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Criminal Justice: The Essentials

Sixth Edition

Steven Lab

Publication Date - 15 July 2021

ISBN: 9780197546963

288 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

The most concise, flexible, and affordable Introduction to Criminal Justice text.


A flexible and cost-effective alternative to larger texts, Criminal Justice: The Essentials, Sixth Edition, covers all the fundamental issues faced by law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and juvenile justice, leaving detailed specifics and tangential topics to the discretion of instructors to cover in class. With abundant examples-and just the right amount of sidebars and "highlights"-Criminal Justice, Sixth Edition, is the ideal resource for introducing students to the essential issues in the field.

New to this Edition

  • Critical thinking exercises have been revised and new exercises added throughout the chapters
  • Each chapter includes new/updated Web Activities that direct the reader to resources either on the book's dedicated web-site or at a wide range of government and private sites
  • All the material has been updated to reflect the most recent data available
  • Chapter 1 has updated information on the UCR and the advent of NIBRS, criminal justice reform, materials on disproportionate minority contact, and restorative justice. Sections on social media and the police use of force have been moved to the textbook website.
  • Chapter 2 has updated the status of various laws including issues of LGBTQ rights, statutory rape, stand your ground and duty to retreat, and COVID-19 and the law.
  • Chapter 3 contains new discussions on the role of the police in society, deadly force, and body cameras
  • In Chapter 4, the data has been updated throughout and some material on changes in mandatory sentencing were added, specialty courts, and COVID-19 and the courts.
  • Chapter 5 has new materials on the incarceration of women and on prisoner classification
  • In Chapter 7, there are updated statistics, added material on recent Supreme Court cases addressing the death penalty and life-without-parole for juveniles, and added a section on disproportionate minority contact. We have moved the discussion on sexting and to the website.
  • The final chapter has added a discussion on criminal justice reform and shifted the discussion on the opioid crisis to the web.


  • Fleixible with just eight chapters that can be supplemented easily.
  • Cost effective.
  • Web activity boxes direct students online to a wealth of additional resources.
  • Critical thinking exercises help develop the important critical thinking skillset.

About the Author(s)

Steven Lab is Professor of Criminal Justice at Bowling Green Green State University.

Marian R. Willaims is a Professor at Appalachian State University.

Jefferson E. Holcomb is a Professor at Boise State University.

Melissa W. Burek is an Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University.

William R. King is a Professor at Boise State University.

Michael E. Buerger is a Professor at Bowling Green State University.

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1 Crime, Criminal Justice, and Policy
    Chapter 2 Issues of Law
    Chapter 3 Policing and Law Enforcement
    Chapter 4 The Court System
    Chapter 5 Institutional Corrections
    Chapter 6 Community Corrections
    Chapter 7 The Juvenile Justice System
    Chapter 8 Conclusion


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