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Crime and Criminal Justice

Crime and Criminal Justice
Concepts and Controversies

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© 2017 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“This is the best text I have encountered in the criminal justice field. Every component is of superior quality. The final product is outstanding. I have not experienced a text of this superior quality in my lengthy career in academia.”

Sheryl L. Van Horne, Arcadia University

Crime and Criminal Justice: Concepts and Controversies
introduces students to the key concepts of the criminal justice system and invites them to explore emerging issues. Students will gain a balanced perspective of the criminal justice system through Current Controversy debates at the end of each chapter that motivate students to apply what they learned by critically analyzing and discussing the pros and cons of the issues presented. Examining important, but often overlooked, components, such as the role of victims and policy, Crime and Criminal Justice helps students develop a foundational understanding of the structures, agencies, and functions of the criminal justice system, as well as build the confidence and skills they need to effectively analyze current issues in criminal justice.

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About the Author
Part I: Foundations of Criminal Justice
Stages of the Criminal Justice System  
Discretion and Ethics in the Criminal Justice System  
Chapter 1: Crime and Criminal Justice
The Wedding Cake Model of Justice  
Models of Criminal Justice  
The Influence of the Media on the Criminal Justice System  
Current Controversy 1.1: Is Justice Served by Our Criminal Justice System?  
Current Controversy 1.2: Does Mental Illness Cause Crime?  
Chapter 2: Concepts of Law and Justice
Types of Law  
Sources of Law  
Criminal Law  
Criminal Defenses  
Current Controversy 2.1: Should Marijuana Be Legalized?  
Current Controversy 2.2: Should Miranda Warnings Be Abolished?  
Chapter 3: Defining and Measuring Crime
Defining Crime  
Uniform Crime Reports  
National Incident-Based Reporting System  
National Crime Victimization Survey  
Self-Reported Offending Datasets  
Current Controversy 3.1: Is White-Collar Crime Harmful to Society?  
Current Controversy 3.2: Is Burglary a Violent Crime?  
Chapter 4: Explanations of Criminal Behavior
What Is a Theory of Crime?  
Classical Theories of Crime  
Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime  
Sociological Theories of Crime  
Contemporary Theories of Crime  
Current Controversy 4.1: Is There a Relationship Between Race and Class and Criminal Behavior?  
Current Controversy 4.2: Should the Criminal Justice System Treat Female Offenders Differently?  
Chapter 5: Victims and the Criminal Justice System
Victims and Crime  
Theories of Victimization  
History of Victims’ Rights  
Victims in the Criminal Justice System  
Current Controversy 5.1: Should Colleges and Universities Respond to Campus Sexual Assault?  
Current Controversy 5.2: Is Restorative Justice an Effective Tool for Victims?  
Chapter 6: Criminal Justice Policy
What Is Policy?  
Why Do We Need Criminal Justice Policies?  
How do Criminal Justice Policies Develop?  
Politics and Criminal Justice Policy  
Research and Criminal Justice Policies  
Current Controversy 6.1: Are Laws Requiring Sex Offender Registries Effective?  
Current Controversy 6.2: Is Street-Level Bureaucracy a Good Thing?  
Part II: Policing
Chapter 7: Policing Organizations and Practices
A Brief History on Policing  
Types of Police Organizations  
Women in Policing  
Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Policing  
What Do the Police Do?  
Strategies and Tactics of Policing  
Current Controversy 7.1: Is CompStat a Good Policing Strategy?  
Current Controversy 7.2: Do Mandatory Arrest Policies Help Victims of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence?  
Chapter 8: Issues in Policing
Policing and the Law  
Ethical Dilemmas and Corruption  
Racial Profiling  
Use of Force  
Police Legitimacy  
Police Occupational Stress  
Current Controversy 8.1: Should Police Agencies Require Officers to Wear Body Cameras?  
Current Controversy 8.2 Does Police Discretion Help or Harm Our Criminal Justice System?  
Part III: Courts
Chapter 9: Courts and Crime
Criminal Versus Civil Courts  
Jurisdiction and the Courts System  
Structure of the Courts  
Courtroom Participants and Their Duties  
Stages of a Criminal Court Case  
Current Controversy 9.1: Should Physical Evidence Be Required in Serious Criminal Cases?  
Current Controversy 9.2: Should We Limit the Use of Plea Bargains?  
Chapter 10: Punishment and Sentencing
Correctional Philosophies  
Determinate Sentencing  
Indeterminate Sentencing  
Mandatory Sentences  
Capital Punishment  
Current Controversy 10.1: Do Habitual Sentencing Laws Deter Offenders?  
Current Controversy 10.2: Is The Risk of Executing Innocent People Acceptably Low?  
Part IV: Corrections
Chapter 11: Prisons and Jails
History of Jails and Prisons  
Types of Prisons  
Prison Security Levels  
Issues in Incarceration  
Legal Rights of Prisoners  
Correctional Officers  
Current Controversy 11.1: Should We Use Supermax Prisons to Control Offenders?  
Current Controversy 11.2: Is Segregating Prison Populations a Good Policy?  
Chapter 12: Community Corrections
Pretrial Release  
Intermediate Sanctions  
Issues in Reentry  
Current Controversy 12.1: Should We Use Risk/Needs Assessments to Identify Offender Needs?  
Current Controversy 12.2: Is Parole an Effective Correctional Strategy?  
Part V: Special Topics in Criminal Justice
Chapter 13: Juvenile Justice
History of the Juvenile Justice System  
Structure of the Juvenile Court  
Demographics of Juvenile Offenders  
Issues in Juvenile Justice  
Current Controversy 13.1: Have Zero-Tolerance Policies Made Schools Safer?  
Current Controversy 13.2: Should the Juvenile Court Be Abolished?  
Chapter 14: Emerging Issues for the 21st Century
Homeland Security  
Drones and the Law  
Border Control  
Transnational Crime  
Current Controversy 14.1: Should Enemy Combatants Be Denied Due Process Rights?  
Current Controversy 14.2: Does Immigration Impact Crime?  


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Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
Chapter-specific study questions that allow you to engage with the material
SAGE Premium Video, tied to learning objectives and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring:
Career insights from professionals in the field
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Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and make learning easier
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Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the free interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:

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“One of the best features of this text is the inclusion of chapters on victimization and criminal justice policy. In comparison to other concise introductory texts, the breadth of the material is unparalleled.”

Sherry Lynn Skaggs, Ph.D
University of Central Arkansas

“The essays and case studies are well presented and thought provoking”

Dr. Butch Beach
Point University

“The writing is concise, comprehensible, and accessible to the introductory-level students...The author uses extremely topical examples. These are cases that are still being debated.”

Robert E. Wardle III
Youngstown State University

“Up-to-Date text that provides extensive coverage on the criminal justice system, as well as contemporary examples that students can easily apply and understand.”

Catherine D. Marcum
Appalachian State University

“An ‘essentials’ text that covers all relevant aspects of criminal justice and also includes innovative chapters on CJ policy and homeland security.”

N. Prabha Unnithan
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Key features


  • Current Controversy debates written by recognized experts in their field encourage student engagement and critical thinking skills as they explore the pros and cons of emerging issues in criminal justice.
  • Spotlight boxes expand upon key concepts in the chapter by offering students additional examples and critical thinking questions so they can make important connections between the chapter content and its application.
  • Careers in Criminal Justice boxes introduce students to a broad range of careers, from Research Analysts to Drug and Alcohol Counselors, to help them start planning ahead for potential future careers in criminal justice.
  • Around the World boxes provide an international perspective of criminal justice systems to encourage students to think more broadly about the concepts covered in each chapter.
  • Opening vignettes capture students' attention from the start of each chapter by providing contemporary examples to get students thinking about how the chapter material relates to the real world.
  • Thoughtful learning tools keep students engaged in the learning process, with clearly defined learning objectives to guide students through each chapter, discussion questions, and learning activities to enhance application and recall, along with suggested websites for further exploration.
  • SAGE coursepacks for instructors makes it easy to import our quality instructor materials and student resources into your school’s learning management system (LMS)*. Intuitive and simple to use, SAGE coursepacks allow you to integrate only the content you need and require no access code.
  • SAGE Premium Video features career insights from professionals in the field as well as news clips of current events. Each video is paired with chapter learning objectives and tied to assessment in our SAGE coursepacks, offering a more complete way to meet your students’ diverse learning styles.

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