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Explaining Criminal Justice

Steven P. Lab, Marian Williams, Jefferson E. Holcomb, William R. King, and Michael E. Buerger

Publication Date - October 2003

ISBN: 9780195330311

190 pages
6 x 9 inches

The first brief survey text designed for students entering the field of criminal justice who lack a criminal justice background.


Written by Lab, Williams, Holcomb, King, and Buerger, Explaining Criminal Justice is the first brief survey text designed for students entering the field of criminal justice who lack a criminal justice background.

This primer's helpful shorthand presentation will be useful to students in a variety of ways:

* Defines key terminology and issues in an easily understood format.
* Offers a basic understanding of the component parts of the criminal justice system and how they interrelate.
* Provides coverage of all major issues--plus a realistic overview of the criminal justice system.

Each chapter features a list of key terms, brief discussions of the important issues under each topic, discussions of emerging issues and concerns in the field, references for all key topics, a brief bibliography, and appropriate website listings.


"Occasionally someone comes along with a totally new idea for a book ... Lab, Williams, Holcomb, King, and Buerger hit all of the major topics in order to get uninitiated students up-to-speed in situations where they have not previously studied criminal justice. I like this approach."--Larry Mays, New Mexico State University

"I find this a novel and interesting approach, one that fills a gap in the available literature--how to introduce criminal justice to students whose major is not criminal justice. The book is well written, a reliable and solid contribution ... I strongly endorse it."--Scott Decker, University of Missouri

"The approach is excellent. How have we survived so long without this text? This is an excellent overview for students without a criminal justice background."--Olga Tsoudis, Wayne State University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Crime and the Criminal Justice System
    Introduction: What Is Crime?
    Measuring Crime
    The Philosophies of the Criminal Justice System
    A System of Checks and Balances
    The Four C's of the Criminal Justice System (Citizens, Cops, Courts, and Corrections)
    Recent Trends in Criminal Justice
    Suggested Readings
    Chapter 2: Theories/Explanations of Crime
    Theoretical Schools of Thought
    The Classical School
    The Positivist School
    Biological Explanations
    Physical Appearance Theories
    Genetics and Inheritance Explanations
    Biosocial Approaches
    Psychological Explanations
    Psychoanalytic Approaches
    Developmental Explanations
    Learning Theories
    Personality Traits
    Sociological Explanations
    The Ecological Perspective
    Sociological Learning Theories
    Subcultural Approaches
    Routine Activities and Rational Choice
    Social Control Theories
    Strain Theories
    The Labeling Perspective
    Conflict Theories
    Theory Integration
    Suggested Readings
    Chapter 3: Policing and Law Enforcement
    Law Enforcement
    Order Maintenance
    Special Police
    Sworn vs. Civilian
    Police Work and Career Paths
    The Hiring Process
    Field Training
    Historical Background
    The American Experience
    Political Era
    Professional Era
    Community Policing Era
    Enduring Elements and Issues
    Police Subculture
    Police Corruption
    Improper Use of Force
    The Blue Wall
    Who Will Guard the Guardians?
    Future Issues
    Suggested Readings
    Chapter 4: Courts and Legal Issues
    Common Law
    Sources of Law
    Criminal vs. Civil Law
    Adversarial System
    Due Process vs. Crime Control
    The Court System
    Dual Court System
    Assembly-Line Justice
    Courtroom Workgroup
    Attrition and Plea Bargaining
    Federal Court System
    State Court Systems
    Court Actors
    Defense Attorneys
    Movement of Cases Through the Court System
    Current Issues
    Suggested Readings
    Chapter 5: Corrections
    Contemporary Corrections
    Punishment in Contemporary America
    Sentencing and Sanctions
    Sentencing Models
    Available Sanctions
    Community Supervision and Intermediate Sanctions
    Prisons and Correctional Institutions
    Prison Life, Release, and Reintegration
    Future Issues Facing Corrections
    Suggested Readings
    Chapter 6: The Juvenile Justice System
    Defining Delinquency
    The Development of the Juvenile Justice System
    The Philosophy of the System
    The Police and Juveniles
    The Juvenile Court
    The Intake Decision
    The Transfer (or Waiver) Decision
    Due Process for Juveniles
    Juvenile Corrections
    Institutional and Residential Interventions
    Community Interventions
    Special Topics
    Drugs and Delinquency
    Capital Punishment and Juveniles
    Calls to Eliminate the Juvenile System
    Suggested Readings

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