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.
|American Policing, edited by Michael Tonry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. 738p.
“American Sentencing provides an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of efforts in the state and the federal systems to make sentencing fairer, reduce overuse of imprisonment, and help offenders live law-abiding lives. It addresses a variety of topics and themes related to sentencing and reform, including racial disparities, violence prediction, plea negotiation, case processing, federal and state guidelines, California’s historic “realignment,” and more.
This volume covers what students, scholars, practitioners, and policy makers need to know about how sentencing really works, what a half century’s “reforms” have and have not accomplished, how sentencing processes can be made fairer, and how sentencing outcomes can be made more just. Its writers are among America’s leading scholarly specialists—often the leading specialist—in their fields.
Clearly and accessibly written, American Sentencing is ideal for teaching use in seminars and courses on sentencing, courts, and criminal justice. Its authors’ diverse perspectives shed light on these issues, making it likely the single, most authoritative source of information on the state of sentencing in America today.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Between Impunity and Imperialism: The Regulation of Transnational Bribery, by Kevin E. David. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019. 344p.
“When people pay bribes to foreign public officials, how should the law respond? This question has been debated ever since the enactment of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, and some of the key arguments can be traced back to Cicero in the last years of the Roman Republic and Edmund Burke in late eighteenth-century England. In recent years, the U.S. and other members of the OECD have joined forces to make anti-bribery law one of the most prominent sources of liability for firms and individuals who operate across borders. The modern regime is premised on the idea that transnational bribery is a serious problem which invariably merits a vigorous legal response. The shape of that response can be summed up in the phrase “every little bit helps,” which in practice means that: prohibitions on bribery should capture a broad range of conduct; enforcement should target as broad a range of actors as possible; sanctions should be as stiff as possible; and as many agencies as possible should be involved in the enforcement process. An important challenge to the OECD paradigm, labelled here the “anti-imperialist critique,” accepts that transnational bribery is a serious problem but questions the conventional responses. This book uses a series of high-profile cases to illustrate key elements of transnational bribery law in action, and analyzes the law through the lenses of both the OECD paradigm and the anti-imperialist critique. It ultimately defends a distinctively inclusive and experimentalist approach to transnational bribery law.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Cambridge Handbook of Policing in the United States, edited by Tamara Rice Lave and Eric J. Miller. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 610p.
“The Cambridge Handbook of Policing in the United States provides a comprehensive collection of essays on police and policing, written by leading experts in political theory, sociology, criminology, economics, law, public health, and critical theory. It unveils a range of experiences – from the police chief of a major metropolitan force to ordinary people targeted for policing on the street – and asks important questions about whether and why we need the police, before analyzing the law of policing, police use of force, and police violence, paying particular attention to the issue of discrimination against marginalized and vulnerable communities at the blunt end of police interference. The book also discusses technological innovations and proposals for reform. Written in accessible language, this interdisciplinary work will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the present and future of policing in the United States.
.Provides first-hand accounts from police officers and the people they police, discussing their experience of policing
.Focuses on discrete, marginalized communities and the challenges they face from the police
.Breaks down academic barriers by approaching policing from multiple perspectives: empirical, normative, and legal
.Engages in a broad and forward-looking account of the impact of technology on policing, enabling readers to understand the ways that the police are responding to high-tech innovations, and the legal and political challenges they pose.” From Publishers’ Website.
|China’s Commercial Sexscapes: Rethinking Intimacy, Masculinity, and Criminal Justice, by Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019. 192p.
“Exploring the experiences of both male clients and female sex workers, China’s Commercial Sexscapes expands upon the complex dynamics of sex worker and client relationships, and places them within the wider implications of expanding globalization and capitalism.
The purchasing of commercial sex by single, young-adult males is increasingly viewed as a socially acceptable way for men to pay for the opportunity to perform and experience heteronormative masculinity. Investigating human rights, social policy, and the criminal justice system in China, China’s Commercial Sexscapes applies the concept of “edgework” in Dongguan, the most explicit, complicated, and multidimensional setting, to study how men and women interact within the changing global economy after the global financial crisis in China.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Comparative Policing from a Legal Perspective, edited by Monica den Boer. Cheltenham, UK; Burlington, VT: Edward E. Elgar, 2019. 488p.
“Public police forces are a regular phenomenon in most jurisdictions around the world, yet their highly divergent legal context draws surprisingly little attention. Bringing together a wide range of police experts from all around the world, this book provides an overview of traditional and emerging fields of public policing.
In this handbook, academics and practitioners explore the relationship between policing and the law and focus on case material and human rights issues. The book concludes that public policing is far from self-evident, particularly in an era where more emphasis is placed upon private security, anti-terrorism and modern technology. As digital and global societies demand new solutions to rapidly changing social challenges, public police will undergo a transformation.
New material and findings are presented with an international-comparative perspective. It is a must-read for students of policing, security and law and professionals in related fields.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Courting the Community: Legitimacy and Punishment in a Community Court, by Christine Zozula. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2019. 218p.
“Community Courts are designed to handle a city’s low-level offenses and quality-of-life crimes, such as littering, loitering, or public drunkenness. Court advocates maintain that these largely victimless crimes jeopardize the well-being of residents, businesses, and visitors. Whereas traditional courts might dismiss such cases or administer a small fine, community courts aim to meaningfully punish offenders to avoid disorder escalating to apocalyptic decline.
Courting the Community is a fascinating ethnography that goes behind the scenes to explore how quality-of-life discourses are translated into court practices that marry therapeutic and rehabilitative ideas. Christine Zozula shows how residents and businesses participate in meting out justice—such as through community service, treatment, or other sanctions—making it more emotional, less detached, and more legitimate in the eyes of stakeholders. She also examines both “impact panels,” in which offenders, residents, and business owners meet to discuss how quality-of-life crimes negatively impact the neighborhood, as well as strategic neighborhood outreach efforts to update residents on cases and gauge their concerns.
Zozula’s nuanced investigation of community courts can lead us to a deeper understanding of punishment and rehabilitation and, by extension, the current state of the American court system.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Criminal Law and the Man Problem, by Ngaire Naffine. Oxford, UK; Chicago: Hart, 2019. 224p.
“Men have always dominated the most basic precepts of the criminal legal world – its norms, its priorities and its character. Men have been the regulators and the regulated: the main subjects and objects of criminal law and by far the more dangerous sex. And yet men, as men, are still hardly talked about as the determining force within criminal law or in its exegesis. This book brings men into sharp focus, as the pervasively powerful interest group, whose wants and preoccupations have shaped the discipline. This constitutes the ‘man problem’ of criminal law.This new analysis probes the unacknowledged thinking of generations of influential legal men, which includes the psychological and legal techniques that have obscured the operation of bias, even to the legal experts themselves. It explains how men’s interests have influenced the most cherished legal norms, especially the rules of human contact, which were designed to protect men from other men, while specifically securing lawful sexual access to at least one woman. The aim is to test the discipline’s broadest commitments to civility, and its trajectory towards the final resolution, when men and women were declared to be equal and equivalent legal persons. In the process it exposes the morally and intellectually limiting consequences of male power.” From Publisher’s Website
|Criminally Ignorant: Why the Law Pretends We Know What We Don’t, by Alexander Sarch. Oxford, UK: New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. 296p.
“This is a book about the legal fiction that sometimes we know what we don’t. The willful ignorance doctrine says defendants who bury their heads in the sand rather than learn they’re doing something criminal are punished as if they knew. Not all legal fictions are unjustified, however. This one, used within proper limits, is a defensible way to promote the aims of the criminal law. Preserving your ignorance can make you as culpable as if you knew what you were doing, and so the interests and values protected by the criminal law can be promoted by treating you as if you had knowledge.
This book provides a careful defense of this method of imputing mental states based on equal culpability. On the one hand, the theory developed here shows why the willful ignorance doctrine is only partly justified and requires reform. On the other hand, it demonstrates that the criminal law needs more legal fictions of this kind. Repeated indifference to the truth may substitute for knowledge, and very culpable failures to recognize risks can support treating you as if you took those risks consciously. Moreover, equal culpability imputation should also be applied to corporations, not just individuals. Still, such imputation can be taken too far. We need to determine its limits to avoid injustice. Thus, the book seeks to place equal culpability imputation on a solid normative foundation, while demarcating its proper boundaries. The resulting theory of when and why the criminal law can pretend we know what we don’t has far-reaching implications for legal practice and reveals a pressing need for reform.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Deviance Management: Insiders, Outsiders, Hiders, and Drifters, by Christopher D. Bader and Joseph O. Baker. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. 232p.
“Deviance Management examines how individuals and subcultures manage the stigma of being labeled socially deviant. Exploring high-tension religious groups, white power movements, paranormal subcultures, LGBTQ groups, drifters, recreational drug and alcohol users, and more, the authors identify how and when people combat, defy, hide from, or run from being stigmatized as “deviant.” While most texts emphasize the criminological features of deviance, the authors’ coverage here showcases the diversity of social and noncriminal deviance. Deviance Management allows for a more thorough understanding of strategies typically used by normalization movements to destigmatize behaviors and identities while contributing to the study of social movements and intra-movement conflict.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy, by Mike German. New York: The New Press, 2019. 352p.
“Impressively researched and eloquently argued, former special agent Mike German’s Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide tells the story of the transformation of the FBI after the 9/11 attacks from a law enforcement agency, made famous by prosecuting organized crime and corruption in business and government, into arguably the most secretive domestic intelligence agency America has ever seen.
German shows how FBI leaders exploited the fear of terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 to shed the legal constraints imposed on them in the 1970s in the wake of Hoover-era civil rights abuses. Empowered by the Patriot Act, the bureau resurrected a discredited theory of terrorist “radicalization” and adopted a “disruption strategy” that targeted Muslims, foreigners, and communities of color, and tarred dissidents inside and outside the bureau as security threats, dividing American communities against one another. By prioritizing its national security missions over its law enforcement mission, the FBI undermined public confidence in justice and the rule of law. Its failure to include racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic violence committed by white nationalists within its counterterrorism mandate only increased the perception that the FBI was protecting the powerful at the expense of the powerless.
Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide is an engaging and unsettling contemporary history of the FBI and a bold call for reform, told by a longtime counterterrorism undercover agent who has become a widely admired whistleblower and a critic for civil liberties and accountable government.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Drug War Pathologies: Embedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas, by Horace A. Bartilow. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. 320p.
“In this book, Horace Bartilow develops a theory of embedded corporatism to explain the U.S. government’s war on drugs. Stemming from President Richard Nixon’s 1971 call for an international approach to this “war,” U.S. drug enforcement policy has persisted with few changes to the present day, despite widespread criticism of its effectiveness and of its unequal effects on hundreds of millions of people across the Americas. While researchers consistently emphasize the role of race in U.S. drug enforcement, Bartilow’s empirical analysis highlights the class dimension of the drug war and the immense power that American corporations wield within the regime.
Drawing on qualitative case study methods, declassified U.S. government documents, and advanced econometric estimators that analyze cross-national data, Bartilow demonstrates how corporate power is projected and embedded—in lobbying, financing of federal elections, funding of policy think tanks, and interlocks with the federal government and the military. Embedded corporatism, he explains, creates the conditions by which interests of state and nonstate members of the regime converge to promote capital accumulation. The subsequent human rights repression, illiberal democratic governments, antiworker practices, and widening income inequality throughout the Americas, Bartilow argues, are the pathological policy outcomes of embedded corporatism in drug enforcement.” From Publisher’s Website.
|From Baksheesh to Bribery: Understanding the Global Fight Against Corruption and Graft, edited by T. Markus Funk and Andrew S. Boutros. Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. 784p.
“Worldwide, governmental anti-corruption efforts have been ramping up like never before. From the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) to the U.K. Bribery Act and recent Chinese, French, Indonesian, Brazilian, and German anti-bribery legislations, the compliance world has witnessed the fight against corruption rocketing to the top of most law reform and enforcement agendas. As the fight against corruption goes global, practitioners of the compliance, regulatory, and investigative space must understand –and more importantly navigate–these increasingly complicated and often perilous compliance waters.
With that heavy reality in mind, this first-of-its-kind book draws on the real-world experience and expertise possessed by some of the world’s leading anti-corruption and anti-bribery practitioners to make meeting that challenge easier. Featuring country-specific chapters and practitioner-focused “how to” modules, From Baksheesh to Bribery serves as a one-stop shop for practitioners, in-house counsel, compliance personnel, academics, and others who want–and often need–to understand the world’s perspective on corruption and the fight against it.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Getting Wrecked: Women, Incarceration, and the American Opioid Crisis, by Kimberly Sue. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. 264p.
“Getting Wrecked provides a rich ethnographic account of women battling addiction as they cycle through jail, prison, and community treatment programs in Massachusetts. As incarceration has become a predominant American social policy for managing the problem of drug use, including the opioid epidemic, this book examines how prisons and jails have attempted concurrent programs of punishment and treatment to deal with inmates struggling with a diagnosis of substance use disorder. An addiction physician and medical anthropologist, Kimberly Sue powerfully illustrates the impacts of incarceration on women’s lives as they seek well-being and better health while confronting lives marked by structural violence, gender inequity, and ongoing trauma.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Global Migrations: The Scottish Diaspora Since 1600, edited by Angela McCarthy and John M. MacKenzie. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016. 304p.
“This book examines the impact since 1600 of out migration from Scotland on the homeland, the migrants, and the destinations in which they settled. It does so through a focus on the under-researched themes of slavery, cross-cultural encounters, economics, war, tourism, and the modern diaspora since 1945.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Jury Crisis: What’s Wrong with Jury Trials and How We Can Save Them, by Drury R. Sherrod. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019. 192p.
“Juries have a bad reputation. Often jurors are seen as incompetent, biased and unpredictable, and jury trials are seen as a waste of time and money. In fact, so few criminal and civil cases reach a jury today that trial by jury is on the verge of extinction. Juries are being replaced by mediators, arbitrators and private judges. The wise trial of “Twelve Angry Men” has become a fiction. As a result, a foundation of American democracy is about to vanish.
The Jury Crisis: What’s Wrong with Jury Trials and How We Can Save Them addresses the near collapse of the jury trial in America – its causes, consequences, and cures. Drury Sherrod brings his unique perspective as a social psychologist who became a jury consultant to the reader, applying psychological research to real world trials and explaining why juries have become dysfunctional.
While this collapse of the jury can be traced to multiple causes, including poor public education, the absence of peers and community standards in a class-stratified, racially divided society, and people’s reluctance to serve on a jury, the focus of this book is on the conduct of trials themselves, from jury selection to evidence presentation to jury deliberations. Judges and lawyers believe – wrongly – that jurors can put aside their biases, sit quietly through hours, days or weeks of conflicting testimony, and not make up their minds until they have heard all the evidence. Unfortunately, the human brain doesn’t work that way. A great deal of psychological research on jurors and other decision-makers shows that our brains intuitively leap to story-telling before we rationally analyze “facts,” or evidence. Weaving details into a narrative is how we make sense of the world, and it’s very hard to suppress this tendency. Consequently, a majority of jurors actually make up their minds before they have heard much of the evidence. Judges, arbitrators and mediators have similar biases.
The Jury Crisis deals with an important social problem, namely the near collapse of a thousand year old institution, and proposes how to fix the jury system and restore trial by jury to a more prominent place in American society.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Juvenile Justice in Victorian Scotland, by Christine Kelly. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. 256p.
“How did Scotland’s criminal justice system respond to marginalised street children who found themselves on the wrong side of the law, often for simple vagrancy or other minor offences? This book examines the historical criminalisation of Scotland’s Victorian children, as well as revealing the history and early success of the Scottish day industrial school movement – a philanthropic response to juvenile offending hailed as ‘magic’ in Charles Dickens’s Household Words.With case studies ranging from police courts to the High Court of Justiciary, the book offers a lively account of the way children experienced Scotland’s early juvenile justice system.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Legal Process and the Promise of Justice: Studies Inspired by the Work of Malcolm Feeley. Edited by Rosann Greenspan, Hadar Aviram and Jonathan Simon. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 383p.
“Malcolm Feeley, one of the founding giants of the law and society field, is also one of its most exciting, diverse, and contemporary scholars. His works have examined criminal courts, prison reform, the legal profession, legal professionalism, and a variety of other important topics of enduring theoretical interest with a keen eye for the practical implications. In this volume, The Legal Process and the Promise of Justice, an eminent group of contemporary law and society scholars offer fresh and original analyzes of his work. They asses the legacy of Feeley’s theoretical innovations, put his findings to the test of time, and provide provocative historical and international perspectives for his insights. This collection of original essays not only draws attention to Professor Feeley’s seminal writings but also to the theories and ideas of others who, inspired by Feeley, have explored how courts and the legal process really work to provide a promise of justice.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, by Robert Whitaker. New York: Basic Books, 2019. 384p.
“Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world’s poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy.
The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker’s most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects.
A haunting, deeply compassionate book — updated with a new introduction and prologue bringing in the latest medical treatments and trends — Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Our 50-State Border Crisis: How the Mexican Border Fuels the Drug Epidemic Across America, by Howard G. Buffett. New York: Hachette Books, 2018. 384p.
“In this groundbreaking and vivid book, Buffett takes readers to the rugged terrain of the Arizona and Texas border country, where the drama and heartbreak of drug smuggling and migrant crossings play out every day—as well as to Mexico and El Salvador, showing how devastating poverty and cartel violence spur migration. Supplemented by sixteen pages of Buffett’s own photography, Our 50-State Border Crisis outlines a realistic, effective, and bipartisan approach to fighting cartels, strengthening our national security, and tackling the roots of the chaos below the border.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier, by Ian Urbina. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. 560p.
“There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.
Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways — drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Ian Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely.
Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, this unique work of reportage brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision, by Brendan McQuade. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. 304p.
“The United States has poured over a billion dollars into a network of interagency intelligence centers called “fusion centers.” These centers were ostensibly set up to prevent terrorism, but politicians, the press, and policy advocates have criticized them for failing on this account. So why do these security systems persist? Pacifying the Homeland travels inside the secret world of intelligence fusion, looks beyond the apparent failure of fusion centers, and reveals a broader shift away from mass incarceration and toward a more surveillance- and police-intensive system of social regulation.
Provided with unprecedented access to domestic intelligence centers, Brendan McQuade uncovers how the institutionalization of intelligence fusion enables decarceration without fully addressing the underlying social problems at the root of mass incarceration. The result is a startling analysis that contributes to the debates on surveillance, mass incarceration, and policing and challenges readers to see surveillance, policing, mass incarceration, and the security state in an entirely new light.” From Publishers Website.
|The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, by Anna Clark. New York: Picador, 2018. 302p.
“Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water supply to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint, mostly poor and African American, were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.
It took eighteen months of activism by city residents and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. By that time, twelve people had died and Flint’s children had suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster has only just begun.
In the first full account of this American tragedy, Anna Clark’s The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making. Places like Flint are set up to fail—and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York, by Carl Suddler. New York: New York University Press, 2019. 256p.
“A stark disparity exists between black and white youth experiences in the justice system today. Black youths are perceived to be older and less innocent than their white peers. When it comes to incarceration, race trumps class, and even as black youths articulate their own experiences with carceral authorities, many Americans remain surprised by the inequalities they continue to endure. In this revealing book, Carl Suddler brings to light a much longer history of the policies and strategies that tethered the lives of black youths to the justice system indefinitely.
The criminalization of black youth is inseparable from its racialized origins. In the mid-twentieth century, the United States justice system began to focus on punishment, rather than rehabilitation. By the time the federal government began to address the issue of juvenile delinquency, the juvenile justice system shifted its priorities from saving delinquent youth to purely controlling crime, and black teens bore the brunt of the transition.
In New York City, increased state surveillance of predominantly black communities compounded arrest rates during the post–World War II period, providing justification for tough-on-crime policies. Questionable police practices, like stop-and-frisk, combined with media sensationalism, cemented the belief that black youth were the primary cause for concern. Even before the War on Crime, the stakes were clear: race would continue to be the crucial determinant in American notions of crime and delinquency, and black youths condemned with a stigma of criminality would continue to confront the overwhelming power of the state.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Prison Breaks: Toward a Sociology of Escape, edited by Tomas Max martin and Gilles Chantraine. Cham, SWITI: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 351p.
“This edited collection analyses the prison through the most fundamental challenge it faces: escapes. The chapters comprise original research from established prison scholars who develop the contours of a sociology of prison escapes. Drawing on firm empirical evidence from places like India, Tunisia, Canada, the UK, France, Uganda, Italy, Sierra Leone, and Mexico, the authors show how escapes not only break the prison, but are also fundamental to the existence of such institutions: how they are imagined, designed, organized, justified, reproduced and transformed. The chapters are organised in four interconnected themes: resistance and everyday life; politics and transition; imaginaries and popular culture; and law and bureaucracy, which reflect how escapes are productive, local, historical, and equivocal social practices, and integral to the mysterious intransigence of the prison. The result is a critical and theoretically informed understanding of prison escapes – which has so far been absent in prison scholarship – and which will hold broad appeal to academics and students of prisons and penology, as well as practitioners.” From Publisher’s Website.
|The Security Society: History, Patriarchy, Protection, by Francis Dodsworth. Cham, SWIT: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 339p.
“This book provides a critical engagement with the idea of the ‘security society’ which has been the focus of so much attention in criminology and the social sciences more broadly. ‘Security’ has been argued to constitute a new mode of social ordering, displacing the ‘disciplinary society’ that Foucault saw as characteristic of the liberal era. He saw a ‘control society’ (or ‘risk society’) characteristic of Neo-Liberalism, in which the deviant behaviour of particular individuals, as less important than general attempts to offset risk and reduce harm. Dodsworth argues that much of this literature is extraordinarily present-ist in orientation, denying the long history of attempts to mitigate risk, prevent harm and manage security which have always been a part of the government of order.
This book develops a ‘critical history’ of security: a thematic analysis of debates about security and aspects of the security society which puts contemporary arguments and practices in dialogue with the texts and practices of the past. In doing so the book develops a cultural analysis of the meanings of security and the way these meanings have been articulated in particular practical contexts in order to understand how the promise of security has so effectively captured the imagination and channeled the effective engagement of people throughout the modern period.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Tar-Heel Lightnin’: How Secret Stills and Fast Cars made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World, by Daniel S. Pierce. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. 328p.
“From the late nineteenth century well into the 1960s, North Carolina boasted some of the nation’s most restrictive laws on alcohol production and sale. For much of this era, it was also the nation’s leading producer of bootleg liquor. Over the years, written accounts, popular songs, and Hollywood movies have turned the state’s moonshiners, fast cars, and frustrated Feds into legends. But in Tar Heel Lightnin’, Daniel S. Pierce tells the real history of moonshine in North Carolina as never before. This well-illustrated, entertaining book introduces a surprisingly varied cast of characters who operated secret stills and ran liquor from the swamps of the Tidewater to Piedmont forests and mountain coves. From the state’s earliest days through Prohibition to the present, Pierce shows that moonshine crossed race and economic lines, linking men and women, the rebellious and the respectable, the oppressed and the merely opportunistic. As Pierce recounts, even churchgoing types might run shipments of “that good ol’ mountain dew” when hard times came and there was no social safety net to break the fall.
Folklore, popular culture, and changing laws have helped fuel a renaissance in making and drinking commercial moonshine, and Pierce shows how today’s producers understand their ties to the past. Above all, this book reveals that moonshine’s long, colorful history features surprises that can change how we understand a state and a region.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks, by Arie W. Kruglanski, Jocelyn J. Belanger, and Rohan Gunaratna. Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. 272p.
“What fuels radicalization? Is deradicalization a possibility? The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Networks addresses these crucial questions by identifying the three major determinants of radicalization that progresses into violent extremism. The first determinant is the need: individuals’ universal desire for personal significance. The second determinant is narrative, which guides members in their “quest for significance.” The third determinant is the network, or membership in one’s group that validates the collective narrative and dispenses rewards like respect and veneration to members who implement it.
In this book, Arie W. Kruglanski, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, and Rohan Gunaratna present a new model of radicalization that takes into account factors that activate the individual’s quest for significance. Synthesizing varied empirical evidence, this volume reinterprets prior theories of radicalization and examines major issues in deradicalization and recidivism, which will only become more relevant as communities continue to negotiate the threat of extremism.” From Publishers’ Website.
|Unreasoned Verdict: The Jury’s Out. Oxford, UK: Chicago: Hart Publishing, 2019. 152p.
“The system of jury trial has survived, intact, for 750 years. In the light of contemporary opposition to jury trial for serious offences, this book explains the nature and scope today of jury trial, with its minor exceptions. It chronicles the origins and development of jury trial in the Anglo-Saxon world, seeking to explain and explore the principles that lie at the heart of the mode of criminal trial. It observes the distinction between the professional judge and the amateur juror or lay participant, and the value of such a mixed tribunal. Part of the book is devoted to the leading European jurisdictions, underlining their abandonment of trial by jury and its replacement with the mixed tribunal in pursuance of a political will to inject a lay element into the trial process.
Democracy is not an essential element in the criminal trial. The book takes a look at the appellate system in crime, from the Criminal Appeals Act 1907 to the present day, and urges the reform of the appellate court, finding the trial decision unsatisfactory as well as unsafe. Other important issues are touched upon – judicial ethics and court-craft; perverse jury verdicts (the nullification of jury verdicts); the speciality of fraud offences, and the selection of models for various crimes, as well as suggested reforms of the waiver of a jury trial or the ability of the defendant to choose the mode of trial. The section ends with a discussion of the restricted exceptions to jury trial, where the experience of 30 years of judge-alone trials in Northern Ireland – the Diplock Courts – is discussed. Finally, the book proffers its proposal for a major change in direction – involvement of the defendant in the choice of mode of trial, and the intervention (where necessary) of the expert, not merely as a witness but as an assessor to the judiciary or as a supplemental decision-maker.” From Publishers’ Website.
|The Upper Limit: How Low-Wage Work Defines Punishment and Welfare, by Francois Bonnet. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. 200p.
“Since 1993, crime in the United States has fallen to historic lows, seeming to legitimize the country’s mix of welfare reform and mass incarceration. The Upper Limit explains how this unusual mix came about, examining how, beginning in the 1970s, declining living standards for the poor have defined social and penal policy in the United States, making welfare more restrictive and punishment harsher. François Bonnet shows how low-wage work sets the upper limit of social and penal policy, where welfare must be less attractive than low-wage work and criminal life must be less attractive than welfare. In essence, the living standards of the lowest class of workers in a society determine the upper limit for the generosity of welfare and for the humanity of punishment in that society. The Upper Limit explores the local consequences of this punitive adjustment in East New York, a Brooklyn neighborhood where crime fell in the 1990s. Bonnet argues that no meaningful penal reform can happen unless living standards and the minimum wage rise again. Enlightening and provocative, The Upper Limit provides a comprehensive theory of the evolution of social and penal policy.” From Publisher’s Website.
|You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America, by Andrea S. Boyles. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. 216p.
“You Can’t Stop the Revolution is a vivid participant ethnography conducted from inside of Ferguson protests as the Black Lives Matter movement catapulted onto the global stage. Sociologist Andrea S. Boyles offers an everyday montage of protests, social ties, and empowerment that coalesced to safeguard black lives while igniting unprecedented twenty-first-century resistance. Focusing on neighborhood crime prevention and contentious black citizen–police interactions in the context of preserving black lives, this book examines how black citizens work to combat disorder, crime, and police conflict. Boyles offers an insider’s analysis of cities like Ferguson, where a climate of indifference leaves black neighborhoods vulnerable to conflict, where black lives are seemingly expendable, and where black citizens are held responsible for their own oppression. You Can’t Stop the Revolution serves as a reminder that community empowerment is still possible in neighborhoods experiencing police brutality and interpersonal violence.” From Publisher’s Website.
|Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System, by Alec Karakatsanis. New York: The New Press, 2019. 208p.
“Alec Karakatsanis is interested in what we choose to punish. For example, it is a crime in most of America for poor people to wager in the streets over dice; dice-wagerers can be seized, searched, have their assets forfeited, and be locked in cages. It’s perfectly fine, by contrast, for people to wager over international currencies, mortgages, or the global supply of wheat; wheat-wagerers become names on the wings of hospitals and museums.
He is also troubled by how the legal system works when it is trying to punish people. The bail system, for example, is meant to ensure that people return for court dates. But it has morphed into a way to lock up poor people who have not been convicted of anything. He’s so concerned about this that he has personally sued court systems across the country, resulting in literally tens of thousands of people being released from jail when their money bail was found to be unconstitutional.
Karakatsanis doesn’t think people who have gone to law school, passed the bar, and sworn to uphold the Constitution should be complicit in the mass caging of human beings—an everyday brutality inflicted disproportionately on the bodies and minds of poor people and people of color and for which the legal system has never offered sufficient justification. Usual Cruelty is a profoundly radical reconsideration of the American “injustice system” by someone who is actively, wildly successfully, challenging it.” From Publishers’ Website.