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Critical Issues in Crime and Justice

Critical Issues in Crime and Justice
Thought, Policy, and Practice

Third Edition
Edited by:
  • Dan Okada - California State University, Sacramento, USA
  • Mary Maguire - California State University Sacramento
  • Alexa Sardina - California State University, Sacramento, USA

September 2018 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Critical Issues in Crime and Justice: Thought, Policy, and Practice provides an incisive overview of issues and perspectives in criminal justice and criminology designed to expand upon key areas of study. 

With contributed essays from leading scholars in the field, the Third Edition illustrates the breadth of research, policy, and practice implications in areas such as crime theory, law enforcement, jurisprudence, corrections, and criminal justice organization and management. New to this edition are chapters on wrongful convictions, human trafficking, and mental illness and criminal justice, three critical issues facing contemporary policing, courts, and corrections.  

The coverage of concepts, insights, voices, and perspectives will challenge criminal justice and criminology students to synthesize what they have learned, question standard interpretations, and begin to create new directions and visions for their future careers as professionals in the field.

Preface for the Third Edition
Dan Okada
1. Introduction : Is It Possible to Prepare for a Criminal Justice Future?
Cyndi Banks
2. The Importance of Ethics in Criminal Justice
Police Ethics


Legal Ethics


Correctional Ethics

Ethical Criminal Justice Policy Making

Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas


Discussion Questions


Peter B. Kraska
3. Unleashing the Power of Criminal Justice Theory
The Power of Criminal Justice Theory for Our Discipline

Criminal Justice: A Worthy Object of Theorizing

Developing a Useful Theoretical Infrastructure

The Power of Theory to Transform Consciousness

The Power of Theory to Affect Public Explanations

Conclusion: Embracing Criminal Justice Theory

Discussion Questions


Leah E. Daigle
4. Victimology
The Typical Victimization and Victim

The Costs of Victimization

System Costs

Mental Health Consequences and Costs

Fear of Crime

Recurring Victimization

Theories of Victimization

Routine Activities and Lifestyles Theories

Structural Causes of Victimization

Caring for the Victim

Victim Remedies and Services


Discussion Questions


David L. Parry
5. Juvenile Delinquency
What Is Delinquency?

How Much Delinquency?

Arrest Data

Self-Report Surveys

Adolescent Development, Risk Factors, and Pathways to Delinquency

Normal Adolescent Behavior?

Risk and Protective Factors

Pathways to Delinquency

Different for Girls?


Discussion Questions



Meda Chesney-Lind
6. Gender Matters: Trends in Girls’ Criminality
Crime Wave?

Delinquency: Gender Matters

Girls’ Crime, Girls’ Offenses

Girls’ Violence: When She Was Bad

Running Away: Girls Coping With Trauma and Abuse

Wild in the Streets: Girls, Drugs, and Alcohol

Shoplifting: You Shoplift as You Shop


Discussion Questions


Helen Taylor-Greene
7. Race and Crime
Definitional Complexities

Theoretical Perspectives on Race and Crime

Contemporary Issues in the Study of Race and Crime

Future Issues in the Study of Race and Crime

Discussion Questions

Web Resources


Richelle S. Swan
8. Popular Culture, Media, and Crime
Popular Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Popular Culture, Media, and Crime

Popular Methodological Approaches Used in the Study of Popular Culture, Media, and Crime

Important Research Themes in Studies of Popular Culture, Media, and Crime

Framing Gone Extreme: Moral Panics About Crime, Delinquency, and Popular Culture

Effects of Popular Culture and Media Consumption on Crime

Being Framed: The Skewed Representation of Social Groups in Crime Media and Entertainment

Mediating Oneself: Using Media and Popular Cultural Forms to Communicate Messages About Crime and Justice

Discussion Questions


Stephen L. Muzzatti and Maggie Reid
9. Crime and Economics: Consumer Culture, Criminology, and the Politics of Exclusion
A Specter Is Haunting Criminology . . .

Reading the Profane: Theorizing Crime and Capitalism

Banality and Viciousness in Late Modernity

Consuming Crime and Culture

Late Modernity, Crime, and Pseudopacification

Selling Crime, Marketing Transgression, and Commodifying Violence

Conclusion: Nothing to Lose But Our Chains

Discussion Questions



James C. Howell and Megan Qually Howell
10. Serious Gang Problems in the United States: What to Do?
Gang Definitions

Key Indicators of Serious Gang Activity

Contexts of Serious Gang Violence

Other Factors Associated With Gang Violence

Juvenile and Criminal Justice System Involvement of Gang Members

What Works in Combating Gang Violence

Discussion Questions



Alexa Sardina
11. Sex Offender Policies: Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences
Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Laws

Does the Registry Prevent Sex Offenses?

Unintended Consequences of Registration, Notification, and Residence Restrictions Laws

The Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators


Discussion Questions

Web Resources


Casey Branchini
12. Issues in the Fight Against Human Exploitation: A Look at Labor and Sex Trafficking
Human Trafficking Defined

Magnitude of the Problem

Prosecution of Trafficking Crimes

Obstacles to the Prosecution of Trafficking Crimes


Discussion Questions

Additional Resources


C. Augustus Martin
13. Terrorism
The Challenge of Defining Terrorism

What Is “New” About the New Terrorism?

Terrorism in the United States: The International Sources

Terrorism in the United States: The Domestic Sources

Responding to Terrorism: Homeland Security and Antiterrorism Laws

Discussion Questions



Johnny Nhan
14. Critical Issues in Cybercrime
Critical Issue: Hacking and Computer Network Security

Critical Issue: Darknets and the Deep Web

Critical Issue: The Internet Culture and Ethos

Research: Understanding Hackers’ Motivations

Critical Issue: Policing Cyberspace

Critical Issue: Digital Piracy

Critical Issue: Cyberbullying


Discussion Questions


Dawn M. Irlbeck, Connie M. Koski, and John P. Crank
15. Police Theory: Major Perspectives
Normative-Rational Theory

Institutional Theory

Conflict Theory



Discussion Questions


Gennaro F. Vito
16. A Vision of Contemporary Policing: Present Practices and Future Developments
Paradigms in Policing

The British Paradigm: Balancing Democratic Principles and the Military Model

Early American Police Paradigms

The Political Era Paradigm

The Reform Era Paradigm

Minorities and the Police

The Community and Problem-Oriented Policing Paradigms

The CompStat Paradigm

The Intelligence-Led Policing Paradigm

The Smart Policing Initiative


Discussion Questions


Thomas Nolan
17. Police Organization and Administration
Origins of the Structural Model of Police Organizations

The Police and Militarization

Police Organization: Subculture, Ethos, and Milieu

Organization and Subculture: Initiation and Masculinism

Organizational Subculture and Moral Superiority

Police Organization: Autonomy and Authoritarianism

Federal Oversight of the Police

Police Administration and the Civil Service

Police Administration and Unions

The Police

Discussion Questions

Suggested Readings



Janice Ahmad
18. Public Policy
Public Policy: The Formal Version

Sources of Criminal Justice Policy

Public Policy as It Is in Practice

The Use and Misuse of Public Policy

The Policy Implications of Public Policy

The Politicization of Public Policy

The Contributions of Academic Criminal Justice


Discussion Questions

Note From the Author


Cassia Spohn
19. American Courts
Supreme Court Decisions and American Courts

The Sentencing Reform Movement

Specialized or Problem-Solving Courts: A Focus on Drug Courts

Conclusion: Policy Implications

Discussion Questions



Randall G. Shelden
20. The Juvenile Justice System
Detention Centers

Special Issues Facing the Juvenile Justice System

Race, the War on Drugs, and Referrals to Juvenile Court

The Racial Composition of Juvenile Institutions

The Future of the Juvenile Court

Discussion Questions



Jennie K. Singer and Chelsea M. Johnson
21. Why Are There So Many Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System?
Prevalence of Mentally Ill Offenders

Are Jails and Prisons the New Mental Hospitals, or Are We Criminalizing Mental Illness?

The SMI Stay Longer in Jails and Prisons

The SMI in the Community: More Difficulty on Probation or on Parole?


Discussion Questions



Kim Schnurbush
22. Wrongful Convictions in the United States
Scope of Wrongful Convictions

History of Wrongful Convictions in the United States

Wrongful Conviction/Exoneration Case Examples

Wrongful Conviction Organizations/Movements


Discussion Questions


Anthony Walsh and Ilhong Yun
23. The Philosophical and Ideological Underpinnings of Corrections
What Is Corrections?

The Theoretical Underpinnings of Corrections

A Short History of Correctional Punishment

The Emergence of the Classical School

The Emergence of Positivism

The Function of Punishment

The Objectives of Corrections

The Past, Present, and Future of Corrections


Discussion Questions


Ming-Li Hsieh
24. Community Corrections: Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Reentry
The Common Forms of Community Corrections

Probation: Progressive Reform and the Promise of Rehabilitation

Parole as Reward or Relief

Concerns Regarding Stakes: Risk Assessment and Prediction

Worse Than Prison?

Reintegration and Reentry

Factors Associated With Community Supervision Success and Failure

Ongoing Debates and Policy Implications


Discussion Questions


Lois Presser and Kyle Letteney
25. Restorative Justice in Theory
What Is Restorative Justice?

How Is Restorative Justice Supposed to Work?


Discussion Questions



Alan Mobley
26. Garbage In, Garbage Out? Convict Criminology, the Convict Code, and Participatory Prison Reform
Mass Incarceration in America

Convict Criminology

The Convict Code

Factors Undermining the Convict Code/Formal Structure

A New Code

Discussion Questions

Note From the Author


About the Editors
About the Contributors

Critical Issues in Crime and Justice makes the clear connection between theory, policy, and practice that is often lacking in other text books. This book is a solid work to prepare students for employment in the criminal justice system, regardless of their individual career goals.”

Tamara J. Lynn
Fort Hays State University

“The text covers a range of areas related to policing, the courts, and corrections.” 

April Terry
Fort Hays State University

“If you would like a book that covers all major areas of the criminal justice system, this is it. Easy to read, easy to digest, solid research, data, and literature without watering down the theories, concepts, and ideologies. It is the most comprehensive, easily readable, and solid text (research and literature-wise) on the market!”

Brian A. Kinnaird
Bethany College

I have used this book in 3 iterations of the course since updating the course in the winter. I like the varied perspectives. Some of my students (undergrad) find it difficult to read.

Professor Frank Plunkett
Criminal Justice, Peirce College
August 20, 2020

Great book for an upper level course

Dr Katie Swope
Counseling & Psychology, Carlow University
September 23, 2019
Key features


  • Some of the most respected, original, and creative names in the field share their expertise in contributed chapters, bringing the history, practice, hot-button issues, and current directions in contemporary criminal justice to life.
  • Comprehensive coverage of all major topic areas make the text useful for critical issues or capstone courses.
  • Contemporary topics and interesting approaches serve as a catalyst for class discussion and student research activities.


  • New authors offer different perspectives on sex offender policies, terrorism, and community corrections and provide exposure to contemporary issues impacting the criminal justice system today.
  • A new chapter on mental illness and criminal justice explores the reasoning behind the growing number of mentally ill offenders in the United States and how our society can work to successfully combat this critical issue. 
  • A new chapter on human trafficking sheds light on the challenges of investigating and prosecuting human trafficking, particularly labor trafficking.
  • A new chapter on wrongful convictions discusses the reality, aftermath, and consequences of these misappropriations of justice.
  • Updated data and statistics in every chapter highlight current trends and research in criminal justice and criminology.

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