Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-310-7
# of Pages: 1170
# of Volumes: 3
Print List Price: $295
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-311-4
eBook User Price: $295
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The Criminal Justice System

Editors: Michael K. Hooper, Ph.D, Sonoma State University and Ruth E. Masters, Ed.D, California State University, Fresno
April 2017


This edition of The Criminal Justice System, formerly titled Criminal Justice, covers the most important aspects of The Criminal Justice System in the United States, including individual crimes, broad issues of law enforcement, prosecution, and punishment of wrongdoers.

Designed to meet the needs of lay readers and students from middle school level and up, this three-volume set contains 620 articles that address the core issues—the six Cs of criminal justice—below. Attention is also paid to relationships between the realities of criminal justice and depictions of the subject in the media, with essays and sidebars on films, television, literature, and the media that compare fact with fiction.

Core Issues

Criminals: Who they are, what types of crimes they commit, what motivates them, the impact of their criminal activities on society, and the cost to them of their criminal activities. The Criminal Justice System includes articles on specific categories of crime, ranging from animal abuse and arson to vandalism and white-collar crime, each with a profile of perpetrators of the crimes and a summary of what typically becomes of them. The set also includes articles on issues pertaining to criminal defendants.

Codes: The framework of American law and significant individual pieces of legislation. In addition to the articles on specific codes and categories of law, The Criminal Justice System has articles on individual laws and aspects of law, and the back matter includes an Index to Laws and Acts.

Constitutions: The content of the nation’s foundation documents, their interpretation, and their impact on modern criminal justice. The U.S. Constitution is said to be the bedrock of The Criminal Justice System, as all legislation, court decisions, law-enforcement practices, and corrections ultimately rest on constitutional law, as interpreted by the courts, and particularly the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to essays on aspects of constitutional law, The Criminal Justice System contains articles on Supreme Court rulings that relate to criminal law, and the back matter includes an Index to Court Cases— hundreds of significant cases.

Cops: The varieties of municipal, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies and the relationships among them, as well as their investigative work, specific functions, and arrests and other procedures. This work includes articles on policing, law-enforcement agencies, and other aspects of law enforcement.

Courts: The structures of the federal and state court systems; relationships among the courts, attorneys, judges, and officers of the courts; and trial procedures. This work includes comprehensive coverage of these topics.

Corrections: Sentencing, capital and other punishments, prison systems, prison conditions, and parole and pardons are covered here, including the specific types of capital punishment, prisons and alternative forms of incarceration.

Other broad subjects covered in The Criminal Justice System include business and commerce, drugs, juvenile justice, the media, military justice, rights issues, traffic law, victims, and aspects of international justice. There is also coverage on Canadian and Mexican justice systems, deportation and extradition, Interpol and other international law-enforcement organizations, and such international tribunals as the World Court.

Organization and Format

Articles in The Criminal Justice System are arranged alphabetically in one of six categories that strongly relate to the six Cs, listed above. The categories are Crime, Criminal Law, Law Enforcement, Courts, Corrections, and Special Issues. Individual articles offer helpful top matter, including definitions, significance, and key criminal justice issues. Top matter in articles on individual laws, court cases, events, government agencies, organizations, and individual persons also includes dates and places, as relevant. The Criminal Justice System is richly illustrated with hundreds of photographs, maps, graphs, charts, tables, and textual sidebars, and all articles include thoughtful See Alsos and annotated Further Reading.

In addition, several valuable features inVolume 3 provide readers with additional help in finding the topic they are looking for:

Bibliography—126 annotated listings of basic works on criminal justice
Glossary—711 terms relating to The Criminal Justice System
Crime Rates and Definitions—current data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the US Census Bureau’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Crime Trends—data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Supreme Court Rulings—146 rulings on criminal justice issues
Famous American Trials—107 trials, including issue and significance
Time Line of criminal justice issues—nearly 359 criminal justice events from 1692 to the present
Topics by Subject Category—articles indexed by 71 major categories
Index to Court Cases
Index to Laws and Acts
Personages Index
Subject Index

Designed for high school and undergraduate researchers, as well as public library patrons, this clear and authoritative source is an engaging resource for this high-interest subject area.


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