The juvenile justice system navigates a high degree of variation in youthful offenders. While professionals with insights about reform and adolescent development consider the risks, the needs, and the patterns of delinquency of youth, too little attention is paid to the responses and practicalities of a system that is both complex and limited in its resources.
In his essential book, Taking Juvenile Justice Seriously, Christopher Sullivan systematically analyzes key facets of justice-involved youth populations and parses cases to better understand core developmental influences that affect delinquency. He takes a comprehensive look at aspects of the life-course affected by juvenile justice as well as at the juvenile justice system’s operations and its multifaceted mission of delivering both treatment and sanctions to a varied population of youths.
Taking Juvenile Justice Seriously first provides an overview of the youth who encounter the system, then describes its present operations and obstacles, synthesizes relevant developmental insights, and reviews current practices. Drawing on research, theory, and evidence regarding innovative policies, Sullivan offers a series of well-grounded recommendations that suggest how to potentially—and realistically—implement a more effective juvenile justice system that would benefit all.
Theft causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved. Green assesses our legal framework at a time when our economy commodifies intangibles (intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property) and theft grows more sophisticated.
Too Big to Jail
Brandon L. Garrett Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress KF1301.A2G37 2014 | Dewey Decimal 345.730268
American courts routinely hand down harsh sentences to individuals, but a very different standard of justice applies to corporations. Too Big to Jail takes readers into a complex, compromised world of backroom deals, for an unprecedented look at what happens when criminal charges are brought against a major company in the United States.
The United States imprisons far more people, total and per capita, and at a higher rate than any other country in the world. Among the more than 1.5 million Americans currently incarcerated, minorities and the poor are disproportionately represented. What’s more, they tend to come from just a few of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the country. While the political costs of this phenomenon remain poorly understood, it’s become increasingly clear that the effects of this mass incarceration are much more pervasive than previously thought, extending beyond those imprisoned to the neighbors, family, and friends left behind.
For Trading Democracy for Justice, Traci Burch has drawn on data from neighborhoods with imprisonment rates up to fourteen times the national average to chart demographic features that include information about imprisonment, probation, and parole, as well as voter turnout and volunteerism. She presents powerful evidence that living in a high-imprisonment neighborhood significantly decreases political participation. Similarly, people living in these neighborhoods are less likely to engage with their communities through volunteer work. What results is the demobilization of entire neighborhoods and the creation of vast inequalities—even among those not directly affected by the criminal justice system.
The first book to demonstrate the ways in which the institutional effects of imprisonment undermine already disadvantaged communities, Trading Democracy for Justice speaks to issues at the heart of democracy.
Crime is one of the major challenges to any new democracy. Violence often increases after the lifting of authoritarian control, or in the aftermath of regime change. But how can a fledgling democracy fight crime without violating the fragile rights of its citizens? In Transformation and Trouble, accomplished theorist and criminal justice scholar Diana Gordon critically examines South Africa's efforts to strike the perilous balance between democratic participation and social control.
South Africa has made great progress in pursuing the Western ideals of participatory justice and due process. Yet Gordon finds that popular concerns about crime have fostered the growth of a punitive criminal justice system that undermines the country's rights-oriented political culture. Transformation and Trouble calls for South Africa to reaffirm its commitment to public empowerment by reforming its criminal justice system-an approach, she argues, that would strengthen the country's new democracy.
"An eloquent, critical, but ultimately optimistic, analysis of the democratization of crime and justice in post-apartheid South Africa."
--Bill Dixon, School of Criminology, Education, Sociology and Social Work, Keele University
"A must read for understanding contemporary South Africa's agonizing dilemmas as it struggles to reconcile crime control with democratic values."
--Jerome H. Skolnick, New York University School of Law
"Gordon's vast experience with criminal justice illuminates her cautionary tale of the search for a new way in south Africa."
--Paul Chevigny, New York University
Diana Gordon is Professor Emerita of Political Science and Senior Research Scholar, City University of New York.
Trapped in a Vice explores the consequences of a juvenile justice system that is aimed at promoting change in the lives of young people, yet ultimately relies upon tools and strategies that enmesh them in a system that they struggle to move beyond. The system, rather than the crimes themselves, is the vice. Trapped in a Vice explores the lives of the young people and adults in the criminal justice system, revealing the ways that they struggle to manage the expectations of that system; these stories from the ground level of the justice system demonstrate the complex exchange of policy and practice.
In this brilliant study, Charles Rosenberg uses the celebrated trial of Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President Garfield in 1881, to explore insanity and criminal responsibility in the Gilded Age. Rosenberg masterfully reconstructs the courtroom battle waged by twenty-four expert witnesses who represented the two major schools of psychiatric thought of the generation immediately preceding Freud.
Although the role of genetics in behavior was widely accepted, these psychiatrists fiercely debated whether heredity had predisposed Guiteau to assassinate Garfield. Rosenberg's account allows us to consider one of the opening rounds in the controversy over the criminal responsibility of the insane, a debate that still rages today.
Editors Rob Warden and Steven Drizin—leaders in the field of wrongful convictions—have gathered articles about some of the most critical accounts of false confessions in the U.S. justice system from more than forty authors, including Sydney H. Schanberg, Christine Ellen Young, Alex Kotlowitz, and John Grisham. Many of the pieces originally appeared in leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, The Nation, the New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times.
By grouping the cases into categories—including brainwashing, fabrication, mental fragility, police force, and unrequited innocence—the editors demonstrate similarities between cases, thereby refuting the perception that false confessions represent individual tragedies rather than a systemic flaw in the justice system. These incidents are not isolated; they are, in fact, related, and more shocking for it. But the authors of the articles excerpted, adapted, and reprinted in this collection want more for their subjects than outrage; they want to fuel change in the practices and standards that illicit false confessions in the first place. To this end, Warden and Drizin include an illuminating introduction to each category and recommendations for policy changes that would reduce false confessions. They also include a postscript for each case, providing legal updates and additional information.