In this illuminating book, Yuval Feldman analyzes these paradigms and provides a broad theoretical and empirical comparison of traditional and non-traditional enforcement mechanisms to advance our understanding of how states can better deal with misdeeds committed by normative citizens blinded by cognitive biases regarding their own ethicality. By bridging the gap between new findings of behavioral ethics and traditional methods used to modify behavior, Feldman proposes a ‘law of good people’ that should be read by scholars and policymakers around the world.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Limits of Blame: Rethinking Punishment and Responsibility, By Erin I. Kelly. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. 240p.
“Faith in the power and righteousness of retribution has taken over the American criminal justice system. Approaching punishment and responsibility from a philosophical perspective, Erin Kelly challenges the moralism behind harsh treatment of criminal offenders and calls into question our society’s commitment to mass incarceration.
The Limits of Blame takes issue with a criminal justice system that aligns legal criteria of guilt with moral criteria of blameworthiness. Many incarcerated people do not meet the criteria of blameworthiness, even when they are guilty of crimes. Kelly underscores the problems of exaggerating what criminal guilt indicates, particularly when it is tied to the illusion that we know how long and in what ways criminals should suffer. Our practice of assigning blame has gone beyond a pragmatic need for protection and a moral need to repudiate harmful acts publicly. It represents a desire for retribution that normalizes excessive punishment.
Appreciating the limits of moral blame critically undermines a commonplace rationale for long and brutal punishment practices. Kelly proposes that we abandon our culture of blame and aim at reducing serious crime rather than imposing retribution. Were we to refocus our perspective to fit the relevant moral circumstances and legal criteria, we could endorse a humane, appropriately limited, and more productive approach to criminal justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Media, Politics, and Penal Reform: Influencing Women’s Punishment, by Gemma Birkett. London: Palgrave, 2017. 205p.
“This book examines the nature of relations between penal reform campaigners, journalists and policymakers at the crime-media nexus. With a particular focus on women’s penal policy, Birkett uncovers how reform strategies have augmented and developed under changing governments and the news media spotlight. While penal reformers have traditionally relied on the language of humanitarianism to influence the direction of policy, there remains an array of political and cultural sticking points. With a policy-focused orientation, this study provides a number of pragmatic and practical tips for those wishing to think more strategically about their ability to influence politicians, the media and the public. With unprecedented access to over thirty policy elites working around Westminster and Whitehall during the development of the Corston agenda (and beyond), this engaging and timely work exposes the triumphs and tribulations of such actors for the very first time.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Modelling the Criminal Lifestyle: Theorizing at the Edge of Chaos, by Glenn D. Walters. New York: Palgrave, 2017. 301p.
“This book offers Walters’s latest evolution of criminal lifestyle theory. It introduces the concept of criminal thought content to illustrate how the potential interplay between what offenders think and their thought processes can greatly aid our understanding of both crime and criminals. In this new study on criminal behaviour, Walters calls for criminological theory to be placed within a broader scientific context, and provides us with several key models which embrace constructs from numerous important theories including: the general theory of crime, social cognitive and social learning theories, general strain theory, psychopathic personality theories of crime, and labelling theory.
Another unique aspect of this work is that it places lifestyle theory within a larger scientific framework, namely, nonlinear dynamical systems theory or chaos. Seven principles from chaos theory are used to explain relationships and processes central to lifestyle theory and Walters uses this to draw conclusions on what affects criminal decision-making and desistance from crime. Highly original and innovative in scope, this book will be useful to practitioners and scholars of criminal justice alike, with chapters focused on decision-making, assessment, and intervention.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South, by Pam Kelley. New York: New Press, 2018. 304p.
“Meet Money Rock. He’s young. He’s charismatic. He’s generous, often to a fault. He’s one of Charlotte’s most successful cocaine dealers, and that’s what first prompted veteran reporter Pam Kelley to craft this riveting social history—by turns action-packed, uplifting, and tragic—of a striving African American family, swept up and transformed by the 1980s cocaine epidemic.
The saga begins in 1963 when a budding civil rights activist named Carrie gives birth to Belton Lamont Platt, eventually known as Money Rock, in a newly integrated North Carolina hospital. Pam Kelley takes readers through a shootout that shocks the city, a botched FBI sting, and a trial with a judge known as “Maximum Bob.” When the story concludes more than a half century later, Belton has redeemed himself. But three of his sons have met violent deaths and his oldest, fresh from prison, struggles to make a new life in a world where the odds are stacked against him.
This gripping tale, populated with characters both big-hearted and flawed, shows how social forces and public policies—racism, segregation, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration—help shape individual destinies. Money Rock is a deeply American story, one that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change, in our lives and as a society, until we reckon with the sins of our past.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Playing Fair: Political Obligation and the Problems of Punishment, by Richard Dagger. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 300p.
“Is there a general obligation to obey the laws of a reasonably just polity? Is there any justification for imposing suffering, in the form of punishment, on those who break the law? Political and legal philosophers have long debated these vexing questions, but the debates typically have taken up each question in isolation. Playing Fair, however, treats the two questions as intertwined and provides affirmative answers to both—answers grounded, in both cases, in the principle of fair play. According to this principle, those who are engaged in a mutually beneficial cooperative practice or enterprise have a duty to the cooperating participants to bear a fair share of the burdens of the practice. Applied to the political order, the principle holds that a reasonably just polity is a cooperative enterprise whose members receive benefits from the rule of law only because other members obey the law even when they find obedience burdensome. The members of a reasonably just polity thus have a political obligation, understood as a defeasible moral duty to obey the law, to one another. Those who break the laws fail to fulfill this obligation, and their failure justifies the law-abiding members, acting through the proper authorities, in punishing the lawbreakers. Rather than two separate problems, then, political obligation and punishment are two aspects of the same fundamental concern for sustaining a polity that its members can reasonably regard as a cooperative enterprise under the rule of law.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military: The Court-Martial and Construction of Gender and Sexual Deviance, 1950-2000, by Kellie Wilson-Buford. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018. 342p.
“The American military’s public international strategy of Communist containment, systematic weapons build-ups, and military occupations across the globe depended heavily on its internal and often less visible strategy of controlling the lives and intimate relationships of its members. From 1950 to 2000, the military justice system, under the newly instituted Uniform Code of Military Justice, waged a legal assault against all forms of sexual deviance that supposedly threatened the moral fiber of the military community and the nation. Prosecution rates for crimes of sexual deviance more than quintupled in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Drawing on hundreds of court-martial transcripts published by the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces, Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military explores the untold story of how the American military justice system policed the marital and sexual relationships of the service community in an effort to normalize heterosexual, monogamous marriage as the linchpin of the military’s social order. Almost wholly overlooked by military, social, and legal historians, these court transcripts and the stories they tell illustrate how the courts’ construction and criminalization of sexual deviance during the second half of the twentieth century was part of the military’s ongoing articulation of gender ideology.
Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military provides an unparalleled window into the historic criminalization of what were considered sexually deviant and violent acts committed by U.S. military personnel around the world from 1950 to 2000.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Poor Joshua: The DeShaney Case and Child Abuse in America, by John R. Howard. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2018. 220p.
Tells the story of a tragic Supreme Court decision involving child abuse and what might be done to rectify it.
“In DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, a bitterly divided Supreme Court rejected a claim brought on behalf of five-year old Joshua DeShaney, left permanently disabled after sustained abuse, despite regular home visits by social workers charged with monitoring his welfare. In its decision the court asserted that the state has no duty to shield citizens from private violence, even though involved in their lives and knowing of their distress. Poor Joshua tracks the story from its origins in small town Wisconsin to the Supreme Court and chronicles the tragic consequences of the majority decision. John R. Howard shows how that decision became the rock on which later child abuse cases foundered, and how it echoes today in every newspaper story about society’s failure to protect children. The continuing vitality of DeShaney, he argues, derives from a persistent sense that the decision is legally incorrect and profoundly at odds with the underlying values of the Constitution. The case is also about different visions of our social order and the relationship between “law” and “justice.” Howard summarizes the substantial law review literature critical of the DeShaney decision and erects the scaffolding for a counterargument bringing law into a closer alignment with justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Professionalizing the Police: The Unfulfilled Promise of Police Training, by Nigel G. Fielding. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 288p.
“Professionalizing the Police is a timely reassessment of the development of British police training and its contribution to the furtherance of the police professionalism agenda. The police have long struggled with the concept of professionalism. The Victorians veered from regarding police as servants to sanctifying policing as a special calling, while the supposed Golden Age of Policing was riven by divisions of class as sharp as those of the social diversity that poses one of contemporary policing’s harshest tests. Police training has reflected these ambiguities and uncertainties. The ground its curriculum covers, pedagogy it employs, and structures through which it operates have been contested, troublesome to manage, and blamed for policing’s failures. Behind these frictions lie large issues of governance, policing’s place in society and what it means to be professional.
Late modernity is marked by uncertainty and scepticism. In ‘post-truth’ times, professionalism must accommodate ambiguities of class, ethnicity and sexuality. The police languish as last believers in a monochrome vision of society while the norms that make for contemporary sociality have moved on to a multiplex of diversities that harbour new extremes both of tolerance and intolerance.
True professionalism alerts practitioners to other ways of delivering social control and just societies: empowering citizens and encouraging autonomy; supporting new modes of social relationships and lifestyle; fitting provision to cases; pluralizing services. This yardstick is used to assess and challenge the recruit and in-service curriculum and to tease out the options around which professionalism can be configured and embedded such that it plays its part in a humane, coherent, and accountable framework of police governance. The book will appeal to academics and postgraduate students in police research (across criminology, sociology, psychology, socio-legal studies) and the professions (sociology, political science), as well as senior police managers and trainers in the police service and other applied government bodies.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Race and Crime: Geographies of Injustice, by Elizabeth Brown and George Barganier. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018. 440p.
“Criminal justice practices such as policing and imprisonment are integral to the creation of racialized experiences in U.S. society. Race as an important category of difference, however, did not arise here with the criminal justice system but rather with the advent of European colonial conquest and the birth of the U.S. racial state. Race and Crime examines how race became a defining feature of the system and why mass incarceration emerged as a new racial management strategy. This book reviews the history of race and criminology and explores the impact of racist colonial legacies on the organization of criminal justice institutions. Using a macrostructural perspective, students will learn to contextualize issues of race, crime, and criminal justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Realm of Criminal Law, by R.A. Duff. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018. 384p.
“We are said to face a crisis of over-criminalization: our criminal law has become chaotic, unprincipled, and over-expansive. This book proposes a normative theory of criminal law, and of criminalization, that shows how criminal law could be ordered, principled, and restrained. The theory is based on an account of criminal law as a distinctive legal practice that functions to declare and define a set of public wrongs, and to call to formal public account those who commit such wrongs; an account of the role that such practice can play in a democratic republic of free and equal citizens; and an account of the central features of such a political community, and of the way in which it constitutes its public realm-its civil order. Criminal law plays an important, but limited, role in such a political community in protecting, but also partly constituting, its civil order.
On the basis of this account, we can see how such a political community will decide what kinds of conduct should be criminalized – not by applying one or more of the substantive master principles that theorists have offered, but by considering which kinds of conduct fall within its public realm (as distinct from the private realms that are not the polity’s business), and which kinds of wrong within that realm require this distinctive kind of response (rather than one of the other kinds of available response). The outcome of such a deliberative process will probably be a more limited, and a more rational and principled, criminal law.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Summer of Hate: Charlottesville, USA, by Hawes Spencer. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018. 272p.
“In August 2017, violence burst forth in Charlottesville, Virginia, during two days of demonstrations by a combination of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and counterprotest groups from the antifa and Black Lives Matter. Originally motivated by the city’s plans to remove Confederate statues from two public parks, members of the alt-right descended first on the University of Virginia and then, disastrously, on the downtown area, ultimately leading to violent clashes and the death of Heather Heyer, who was hit by a car driven into a crowd by James Fields Jr.
Summer of Hate is the investigative journalist Hawes Spencer’s unbiased, probing account of August 11 and 12. Telling the story from the perspective of figures from all sides of the demonstrations, Spencer, who reported from Charlottesville for the New York Times, carefully re-creates what happened and why. By focusing on individuals including activists, city councillors, and law enforcement officials, Spencer provides a full, objective, and dramatic narrative that weaves together past and present as well as a way forward toward healing.” From Publisher’s Website.
|White Collar Crime and Risks: Financial Crime, Corruption, and the Financial Crisis, by Nic Ryder. London, UK: Palgrave, 2018. 372p.
“This edited collection provides an innovative and detailed analysis of the relationship between the financial crisis, risk and corruption. A large majority of the published research has concentrated on identifying the traditional factors that contributed towards the largest financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash and subsequent Great Depression. This original volume contests this, and provides the alternative view that white collar crime was also an underappreciated, and important factor. Divided into five parts: bribery and corruption; financial crime; market manipulation; technology and white collar crime; and the financial crisis, and based on contributions by a wide range of experts in the field, this book will be of great interest to policy makers and practitioners, researchers and students alike.” From Publisher’s Website.