Criminal Justice Reform Books

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Criminality in Context


Criminality in Context
  • Author : Craig Haney
  • Publisher : Psychology, Crime, and Justice
  • Release : 2020
  • ISBN : 1433831422
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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In this groundbreaking book that is built on decades of work on the front lines of the criminal justice system, expert psychologist Craig Haney encourages meaningful and lasting reform by changing the public narrative about who commits crime and why. Based on his comprehensive review and analysis of the research, Haney offers a carefully framed and psychologically based blueprint for making the criminal justice system fairer, with strategies to reduce crime through proactive prevention instead of reactive punishment. Haney meticulously reviews evidence documenting the ways in which a person's social history, institutional experiences, and present circumstances powerfully shape their life, with a special focus on the role of social, economic, and racial injustice in crime causation. Haney debunks the "crime master narrative"--the widespread myth that criminality is a product of free and autonomous "bad" choices--an increasingly anachronistic view that cannot bear the weight of contemporary psychological data and theory. This is a must-read for understanding what truly influences criminal behavior, and the strategies for prevention and rehabilitation that follow.

Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform


Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform
  • Author : Marvin Zalman
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Release : 2013-10-30
  • ISBN : 9781135077433
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform is an important addition to the literature and teaching on innocence reform. This book delves into wrongful convictions studies but expands upon them by offering potential reforms that would alleviate the problem of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system. Written to be accessible to students, Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform is a main text for wrongful convictions courses or a secondary text for more general courses in criminal justice, political science, and law school innocence clinics.

Locked In


Locked In
  • Author : John Pfaff
  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Release : 2017-02-07
  • ISBN : 9780465096923
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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"Pfaff, let there be no doubt, is a reformer...Nonetheless, he believes that the standard story--popularized in particular by Michelle Alexander, in her influential book, The New Jim Crow--is false. We are desperately in need of reform, he insists, but we must reform the right things, and address the true problem."--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reform In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point? Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place. An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

Usual Cruelty


Usual Cruelty
  • Author : Alec Karakatsanis
  • Publisher : The New Press
  • Release : 2019-10-29
  • ISBN : 9781620975282
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society’s normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating it Alec Karakatsanis is interested in what we choose to punish. For example, it is a crime in most of America for poor people to wager in the streets over dice; dice-wagerers can be seized, searched, have their assets forfeited, and be locked in cages. It’s perfectly fine, by contrast, for people to wager over international currencies, mortgages, or the global supply of wheat; wheat-wagerers become names on the wings of hospitals and museums. He is also troubled by how the legal system works when it is trying to punish people. The bail system, for example, is meant to ensure that people return for court dates. But it has morphed into a way to lock up poor people who have not been convicted of anything. He’s so concerned about this that he has personally sued court systems across the country, resulting in literally tens of thousands of people being released from jail when their money bail was found to be unconstitutional. Karakatsanis doesn’t think people who have gone to law school, passed the bar, and sworn to uphold the Constitution should be complicit in the mass caging of human beings—an everyday brutality inflicted disproportionately on the bodies and minds of poor people and people of color and for which the legal system has never offered sufficient justification. Usual Cruelty is a profoundly radical reconsideration of the American “injustice system” by someone who is actively, wildly successfully, challenging it.

Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform


Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform
  • Author : Greg Berman
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield
  • Release : 2016-03-21
  • ISBN : 9781442268487
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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In this revised edition of their concise, readable, yet wide-ranging book, Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox tackle a question students and scholars of law, criminology, and political science constantly face: what mistakes have led to the problems that pervade the criminal justice system in the United States? The reluctance of criminal justice policymakers to talk openly about failure, the authors argue, has stunted the public conversation about crime in this country and stifled new ideas. It has also contributed to our inability to address such problems as chronic offending in low-income neighborhoods, an overreliance on incarceration, the misuse of pretrial detention, and the high rates of recidivism among parolees. Berman and Fox offer students and policymakers an escape from this fate by writing about failure in the criminal justice system. Their goal is to encourage a more forthright dialogue about criminal justice, one that acknowledges that many new initiatives fail and that no one knows for certain how to reduce crime. For the authors, this is not a source of pessimism, but a call to action. This revised edition is updated with a new foreword by Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and afterword by Greg Berman.