You are here

Introduction to Criminal Justice

Introduction to Criminal Justice
Systems, Diversity, and Change

Second Edition
Additional resources:

January 2017 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, and Change, Second Edition, offers students a brief, yet comprehensive, introduction to Criminal Justice with up-to-date coverage of all aspects of the criminal justice system in succinct and engaging chapters. Authors Callie Marie Rennison and Mary Dodge weave four true criminal case studies throughout the book, capturing students’ attention with memorable stories that illustrate the real-life pathways and outcomes of criminal behavior and victimization. Designed to show the connectedness of the criminal justice system, each case study brings the chapter concepts to life. To further captivate and inform students, important and timely topics such as ethics, policy, gender, diversity, victimization, and white-collar crime are discussed throughout.

Also available with...

Interactive eBook—Bundle with the new edition and save!

Your students save when you bundle the print version with the interactive eBook version.
Order using bundle ISBN 978-1-5063-8123-7.
Learn more.  

SAGE coursepacks: Our Content Tailored to Your LMS

Instructors! SAGE coursepacks makes it easy to import our quality instructor and student resource content into your school’s learning management system (LMS). Intuitive and simple to use, SAGE coursepacks allows you to customize course content to meet your students’ needs. Learn more.

Assignable SAGE Premium Video: Boost Comprehension. Bolster Analysis.

Available via the Interactive eBook and linked through SAGE coursepacks, SAGE Premium Video is tied to learning objectives and curated and produced exclusively for this text. SAGE Premium Video brings concepts to life and appeals to different learning styles, featuring career insights from professionals in the field, interviews with victims and former offenders in the running case studies, author discussions of tough concepts, as well as news clips of current events.


Thank You
About the Authors
Chapter 1. An Introduction to Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Introduction: Making Our Way Through the Criminal Justice System  
What Is the Criminal Justice System?  
How Does the Criminal Justice System Work?  
Crime and the Importance of Personal Liberties  
What Is Crime?  
Crime Definitions Change Over Time  
The Criminal Justice System: Purpose and Perspectives  
Criminal Justice and Public Policy  
Crime and the Media  
Criminal Justice Versus Criminology  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 2. The Nature and Extent of Crime
Introduction: Why and How Is Crime Measured?  
Measuring Violent and Property Crime  
Violent and Property Crime Rates and Trends  
Measuring Cybercrime  
Measuring Terrorism  
Measuring White-Collar Crime  
Fear and Risk of Victimization  
Theory in Criminal Justice  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 3. Criminal Justice and the Law
Introduction: The Development of Law  
History of Law  
The Role and Purpose of Law  
Sources of Criminal Law  
Types of Law  
Legal Definitions  
Criminal Defenses  
Evolving Standards and Practices  
The Rights of Victims  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 4. The History of Policing
Introduction: Policing as a Dynamic Entity  
Early English Policing  
Colonial America and Policing  
Advancing Professionalism in Policing: 20th-Century Reform  
Diversity in Policing  
Unrest in Policing (1960s and 1970s)  
Policing as More Than Law Enforcement  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 5. On the Streets: Organization, Responsibilities, and Challenges
Introduction: Contemporary Policing  
The Police Organization  
The Police Role  
Who Are the Police?  
Community Policing  
Intelligence-Led/Evidence-Based Policing  
21st-Century Policing  
Controversial Issues in Policing  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 6. Police and the Rule of Law
Introduction: The Importance of Justice, Law, and Order  
Police and the Courts  
Due Process and Police Activities  
Warrant Requirements and Serving Warrants  
Custodial Interrogation  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 7. The Courts and Judiciary
Introduction: The Court Process  
Federal and State Court Systems  
Court Congestion and the Consequences  
Specialized and Problem-Solving Courts  
The Judiciary  
Diversity in the Judiciary  
Court Administration and Management  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 8. The Prosecution, Defense, and Pretrial Activities
Introduction: Actors and Procedures in the Courtroom  
The Prosecutor  
The Defense Attorney  
After the Arrest: Charging the Defendant  
Bail and Pretrial Events  
Plea Bargains  
Discovery and Motions  
Scheduling and the Right to a Speedy Trial  
Jury Selection  
The Trial Day Arrives  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 9. The Criminal Trial and Sentencing
Introduction: The Criminal Trial and Sentencing  
Presentation of Opening Statements  
Presentation of Evidence  
Presentation of Closing Arguments  
Judge’s Charge to the Jury  
Jury Deliberation  
Reading of the Verdict  
A Special Criminal Trial: Capital Cases  
Victims of Crime and the Criminal Trial  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 10. Correctional Responses in the Community
Introduction: Corrections in the Community  
The History of Corrections in the Community in the United States  
Contemporary Use of Corrections in the Community  
Goals of Correctional Responses in the Community  
Types of Correctional Responses in the Community  
Effectiveness of Corrections in the Community  
Technology and Community Corrections  
Victims and Corrections in the Community  
Probation Officers  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 11. Institutional Corrections
Introduction: Institutional Corrections  
Historical Perspectives in Institutional Corrections  
Current Perspectives in Institutional Corrections  
Contemporary Jails and Lockups  
Contemporary Prisons  
Technology and Institutional Corrections  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 12. Prison Life and Life After Prison
Introduction: Living in Prison  
Classification Systems and Solitary Confinement  
Prison Violence  
Prison Challenges  
Life After Prison: Parole and Reentry  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 13. The Juvenile Justice System
Introduction: The Juvenile Justice System  
Juvenile Justice: A Brief History  
Establishing Juvenile Rights  
The Contemporary Juvenile Justice System  
Steps in the Juvenile Justice System  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Chapter 14. Exploring Specialized and Topical Issues
Introduction: Overview of Specialized and Topical Issues  
Terrorism and Homeland Security  
Terrorism and the Criminal Trial  
Domestic Human and Sex Trafficking  
Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Crimes  
Violence Against College Students  
Transnational Crime  
Forensic Science  
CSI Effect  
Chapter Wrap-Up  
Appendix: The Bill of Rights


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE COURSEPACKS FOR INSTRUCTORS makes it easy to import our quality content into your school’s LMS. Intuitive and simple to use, it allows you to


Say NO to…

·         required access codes

·         learning a new system


Say YES to…

·         using only the content you want and need

·         high-quality assessment and multimedia exercises

For use in: Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle


Don’t use an LMS platform? No problem, you can still access many of the online resources for your text via SAGE edge.


SAGE coursepacks includes:

  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS
  • Intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Pedagogically robust assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement, including:
    • Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
    • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
    • Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provide
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
    • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions
    • Career insights from professionals in the field, interviews with victims and former offenders in the running case studies, author discussions of tough concepts, as well as news clips of current events.
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives and make learning easier
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
Student Study Site

SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning in an easy-to-use environment that offers:

  • Mobile-friendly flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize your study time, anywhere, anytime
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow you to assess how much you’ve learned and where you need to focus your attention
  • A customized online action plan that includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials
  • 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 and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring:
    • Career insights from professionals in the field
    • Want access to more SAGE Premium Video? Ask your instructor about the interactive eBook version of this text, where you can access even more video resources and digital tools.
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives, and make learning easier
  • Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning

“There is nothing on the market that is as comprehensive in coverage using various delivery modes of that coverage, the most updated, well organized, and presented with ample list of discussion questions/exercises as well as study tools.”

Iryna Malendevych
University of Central Florida

I really like all of the springboards for discussion included within the text, as interactivity is one of the great challenges in online instruction”

Carol Trent
University of Pittsburgh

"I thought this textbook worked really well for the material we were learning. It was clear and concise and presented the material in a way that was easy to understand."

George Washington University

"Really appreciated the focus on diversity and the specific cases/examples weaves through the textbook."

George Washington University
Key features


  • An all-new running case study follows Danny Madrid, a young man who became involved in gang violence and drugs, through his experience with the criminal justice system. His case helps students explore issues in juvenile delinquency, gangs, drug use, plea bargains, prison life, and reentry.
  • Updated and expanded discussions of emerging issues in criminal justice include reports on recent hate crimes and terrorist attacks (such as the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the San Bernardino shooting in California), violence against college students, issues with the death penalty, criminal justice reforms, the use of solitary confinement, the legalization of marijuana, the cost of the criminal justice system, the effects of social media, and the use of force in police shootings.
  • Coverage of recent legislation like the USA Freedom Act, Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), and Miller v. Alabama (2012) encourage students to discuss the effects recent policy has had on the criminal justice system.
  • Critical thinking questions have been added to all the feature boxes to help students make stronger connections between the boxes and their key concepts.
  • Coverage of diversity and cultural groups has been expanded to include Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and LGTBQ individuals’ involvement with the criminal justice system, as offenders, victims, employees, and activists.
  • The most recent data and statistics are used to give students an accurate picture of the criminal justice system today.
  • SAGE coursepacks makes it easy for instructors to import our quality textbook content into your LMS at no additional cost and without special access codes.
  • SAGE edge for students offers an easy-to-use learning environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration.
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video brings concepts to life and caters to diverse learning styles.


  • Actual criminal justice cases progress from chapter to chapter, showing students the interrelationship and connectedness of the criminal justice system to help make the material easier to remember and understand.
  • Comprehensive coverage of topics traditionally marginalized in other books, such as policy, ethics, gender, victimization, and white-collar crime, are included throughout.
  • Diversity is emphasized in all aspects of the criminal justice system including offenders, victims, employees, and sentencing, to help students understand the importance of openly discussing difficult issues.
  • Common Misconceptions boxes clarify important distinctions between systems and policies that students often struggle to fully understand.
  • Policy Issues boxes serve as a foundation for students to consider the complexities of policy and think critically about the policies currently in place.
  • Ethical Issues boxes integrated into each chapter provide students with the opportunity to approach each topic in a more thoughtful and continuous manner.
  • Considering Careers boxes engage students’ interests in a variety of fields of criminal justice by introducing them to skills, responsibilities, salaries, and work environments, as well as the personality characteristics that make for an ideal candidate.
  • End of chapter features further enhance the student learning experience through key word/ concept review, summary/key points, review questions, critical thinking questions, web resources and exercises, and recommended readings.
  • An interactive eBook with original video clips from practitioners, the individuals featured in the running cases, former offenders, and the authors provides flexibility for different modes of instruction and appeals to students of all learning styles.

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email