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The Essentials

Fourth Edition
Available with:

January 2021 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written by former practitioners who are experts in the field, Corrections: The Essentials, Fourth Edition, addresses the most important topics in corrections in a brief, yet comprehensive format. Authors Mary K. Stohr and Anthony Walsh introduce students to the history and development of correctional institutions, while offering a unique perspective on ethics and special populations. The Fourth Edition provides insights into the future of corrections as well as updated coverage of the most important issues impacting the field today.

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  • Digital Option / Courseware
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Chapter 1. The Philosophical and Ideological Underpinnings of Corrections
Introduction: What Is Corrections?

From Arrest to Punishment

The Major Punishment Justifications

The Due Process and Crime Control Models and Cultural Comparisons

Chapter 2. Early Corrections: From Ancient Times to Correctional Institutions
Introduction: The Evolving Practice of Corrections and the Grand Reforms

Early Punishments in Westernized Countries

Enlightenment—Paradigm Shift

Colonial Jails and Prisons

Early Modern Prisons

Early Prisons and Jails Not Reformed

The Renewed Promise of Reform

American Corrections in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Themes That Prevail in Correctional History

Chapter 3. Ethics and Corrections
Introduction: To Do the Right Thing!

Ethical Foundation for Professional Practice

Why People Behave Unethically

How to Prevent Unethical Behavior and Promote Ethical Work Practices

War on Drugs = Attack on Ethics?

Chapter 4. Sentencing: The Application of Punishment
Introduction: What Is Sentencing?

Types of Sentences: Indeterminate, Determinate, and Mandatory

Other Types of Sentences: Shock, Split, and Noncustodial Sentences

Problem-Solving Courts

Sentencing Disparity, Legitimate and Illegitimate

Structuring Sentencing: The Presentence Investigation Report

Structured Sentencing: Sentencing Guidelines

The Future of Sentencing Guidelines

Chapter 5. Jails and Detention Centers
Introduction: The Community Institution

Jail Inmates and Their Processing

Trends in Jail Populations

Medical Problems

Suicides, Gangs, and Sexual Violence in Jails

Innovations in Jails

Chapter 6. Community Corrections: Probation and Intermediary Sanctions
Introduction: The Origins of Probation

Number and Demographic Characteristics of Offenders on Probation

Why Do We Need Community Corrections?

The Probation Officer Role and Models of Probation Supervision

Probation Violations and Graduated Sanctions

Probation Officer Stress

Engaging the Community to Prevent Recidivism

Intermediate Sanctions

Chapter 7. Prisons and the Correctional Client
Introduction: The State of Prisons

Prison Organizations

Prison Value?

Attributes of a Prison That Shape the Experience

The Prison Subculture


Older People and People with Physical and Mental Illnesses

LGBTQ+ Inmates

Immigration Prisons

Chapter 8. The Corrections Experience for Staff
Introduction: What Is a Profession?

The State of the Work in Correctional Institutions and Programs

Why Require More Education and Training?

Individual-Level Factors That Affect the Correctional Workplace

Correctional Roles

The Subculture and Socialization

Staff Interactions With Inmates

Chapter 9. Community Corrections: Parole and Prisoner Reentry
Introduction: What Is Parole?

The Modern Parole System

Parole Boards

What Goes In Must Come Out: Prisoner Reentry Into the Community

Parole Violations and Graduated Sanctions

Legal Issues in Parole

Chapter 10. Women and Corrections
Introduction: Women and Corrections

Current Figures on the Number of Women and Girls in Corrections

Females in Corrections: Needs, Programming, Abuse, and Adjustment

Female Correctional Officers

Chapter 11. People of Color and Corrections
Introduction: People of Color and Corrections

A Legacy of Racism

The Connection Between Class and Race or Ethnicity

People of Color: Policies and Practices That Have Resulted in Increased Incarceration

People of Color: Adjustment to Incarceration

People of Color Working in Corrections

Chapter 12. Juveniles and Corrections
Introduction: Delinquency and Status Offending

The Juvenile Brain and Juvenile Behavior

History and Philosophy of Juvenile Justice

Processing Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile Community Corrections

Intensive Probation

Residential and Institutional Juvenile Corrections

Chapter 13. Legal Issues in Corrections and the Death Penalty
Introduction: The History of Law in Corrections

Application of the Amendments to the Constitution to Convicted Felons

Curtailing Prisoner Petitions

The Death Penalty and Public Opinion

Does the Death Penalty Deter?

Financial Costs and the Death Penalty

Disparity in Death Sentences

The Innocence Revolution

Chapter 14. Correctional Programming and Treatment
Introduction: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Rehabilitation

Evidence-Based Practices

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Substance Abuse Programming

Anger Management

Sex Offenders and Their Treatment

Offenders with Mental Illnesses

Chapter 15. Corrections in the 21st Century
Introduction: Learning From the Past So That We Have Hope for the Future



Corrections Is a Relationship Business




Student Resources

The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.
Instructor Resources

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LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:
  • Test banks
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  • Sample course syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
Don’t use an LMS platform?

You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.

Preferred Corrections, a text reader 3rd.

Robert Jenkot
Psychology/Sociology Dept, Coastal Carolina University
January 3, 2023

Outstanding textbook for my undergraduate Corrections class. Very insightful and I will be using this book again in the Fall! I love the activities and thought-provoking content as well.

DeAndre Fields
Sociology & Crim Justice, Kennesaw State University
April 25, 2022
Key features


  • The new edition is available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
  • This edition has been streamlined by combining the historical content into one chapter as well as combining the legal issues and death penalty content into one chapter.
  • Updated coverage of ethical considerations, special populations, and the effect of immigration policies provides students with the context for understanding policy decisions and their consequences, both past and present.
  • More coverage of disparities in sentencing and drug courts encourages students to think critically about U.S. drug policies and their effectiveness.
  • All chapters have been thoroughly updated to reflect the most current data, facts, figures, and research available, helping students understand the world of corrections today.
  • Perspective from a Practitioner boxes, written by professionals in corrections, give a glimpse into the daily lives of those working in the correctional system.
  • Ethical Issues boxes ask students "What Would You Do?" to encourage critical thinking around ethical issues in corrections.
  • Test Your Knowledge self-quizzes open each chapter so students can quickly determine what they know and don't know about the chapter content before they begin reading.
  • Foundational coverage of the history of corrections and of special populations offers students a unique perspective.
  • Comparative Perspective boxes provide a view of correctional systems in different parts of the world, while also providing insight into how alternative practices might work.  
  • In Focus boxes detail areas of special interest related to the chapter's content
  • Its brevity offers great flexibility in teaching.
Vantage Reference: 
Corrections - Vantage Learning Platform