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Key Ideas in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Key Ideas in Criminology and Criminal Justice

December 2010 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
By focusing on key ideas in both criminology and criminal justice, this book brings a new and unique perspective to understanding critical research in criminology and criminal justice -- heretofore, the practice has been to separate criminology and criminal justice. However, given their interconnected nature, this book brings both together cohesively. In going beyond simply identifying and discussing key contributions and their effects by giving students a broader socio-political context for each key idea, this book concretely conceptualizes the key ideas in ways that students will remember and understand.
1. Introduction
2. Key Idea: Rational Offending and Rational Punishment
The Social Context of Criminal Punishment

Beccaria’s Proposal

Why it Caught On

Influence: The Rise of the Classical School of Criminology

Empirical Analyses and Critiques of Free Will, Rationality, and Deterrence

3. Key Idea: The Science of Criminal Behavior
The Social Context: A Time Without Criminology

The Road to Lombroso

Lombroso and the Body of the Criminal

The Dissemination of Lombroso’s Theories

Criticisms of Lombroso’s Theories

Lombroso’s Influence

4. Key Idea: Understanding Crime and Society
The Social Context of the Early Twentieth Century

Social Disorganization and Anomie/Strain Theories

Rejecting Individualism

The Legacy of Anomie/Strain and Social Disorganization Theories

5. Key Idea: Hirschi’s Social Bond/Social Control Theory
The Social Context of the 1960s

Social Bond/Social Control Theory

The Marketing of Social Bond/Social Control Theory

The Legacy of Social Bond/Social Control Theory

6. Key Idea: Rehabilitation is Dead
The Martinson Report

Social Context

Getting the Word Out

The Influence of the Martinson Report

7. Key Idea: Crime Control Through Selective Incapacitation
The Context: Criminology, Criminal Justice Policy, and Society in the 1970s

James Q. Wilson’s Thinking About Crime

Why it Caught on

Selective Incapacitation’s Effect on Criminal Justice and Criminology: Empirical Tests, Empirical Critiques, and Ethical Dilemmas

8. Key Idea: The Police Can Control Crime
The Context of Criminology and Policing

Broken Windows Theory: Revamping the Police Role

How Broken Windows Theory Reached its Audience

The Influence of Broken Windows Theory

Empirical Tests and Critiques of Broken Windows Theory and Policing

9. Key Idea: The War on Drugs
Winning the War is Easy — Just Say No!

The 1980s in Context

The Magic in “Just Say No”

The Impact of “Just Say No”

10. Key Idea: Rehabilitation—Not Dead Yet
The Principles of Risk, Need, and Responsivity

Social Context

Disseminating the Principles of Effective Rehabilitation

The Impact of Meta-Analysis and the Principles of Effective Rehabilitation

11. Key Idea: Crime and the Life Course
The Criminological Context of the Early 1990s

Life Course Theories in Criminology

Constructing Testable Theories

Life Course Theory Catches On

12. Looking Back, Looking Forward: Conclusions
Looking Back: The Glaring Omissions?

The Legitimate Contenders

Looking Forward: The Future of Criminology and Criminal Justice


This book is excellent! I will not be adopting it for the class I originally listed, but will instead save it for Intro to Criminology. The theories are explained in a way that will be more interesting for students by giving the social context as well. It is also an easy read so I can supplement it with additional pieces rather than using this book as a supplement to a larger textbook (which I think would be too much reading for undergrads).

Dr Taryn VanderPyl
Sociology Anthropology Dept, Pacific University
March 28, 2016

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ISBN: 9781412970143
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