The American System of Criminal Justice
West/Wadsworth, 1998 - Criminal justice, Administration of - 667 pages
This book, which is intended to be used as a textbook in an introductory course in criminal justice in America, covers the criminal justice process, the police, the courts, corrections, and the juvenile justice system. From defining what behavior is labeled criminal to deciding the fate of offenders who are caught, the process of criminal justice is a social process subject to many influences other than written law. In introducing the study of this process, the three chapters of part one of this book provide a broad framework for analyzing how American society -- through its police, courts, and corrections -- attempts to deal with criminal behavior. The three chapters of part two examine the police as the key unit of the criminal justice system, as it confronts crime in the community. One chapter traces the history of policing and reviews its functions and organization. A second chapter explores the daily operations of the police, and the third chapter analyzes current issues and trends in policing. In part three, five chapters examine the process by which guilt is determined in accordance with the law's requirements, as well as the processes and underlying philosophies of the punishment that further separates the convicted from the acquitted. An overview of the court is followed by discussions of prosecution and defense, pretrial processes, trial and posttrial processes, and punishment and sentencing. The five chapters of part four address how the American criminal justice system deals with those who are convicted and sentenced. The chapters discuss how various influences have molded the way American society manages those who violate its laws. Topics considered include community corrections (probation and intermediate sanctions); prisons (their goals and management); prison society; and release and supervision in the community. Part five is a single chapter on the juvenile justice system. Following an overview of youth crime in the United States, the development of juvenile justice is traced, followed by a profile of the juvenile justice system and the juvenile justice process. Some juvenile justice problems and perspectives are identified, and the parameters of the debate on whether juvenile offenders should be tried as adults are outlined. Study aids are provided for each chapter.
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