Full Reviews


When Police Use Force: Context, Methods, And Outcomes

Author: Craig Boylstein
Publisher: Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2018. 171p.
Reviewers: Frank Shor and Brandon Dulisse | October 2018

Unchecked Corporate Power: Why The Crimes Of The Multinational Corporations Are Routinzed Away And What We Can Do About It

Author: Gregg Barak
Publisher: London: Routledge, 2017. 213p.
Reviewer: Michael L. Benson | October 2018

Greg Barak’s Unchecked Corporate Power: Why the Crimes of Multinational Corporations Are Routinized Away and What We Can Do About It examines the various underhanded doings of giant multinational corporations that, he believes, have been allowed to get away with their underhandedness because they are too big to fail, and too well-connected politically and in every other way to have been held to account criminally.  In the words of our reviewer, Michael Benson, “they [the corporations] have wreaked financial and ecological havoc, but on the other hand, they have also produced stupefying material wealth along with astonishing technological innovations.”  Thus, part of the dilemma.  Benson calls this book “a call to action and a consciousness raising experience.” 

Transmedia Crime Stories: The Trial Of Amanda Knox And Raffaele Sollecito In The Globalised Media Sphere

Editors: Lieve Gies and Maria Bartoluzzi
Publishers: London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 236p.
Reviewer: David Wilson | October 2018

As devotees of some of the true crime mysteries presented on Netflix will recognize, Transmedia Crime Stories: The Trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the Globalised Media Sphere, edited by Lieve Gies and Maria Bartoluzzi, is a familiar genre.  It tells the story of the murder – and its aftermath — of a 21-year-old British exchange student from Leeds University named Meredith Kercher on November 2, 2007 in a house she shared with an American student and her boyfriend — Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.  The murder took place in Perugia in Italy.   Reviewer David Wilson calls this book a “lively and readable collection of essays…[that] attempts to make sense of how this dreadful crime came to have transnational and transmedia appeal and why it generated – and to an extent still generates – lurid headlines in traditional media and intense speculation…”

Torture: An Expert’s Confrontation With An Everyday Evil

Author: Manfred Nowak
Translator: Roger Kaminker
Publisher: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018. 199p.
Reviewer: John T. Parry | October 2018

Putting Trials On Trial: Sexual Assault And The Failure Of The Legal Profession

Author: Elaine Craig
Publisher: Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018. 320p.
Reviewer: Alice Woolley | October 2018

Protecting Children Online?: Cyberbullying Policies Of Social Media Companies

Author: Tijana Milosevic
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: MIT University Press, 2017. 296p.
Reviewer: Raphael Cohen-Almagor | October 2018

Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective

Author: Siddharth Kara
Publisher: New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2018. 360p.
Reviewer: Vanessa Bouché and Austin Boyles | October 2018

Metamorphosis: How To Transform Punishment In America

Author: Robert A. Ferguson
Publisher: New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2018. 288p.
Reviewer: Sam Bieler | October 2018

Media and Crime in Argentina: Punitive Discourse During the 1990’s

Author: Cynthia Fernández Roich
Publisher: London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017. 248p.
Reviewer: Mary Fran T. Malone | October 2018

In Media and Crime in Argentina: Punitive Discourse During the 1990s, Cynthia Fernandez Roich addresses the fundamental question of why punitive, iron fisted crime control policies are so popular, even though their track record is so poor?  “To answer this question,” says our reviewer Mary Fran T. Malone, “Fernández Roich focuses on Argentina, and explores three issues:  the role of the media, the electoral expediency of short-term policies, and a weak democratic tradition.”  Malone describes the book as being “very accessible.” She concludes: “The author writes for a general audience, but with interesting media content analysis for specialists. She aims to tie together disparate literatures, including those pertaining to media, sociology, inequality, public policy, and democratic transitions.”  

Just Interests: Victims, Citizens And The Potential For Justice

Author: Robyn Holder
Publisher: Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2018. 265p.
Reviewer:  Peter Grabosky | October 2018

Our reviewer, Peter Grabosky, describes Just Interests: Victims, Citizens and the Potential for Justice by Robyn Holder as an important book that charts a course towards crafting solutions that accord the victims of crimes a direct and dignified role in the criminal justice process, and that yet remain faithful to the rule of law. Grabosky concludes this book “deserves the attention of criminal justice professionals, victims and their advocates, and scholars alike.”

The Great Uprising: Race Riots In Urban America During The 1960’s

Author: Peter B. Levy
Publisher: Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 344p.
Reviewer: Russ Immarigeon | October 2018

It has been 50 years since a number of American cities experienced catastrophic urban riots.  Peter Levy’s new book The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s, reviewed here by Russ Immarigeon, tells the story of that most troubling period.  Although such major cities as Los Angeles, Detroit and Newark, NJ suffered riots, Levy chooses to focus on Cambridge, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland; and York, Pennsylvania.  Immarigeon describes this book as being rich in detail, demonstrating that these “events in these small, medium-sized, and large cities did not simply result in a `white backlash.’ They were, in fact, a consequence of the resistance of white community leaders and others to the uplifting aspirations of black American citizens.”

The Geography Of Environmental Crime: Conservation, Wildlife Crime, And Environmental Activism

Editors: Gary R. Potter, Angus Nurse, and Matthew Hall
Publisher: London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 228p.
Reviewer: Meredith Gore | October 2018

Everyday Desistance: The Transition To Adulthood Among Formerly Incarcerated Youth

Author: Laura S. Abrams and Diane J. Terry
Publisher: New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017. 256p.
Reviewer: Michael Rocque | October 2018

Environmental Crime In Latin America: The Theft Of Nature And The Poisoning Of The Land

Editors: David Rodríguez Goyes, Hanneke Mol, Avi Brisman, and Nigel South
Publisher: London, UK: Palgrave, 2017. 313p.
Reviewer: Mark Ungar | October 2018

The Criminalization Of Black Children: Race, Gender, And Delinquency In Chicago’s Juvenile Justice System, 1899-1945

Author: Tera Eva Agyepong
Publisher: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018, 196 p.
Reviewers: David S. Tanenhaus | October 2018

Contemporary Issues In Victimology: Identifying Patterns And Trends

Authors: Carly M. Hilinsji-Rosick and Daniel R. Lee
Publisher: Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018. 272p.
Reviewer: Melanie Clark Mogavero | October 2018


End Of Its Rope: How Killing The Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice

Author: Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. 331p.
Reviewer: Carol S. Steiker | July 2018

Whither the death penalty in America? Since the beginning of this century, the number of death sentences, executions, and states allowing the death penalty has dropped significantly. How and why this has happened and what it means for the future of criminal justice in the U.S. are the subjects of Brandon Garrett’s new book. Our reviewer, Carol Steiker, admires Garrett’s “willing[ness] to get his hands dirty and dig deep into [the] data,” and she finds many of his findings “important,” particularly about the way the death penalty actually functions on the ground. But she is less persuaded by Garrett’s claims about the death penalty’s imminent demise or the improvements such demise would likely bring to our troubled system of criminal justice.

Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power And Populist Defiance In The Ozarks

Author: J. Blake Perkins
Publisher: Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2017. 296p.
Reviewer: Robert Cochran | July 2018

The United States has a long history of local resistance to what is viewed as Washington interference in local affairs. J. Blake Perkins’ book Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks, examines the history of this phenomenon in the Ozark area of Arkansas. Surprisingly, what Perkins discovers is that “what have been understood as hostile reactions to outside intrusions were often in fact directed at controls exerted by `local elites’ over the use and direction of federal assets,” according to reviewer Robert Cochran. In other words, it was “local movers and shakers” who encouraged the frustrated and disgruntled locals who were not movers and shakers to point the finger at Washington as the source of their problems. Cochran recommends this book as a “spirited, well researched, provocative study.”

The Third Degree: The Triple Murder That Shook Washington And Changed American Criminal Justice

Author: Scott D. Seligman
Publisher: Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, 2018. 224p.
Reviewer: Mary Welek Atwell | July 2018

At one level the rule about confessions has been remarkably stable for centuries—an involuntary confession is not admissible in court. But at another level, it has evolved in the last century or so in this country. For decades, cases in federal court applied a sort of common law test of voluntariness, but near the end of the nineteeth century the Supreme Court began to conceptualize the issue as whether the confession was compelled under the Fifth Amendment prohibition of compelling a person to be a witness against himself. Scott Seligman’s book details one of the early Supreme Court cases to discuss Fifth Amendment compulsion, the 1924 case of Ziang Sung Wan. As reviewer Mary Welek Atwell notes, this book includes the roots of the constitutional issues that would be articulated by the Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Atwell concludes that Seligman “not only tells the story of Ziang Sung Wan and his experiences, he connects the case to other historic and legal developments, and he does some additional detective work to try to find out what became of Wan after his final trial” that resulted in a hung jury.

Methamphetamine: A Love Story

Author: Rashi Shukla
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 264p.
Reviewer: Judith Ryder | July 2018

Protect, Serve, And Deport: The Rise Of Policing As Immigration Enforcement

Author: Amada Armenta
Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017. 212p.
Reviewer: Nicolás Eilbaum | July 2018

Transnational Organized Crime: A Comparative Analysis

Authors: Tom Obokata and Brian Payne
Publisher: London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017. 171p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | July 2018

Urban Rage: The Revolt Of The Excluded

Author: Mustafa Dikec
Publisher: New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2017. 275p.
Reviewer: David T Herbert | July 2018

The focus of Urban Rage: The Revolt of the Excluded by Mustafa Dikec is the urban riots and protests that several Western democracies have experienced since the latter part of the 1990s. These countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Greece and Turkey.  Dikec’s central argument, as pointed out by our reviewer David Herbert, is that “those who revolt, protest and often cause damage and mayhem, are not driven by pathological motives. They are not criminals or offenders by any kind of natural or chosen forms of behavior; rather they are victims of a structure that denies them access to proper welfare, work and a full place in society.” This is an argument that is both timely as well as obviously quite controversial.  As for Herbert, he concludes the book offers a “strong indictment,” but also says “the situation may be less bleak and more open to change than it assumes.”

Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, And Legend

Author: Deirdre Bair
Publisher: New York: Doubleday, 2017. 395p.
Reviewer: Jay S. Albanese | July 2018

In the history of organized crime, there are few names better known than Al Capone. As reviewer Jay Albanese points out, there have been hundreds of biographies written about him – perhaps more than any other criminal figure. So why another one? Do we learn anything new? The answer seems to be both yes and no, with more emphasis on the no. Albanese is seemingly being generous when says that Deirdre Bair’s “biography takes its place among the many others by providing more extensive coverage of his [Capone’s] immediate family and descendants, and of how his dedication to his family was apparent, despite his illicit methods of earning that support.”

International Law And Transnational Organised Crime

Editors: Pierre Hauck and Sven Peterke
Publisher: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 555p.
Reviewer: Roger S. Clark | July 2018

A completely different take on organized crime (different from an Al Capone biography) is provided in International Law and Transnational Organised Crime, edited by Pierre Hauck and Sven Peterke, and reviewed here by Roger S. Clark. As Clark acknowledges, the concept of “transnational crime” began to become a focus of the United Nations in the mid-1970s. The UN focus and role has grown considerably since that time, and transnational crime, and in particular transnational organized crime, are now high priorities. Hauck and Peterke have put together what the reviewer calls an eclectic collection by mostly legal academics from mostly Germany and the UK to describe and discuss what the UN and member countries are doing to combat transnational organized crime. Clark says that “[a]side from the evils of organised crime, there is no overarching theme addressed by all of the authors,” but nevertheless concludes that there is much useful material contained in the book.

Oil, Gas, And Crime: The Dark Side Of Boomtown

Author: Rick Ruddell
Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 276p.
Reviewer: Scott K. Turner | July 2018

Literary Obscenities: U.S. Case Law And Naturalism After Modernism

Author: Erik M. Bachman
Publisher: University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2018. 208p.
Reviewer: Clay Calvert | July 2018

Crime And Justice In Russia: A Review Essay

The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia / Crime And Punishment In The Russian Revolution
Reviewer: James Finckenauer | July 2018


Advances In Evidence-Based Policing (Crime Science Series)

Editors: Johannes Knutsson and Lisa Tompson
Publisher: London: Routledge, 2018. 248p.
Reviewer: Jack R. Greene | May 2018

Among the latest iterations in the effort to apply science to policing is the practice of “evidence-based policing.”  The ins and outs of what in shorthand is referred to as EPB are taken up in Advances in Evidence-Based Policing (edited by Johannes Knutsson and Lisa Tompson), and reviewed here by Jack Greene.  Greene concludes that this book “reflects some of the schizophrenia of EBP efforts.”  By this he means that on one hand there is some consensus that “indeed policing should be informed by the best evidence available.”  But, he says, the definition of what constitutes evidence is defined so narrowly that the complexities of the environment in which policing actually takes place are at best minimized. 

The War On Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way

Author: Cara H. Drinan
Publisher: Oxford, UK; New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 224p.
Reviewer: Barry C. Feld | May 2018

The War on Kids:  How American Juvenile Justice Lost its Way by Cara H. Drinan looks at some 30 years of juvenile justice practices in the United States.  Her particular focus is on waiver laws permitting the transfer of juvenile cases to adult criminal courts that applied criminal sentencing statutes as part of a larger effort to “get tough” on youthful criminals.  Drinan then turns to three recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that represented a significant shift in that pattern.  In Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, and Miller v. Alabama, as our reviewer Barry Feld points out, the Supreme Court “finally affirmed that `children are different.’” Feld concludes his review by asking this provocative question: “Is there political will to [reform juvenile justice] when politicians and the public view juvenile and criminal courts’ clientele – poor and minority youths – as “other people’s children” and not their own?”

Policing Hate Crime: Understanding Communities and Prejudice

Authors: Gail Mason, JaneMaree Maher, Jude McCulloch, Sharon Pickering, Rebecca Wickes and Carolyn McKay
Publisher: London; New York: Routledge, 2017. 203p.
Reviewer: Susann Wiedlitzka | May 2018

Restorative Justice In Urban Schools: Disrupting The School To Prison Pipeline

Author: Anita Wadhwa
Publisher: London: Routledge, 2017. 170p.
Reviewer: Marsha Rampersaud | May 2018

The Illegal Wildlife Trade: Inside The World Of Poachers, Smugglers And Traders (Studies of Organized Crime, vol. 15)

Author: van Uhm, Daan P.
Publisher: Cham, SWIT: Springer International Publishing, 2016. 328p.
Reviewer: Julie Ayling | May 2018

Policing Protest In Argentina And Chile

Author: Michelle D. Bonner
Publisher: Boulder, CO: First Forum Press, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2014. 249p.
Reviewer: Kimberly M. Pitts | May 2018

Violence, Sex Offenders, And Corrections

Authors: Rose Ricciardelli; Dale C. Spencer
Publisher: London: Routledge, 2017. 134p.
Reviewer: Richard Tewksbury | May 2018

Miller’s Children: Why Giving Teenage Killers A Second Chance Matters For All Of Us

Author: James Garbarino
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 216p.
Reviewer: Cara H. Drinan | May 2018

Stick Together And Come Back Home: Racial Sorting And The Spillover Of Carceral Identity

Author: Patrick Lopez-Aguado
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 240p.
Reviewer: Mark S. Fleisher | May 2018

Literary Obscenities: U.S. Case Law And Naturalism After Modernism

Author: Erik M. Bachman
Publisher: University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2018. 208p.
Reviewer: Clay Calvert | May 2018

The thought of obscenity prosecutions conjures up images of James Joyce’s Ulysses, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and William Faulkner’s Sanctuary. Erik Bachman’s Literary Obscenities:  U.S. Case Law and Naturalism After Modernism expands the scope to include less famous, more naturalistic works such as James T. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy, Wyndham Lewis’ Cantleman’s Spring-Mate, Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre, and Lillian Smith’s Strange Fruit. Along the way, Bachman explores foundational questions about what is obscenity (are images more likely to be obscene than text?) and why a society might want to regulate obscenity (do we believe that people act out what they see or read or do we believe in restraint and free will?). As reviewer Clay Calvert concludes, “Erik Bachman provides an excellent analysis of some of the assumptions and forces – ones both internal and external to the texts themselves – that drove and intersected with [prosecutions] involving literary naturalism during the first half of the twentieth century.”

Policing Black Lives: State Violence In Canada From Slavery To The Present

Author: Robyn Maynard
Publisher: Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2017. 292p.
Reviewer: Victoria A. Sytsma | May 2018

Organized Crime In The United States, 1865-1941

Author: Kristofer Allerfeldt
Publisher: Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2018. 300p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens

Reimagining Restorative Justice: Agency And Accountability In The Criminal Process

Authors: Jonathan Doak, David O’Mahony
Publisher: Oxford, UK and Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2017. 272p.
Reviewer: Giuseppe Maglione | May 2018

Scandinavian Penal History, Culture And Prison Practice: Embraced By The Welfare State

Editors: Peter Scharff Smith and Thomas Ugelvik
Publisher: London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 540p.
Reviewer: Doran Larson | May 2018

Politics And History Of Violence And Crime In Central America

Editors: Sebastian Huhn and Hannes Warnecke-Berger
Publisher: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 330p.
Reviewer: David Carey Jr. | May 2018

Immigration issues are very much in the news headlines these days. As far as the US is concerned, the center of the immigration storm is on the southern border where large numbers are attempting to enter – at least some illegally. Their origins are in Central America, in particular El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Why are so many people, including their children, so anxious to leave their homes and flee to the United States? At least one of the answers can be found in Politics and History of Violence and Crime in Central America, edited by Sebastian Huhn and Hannes Warnecke-Berger. As reviewer David Carey Jr. points out, “[w]ith only eight percent of the world’s population, but 33 percent of its homicides, Latin America is one of the most violent regions in the world. From 2000 to 2016, 2.6 million people were murdered.” Despite Carey’s criticism that the book is not particularly well-written, it might nevertheless be enlightening reading to those currently wrestling with the immigration debate.


Garden State Gangland: The Rise Of The Mob In New Jersey

Author: Scott M. Deitche
Publisher: Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018. 228p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | March 2018

Race And The Politics Of Deception: The Making Of An American City

Author: Christopher Mele
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2017. 208p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | March 2018

Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied And Plotted To Control

Author: Robin Farzad
Publisher: New York: New American Library, 2017. 352p.
Reviewer: Frederick T. Martens | March 2018

The Sexual Murderer: Offender Behaviour And Implications For Practice

Editors: Eric Beauregard and Melissa Martineau
Publisher: London; New York: Routledge; 2016. 252p.
Reviewer: Jonathan James | March 2018

Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life Of Capital Punishment In The United States

Author: Daniel LaChance
Publisher: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 260p.
Reviewer: Wanda D. Foglia | March 2018

Vice Capades; Sex, Drugs, And Bowling From The Pilgrims To The Present

Author: Mark Stein
Publisher: Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, 2017. 261p.
Reviewer: Steven Block | March 2018

Communities And Crime: An Enduring American Challenge

Authors: Pamela Wilcox, Francis T. Cullen, and Ben Feldmeyer
Publisher: Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2018. 282p.
Reviewer: Lesli Blair | March 2018

Police In Africa: The Street Level View

Editors: Jan Beek, Mirco Copfert, Olly Owen and Jonny Steinberg (2017)
Publisher: Oxford., UK: Oxford University Press, 2017. 392p.
Reviewer: Biko Agozino | March 2018

The Exonerated: A History Of The Innocence Movement

Author: Robert J. Norris
Publisher: New York: New York University Press, 2017. 304p.
Reviewer: Tucker Carrington | March 2018

Given the ubiquity of cultural references to the “innocence movement” in the last couple of decades, including wildly popular podcasts such as Making a Murderer, reviewer Tucker Carrington is surprised that no history of the innocence movement has appeared until the 2017 publication of Professor Robert J. Norris’ book, Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement. The book, “a deep dive,” is “nonetheless eminently readable, which “speaks to Norris’s ability to merge impressive scholarship and research with fascinating stories, interesting interviews and anecdotal information. The result is an impressive history layered over with entertaining color.”.

Foot Patrol: Rethinking The Cornerstone Of Policing

Authors: Jerry H. Ratcliffe and Evan T. Sorg
Publisher: Cham: Springer, 2017. 87p.
Reviewer: Michael S. Scott | March 2018

In his generally positive review of Foot Patrol: Rethinking the Cornerstone of Policing, by Jerry H. Ratcliffe and Evan T. Sorg, Michael Scott points to numerous revelations, or at least observations that provide food for thought, in the book. For example, Scott says the authors “make the hugely important point that what genuinely matters to good policing is not the police mode of transportation (car, foot, bicycle, horse), but what police officers actually do in identifying, prioritizing, understanding, and resolving the nearly infinite variety of complex problems with which they are confronted.” About foot patrol specifically, the authors, says Scott, point out that foot patrol serves two purposes – one for show (to please the public), and one for effect (to reduce crime and disorder).  Both the book’s authors and the reviewer agree that police administrators and researchers need to be clear on which of these is the higher priority.

Rights, Deportation, And Detention In The Age Of Immigration Control

Author: Tom K. Wong
Publisher: Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015. 256p.
Reviewer: David Hernández | March 2018

Immigration is currently a “hot button” issue in both the United States and Western Europe. Destination countries are trying to decide how best, for all concerned, to deal with the various migrants who are trying to come across their borders. Tom K. Wong’s Rights, Deportation and Detention “offers a complex view of U.S. and European deportation regimes set in the context of global migration,” according to our reviewer David Hernandez. Hernandez credits the author with not forcing comparisons where the data are inadequate for meaningfully doing so, and for recognizing that the complexity he emphasizes “points to areas that merit further scrutiny.”

The Myth Of Moral Panics: Sex, Snuff, And Satan

Authors: Bill Thompson and Andy Williams
Publisher: New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. 341p
Reviewer: Ben Stickle | March 2018

Deadly Justice: A Statistical Portrait Of The Death Penalty

Authors: Frank R. Baumgartner, Marty Davidson, Kaneesha R. Johnson, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Colin P. Wilson
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 414p.
Reviewer: Mary Welek Atwell | March 2018

Holocaust, Genocide, And The Law: A Quest For Justice In A Post-Holocaust World

Author: Michael Bazyler
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 392P.
Reviewer: William R. Pruitt | March 2018


Young Offenders And Open Custody

Author: Tove Pettersson
Publisher: Abingdon, Oxon, UK; New York: Routledge, 2017. 172p.
Reviewer: Lars Højsgaard Andersen | January 2018

The issue of incarceration and its alternatives continues to be a high priority for criminal justice reform. Tove Pettersson in Young Offenders and Open Custody, reviewed here by Lars Højsgaard Andersen, examines the Swedish experience with institutionalized youth and their transition back into the community upon release. Consistent with other research, Pettersson found that youth released from open, transitional correctional facilities had lower rates of recidivism than did youth released directly from lockups. But, as Andersen points out, Pettersson also found that “with open custody arise new types of power relations, in particular … between staff and confined youth, because staff have discretionary powers over what constitutes good behavior and thus ultimately whom may be assigned to open custody and institutional leave.” This staff discretion can thus steer outcomes in either direction.

Human Trafficking And Slavery Reconsidered: Conceptual Limits And States’ Positive Obligations In European Law

Author: Vladislava Stoyanova
Publisher: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 478p.
Reviewer: Amy Weatherburn | January 2018

Solitary: The Inside Story Of Supermax Isolation And How We Can Abolish It

Author: Terry Kupers
Publisher: Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017. 291p.
Reviewer: Keramet Reiter | January 2018

An often invisible aspect of incarceration that has received increased attention of late is the use and abuse of solitary confinement. Terry Kupers, in Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It, takes up this issue. Reviewer Keramet Reiter, in a glowing review, says that Solitary “represents both a robust intellectual contribution to analyses of modern solitary confinement use and a powerful piece of advocacy advocating for abolition of the practice – a rare feat in an academic work.”

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, And Consent On Campus

Author: Vanessa Grigoriadis
Publisher: New York: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. 368p.
Reviewers: Andrea Giuffre and David Patrick Connor | January 2018

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus by Vanessa Grigoriadis comes at a time of heightened interest in and attention to various problems occurring on college and university campuses. Many of these have been associated with fraternities, some with sports teams, and even in one case with the university marching band. Often revolving around drinking and sometimes drugs, one of these recurring problems is that of sexual assault. Grigoriadis, a journalist, interviewed more than 200 college and university students, administrators, and experts during her research. Interestingly, according to our reviewers, Andrea Giuffre and David Patrick Connor, “she deliberately presents a mystifying narrative of institutional betrayal.”

Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, And Infanticide In Northern Ghana

Author: Aaron R. Denham
Publisher: Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2017. 240p.
Reviewer: Chima Agazue

A Transnational Study Of Law And Justice On Tv

Editors: Peter Robson and Jennifer L. Schulz
Publisher: London: Bloomsbury, 2016. 320p.
Reviewer: Lars Ole Sauerberg | January 2018

Re-Examining The Crime Drop

Author: Stephen Farrall
Publisher: Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Pivot: Springer International Publishing, 2017. 116p.
Reviewer: Graham Farrell | January 2018

Fraud: An American History From Barnum To Madoff

Author: Edward J. Balleisen
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. 496p.
Reviewer: David O. Friedrichs January 2018

Although Edward Balleisen’s Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff was written before Donald Trump became president, and Trump’s name does not even appear in the index, our reviewer David Friedrichs nevertheless sees premonitions of the Trump era throughout. As for what Balleisen actually does cover in the book, Friedrichs finds it “rich[ly] detailed,” broadly sweeping, and deeply researched. It will be of interest to readers in a wide range of fields.

How America Got Its Guns: A History Of The Gun Violence Crisis

Author: William Briggs
Publisher: Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2017. 339p.
Reviewer: Jan E. Dizard | January 2018

The Fourth Amendment In An Age Of Surveillance

Author: David Gray
Publisher: Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 314p.
Reviewer: Jack E. Call | January 2018

How should an 18th century constitutional provision like the Fourth Amendment apply to 21st century surveillance techniques involving cell phone location records, big data, and drones? In recent years, law enforcement, courts, and scholars have all struggled to answer that question, in a wide variety of contexts. In his new book The Fourth Amendment in an Age of Surveillance, David Gray argues that virtually all new technology surveillance techniques should be regarded as “searches” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and he offers a conceptual framework for doing so. Our reviewer, Jack Call, believes that Gray’s discussion of such new technologies “will greatly expand the knowledge of many readers” of the book.

The Legal Thriller From Gardner To Grisham: See You In Court!

Author: Lars Ole Sauerberg
Publisher: London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 199p.
Reviewer: David Ray Papke | January 2018

Fatal Fictions; Crime And Investigations In Law And Literature

Editors: Alison L. LaCroix, Richard H. McAdams, and Martha C. Nussbaum
Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 344p.
Reviewer: Carolyn Naoroz | January 2018

Fatal Fictions is a collection of essays about fictional representations of crime and the criminal justice system. The reviewer, Carolyn Naoroz, found the enlightening essays organized into coherent groupings. She concluded that the fictional texts chosen for analysis do not have much to say about “themes facing crime and justice scholars today, such as the long, drawn out foreign conflicts of the War on Terror, the militarization of police, and mass incarceration,” but the analysis of the texts is “interesting and groundbreaking in their own right,” which is “all the justification Fatal Fictions needs.”

Federal Intervention In American Police Departments

Author: Stephen Rushin
Publisher: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 285p.
Reviewer: Lawrence F. Travis III | January 2018

How closely should the federal government monitor the operation of state and local police agencies? And what form should any intervention take? Professor Stephen Rushin identifies three eras of federal involvement in American police departments and then assesses the possibilities and limitations of this avenue for police reform. It is a difficult, complex problem, in part because police behavior is the product of a number of intersecting forces and, in any given instance, is highly variable. Ruskin concludes that federal intervention as currently structured is probably too vulnerable to political manipulation, and he offers suggestions for a better form of federal intervention. Reviewer Lawrence F. Travis III expressed “some concerns about the strength and limits of the arguments presented in the book” but “found it to be a valuable reading.”

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