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Criminal Justice in America

NCJ Number
M Croddy; T Clark; T Engler; B Hayes
Date Published
294 pages
This overview text on criminal justice in America provides chapters on crime, the police, the criminal case, corrections, juvenile justice, and solutions to the crime problem.
The first chapter examines crime in terms of victims, criminals, and society. Issues addressed are the victim's experience of crime, offender characteristics and why offenders commit crimes, the kinds of behaviors defined as crimes, and what must be proved before an accused person is convicted of a crime. A chapter on police considers what it might be like to be a police officer responding to crime, public attitudes toward police and how this affects their work, how laws affect police investigations and arrest, and the proper limits of police authority. Criminal procedures are examined in another chapter, which uses a fictional case to take students through the entire process of investigation, arrest, and trial. The chapter on corrections explores how sentencing decisions are made and the options presented to sentencers: prison, probation, community service, and several innovative programs. This chapter also explores how prisons developed, the problems they face, and some experimental corrections programs being tried. Death-penalty issues are discussed as well. After exploring the history and philosophy of the juvenile justice system, another chapter examines issues raised by its critics and supporters. The chapter on solutions to crime considers crime causes, government policy in addressing crime, and how the individual citizen responds to crime. A teacher's guide provides information about the text, descriptions of the teaching strategies used, suggested teaching sequences, activity suggestions, tests, teacher background readings, and additional print and media resources to supplement the text. Appended excerpts from the U.S. Constitution, a glossary, a table of cases, and chapter references