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Understanding Criminal Justice

Understanding Criminal Justice
Sociological Perspectives

First Edition

December 2004 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'This book traverses an impressive array of topics and problems central to law and criminal justice. Its accessibility, contemporary themes and sensitivity to issues of inequality make it a perfect text for students and teachers of sociology, law, criminology, legal studies and other related areas. It is rare to find a book that takes the sociological imagination so successfully into fields that are often viewed as the domain for legal professionals only. The well-chosen examples also make it a valuable resource for scholars with experiences of different justice systems' - Sharyn L Roach Anleu, Flinders University

`Smith and Natalier have produced an accessible, wide-ranging and lucid text which sets the major questions of criminal justice within the broad framework of classical and contemporary sociological theory. It represents a significant step forward among teaching texts in the field, synthesising some difficult material without over-simplifying it, and providing a broad-overview without losing sight of the texture of discreet issues' - Professor Nicola Lacey, London School of Economics

Is there really an intrinsic link between the law and our criminal justice system? What exactly is it and can an understanding of wider sociological issues tell us anything about this relationship?

Understanding Criminal Justice addresses the fundamental relationship between law and the criminal justice system, and the ways in which both are intimately connected with wider social forces.

The book provides an essential introduction coverering classic themes, debates and literatures to ground the student before moving on to contemporary themes such as globalisation, internet regulation and the media. The subject matter is contextualised within the wider social framework by calling into play the historical, political, community and cultural inputs that impact upon concrete policies and practice. The authors integrate theory with data and examples from the UK, USA and Australia.

Through the inclusion of the following pedagogical devices, the student is encouraged to more fully and independently develop their understanding of key questions and issues:

" review questions and exercises

" further reading lists

" suggested internet sites

" highlighted key terms

" bullets to summarise key points

" boxed sections on themes, definitions and case studies

This comprehensive overview is ideal for 1st and 2nd year undergraduates in Criminology, Criminal Justice Studies, Law, Legal Studies, Sociology, Social Work and Policing. Having used this text the reader will come to appreciate the myriad paths through which law and the criminal justice system play a vital, if contested, role in our society.

Theoretical Approaches to Law and Criminal Justice
The Law
The Police
Court Processes and Personnel

A useful, well written book demonstrating how the criminal justice system works, and in context of where and how the current policies came from. Is a must have for students of the criminal justice system and criminology

Mrs Caroline Knight
Children,Health, Adventure & Public Services, South Devon College
November 4, 2014

Content of book is consistent with course outline.

Mr Andrew Hicks
Faculty of Social Sciences/Department of Sociology, University of Guyana
October 3, 2014

This book widens the understanding of Sociological Perspectives
The social and political philosophies that have developed Social Control and Punishment are well analysed,explaineed and presented to provide the reader with vital information to explore and gain insight into how the Police,Prison Service ,Courts and Criminal Justice System has developed and operated within the Criminal Justice System

Mr John Rotherham
Criminal Justice , St Helens College
August 19, 2014

Sage College Publishing

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