Crime Control and Social Justice: The Delicate Balance

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Darnell Felix Hawkins, Samuel L. Myers, Randolph N. Stone
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Social Science - 488 pages
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This collection examines the perennial tension between society's need to protect its citizens from crime, while assuring that the crime control and reduction measures that it enacts do not deny basic rights or exacerbate the socioeconomic inequality that gives rise to disparate rates of offending. Such tension exists in all modern societies, but it has been particularly evident in the United States, a nation whose history manifests both group inequality and an ongoing effort to reduce such inequality, assure fairness, equal protection, and due process for individuals. Focusing largely on developments in criminal justice policies and practices enacted during the last few decades, the essays in this volume explore the delicate balance between governmental crime control efforts and professed goals of promoting social justice and protecting civil liberties.

Representing disciplines ranging from criminology to economics, geography, law, sociology, and political science, the contributors critically examine and debate the nature and impact of recent and contemporary American criminal justice policies. Particular attention is paid to the impact of such policies on the nation's racial divide, but the authors use this disparity to illustrate the broader public policy paradoxes and dilemmas which lie at the heart of the struggle to control rising crime rates. Purported reforms in sentencing, the nation's growing prison population, the war on drugs and gangs, the demise of juvenile court, racial profiling and affirmative action are all grist for the mill. Contributors also ask more philosophical and epistemological questions such as the meaning of social justice, fairness, and justice and their relevance for understanding contemporary criminal justice.


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this is a must read for anyone who is a grandparent or a mother.


Assessing the Longerrun Consequences of Incarceration Effects on Families and Employment
Individual Sentencing Practices and Aggregate Social Problems
Three Strikes and Youre Out A Symbolic Crime Policy?
Crime Youth and the Labor Market Are We Any Closer to Answers?
The End of the Juvenile Court Prospects for Our Children
The New Blacklists The Threat to Civil Liberties Posed by Gang Databases
Antigang Initiatives as Racialized Policy
Sentencing of Drug Offenders in Three Cities Does RaceEthnicity Make a Difference?
Drug War Politics Racism Corruption and Alienation
Justice and Criminal Justice
Criminology as Moral Philosophy Criminologist as Witness
Affirmative Action and the Criminal Law
At a Crossroad Affirmative Action and Criminology
On the Horns of a Dilemma Criminal Wrongs Civil Rights and the Administration of Justice in African American Communities
Name Index
Subject Index

Race Cops and Traffic Stops
In Search of Probable Cause US Customs Racial Profiling and the Fourth Amendment
Simple Solutions? The Complexity of Public Attitudes Relevant to Drug Law Enforcement Policy
About the Editors and Contributors

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About the author (2003)

DARNELL F. HAWKINS is Professor of African-American Studies, Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

SAMUEL L. MYERS, JR., is Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota./e He was formerly Professor of Economics and Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Maryland at College Park, and has held appointments at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Pittsburgh, and the Federal Trade Commission.

RANDOLPH N. STONE is Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago's Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic/e There he helped create the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project, a program that provides law and social work students with the supervised opportunity to defend children accused of criminal and delinquent behavior. He was the first African-American to hold the position of Public Defender of Cook County, Illinois.

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