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The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia [Hardcover]

Wilbur Miller

RRP: 400.00
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Book Description

3 Oct 2012 1412988764 978-1412988766 annotated edition
Several encyclopedias overview the contemporary system of criminal justice in America, but full understanding of current social problems and contemporary strategies to deal with them can come only with clear appreciation of the historical underpinnings of those problems. Thus, this four-volume work surveys the history and philosophy of crime, punishment, and criminal justice institutions in America from colonial times to the present. It covers the whole of the criminal justice system, from crimes, law enforcement and policing, to courts, corrections and human services. Among other things, this encyclopedia will: explicate philosophical foundations underpinning our system of justice; chart changing patterns in criminal activity and subsequent effects on legal responses; identify major periods in the development of our system of criminal justice; and explore evolving debates and conflicts on how best to address issues of crime and punishment. Its signed entries provide the historical context for students to better understand contemporary criminological debates and the contemporary shape of the U.S. system of law and justice.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 2712 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; annotated edition edition (3 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412988764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412988766
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 23.3 x 29.8 cm

More About the Author

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Product Description


"This excellent work will be valuable for a wide range of users for assignments or general interest in public and academic libraries." (Arthur Meyers Booklist 2013-01-07)

This addition to the crowded field of reference literature on crime is a notable improvement over similar titles... (CHOICE 2013-03-01)

A series of extended essays by period complemented by primary documents make this an excellent classroom resource.

(Library Journal 2013-03-01)

About the Author

Wilbur R. (Bill) Miller received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973. His teaching is varied and includes such courses as Civil War & Reconstruction, Gilded Age & Progressive Era, Immigration & Family History, and History of Crime & Criminal Justice in the U.S. His research interests include comparative police history, state and federal policing, representations of crime and criminal justice in popular literatures, and the general theme of authority in America. His prior publications include Cops & Bobbies: Police Authority in New York City & London, 1830-1870 (University of Chicago Press, 1977; second edition, Ohio State University Press, 1995) and Revenuers & Moonshiners: Enforcing Federal Liquor Law in the Mountain South (University of North Carolina Press, 1991). Prior to coming to SUNY-Stony Brook in 1975, he was a lecturer and assistant professor at Princeton University.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Good- But Pricey 5 Mar 2013
By Florida Cracker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Because I teach in the CJ field, I bought this work (with a lot of bonus points from my account). While it is certainly a very good product, I would only give it four stars for several reasons: The price - at $600 plus (even for 5 volumes and a very good index, pretty expensive). Secondly, there are articles, perhaps that really don't contribute much to a treatment of the subject i.e. CJ from an historical perspective. One major example of unnecessary articles are those dealing with every US president and developments under their administration. Simply stated, not every president had any significant CJ developments occur during their tenure in office. Not much really happened, CJ-wise under Buchanan, for example, yet there they are.

Now the positives. There are very good summaries of some very important trials that helped shaped the CJ "landscape," such as Miranda and Gideon. Also included are wonderful cross-references for nearly every article. I say "nearly every," as I certainly have not read all of them!! Overall, the articles seem to be a very good treatment and or summary of the topics they cover. The index is also quite good here. The articles are written without an obvious slant, i.e. from either the liberal (throw the system out - failed beyond repair) or the "cops can do no wrong" crowd. This is in stark contrast to Friedman's Crime & Punishment in America - where according to the author, the CJ system has not and never will, "get it right." Last but not least, it appears that the work is printed with a very durable library binding and very good quality paper - meant to last - I hope!

I hope this helps for anyone who is thinking about buying this work.
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