This book offers a new kind of introduction to criminal justice—a lively, evocative text built around and enlivened by the lived experiences of those who, by choice or not, are heavily involved in the criminal justice system. The authors have included over 30 narratives from victims, offenders, and professionals working within the system. These personal narratives provide real-life examples of how crime and the criminal justice system are experienced.
The experiences of real people are often lost in discussions about criminal justice processes and the criminal justice system in general. Texts and teaching too frequently focus exclusively on criminal justice procedures or on macro-level systems. Such conversations lose sight of and de-value the impact of systems on individuals. This textbook seeks to provide the human voice to the topic of criminal justice, while also providing all of the relevant materials to introductory classes. Built around the narratives are all of the traditional materials that instructors need to cover in introduction to criminal justice courses. However, since a good portion of the text will be powerful narratives written by those who have "lived" and "performed" in the criminal justice domain, this book represents an innovative approach that simultaneously challenges instructors to think about their pedagogy in new ways, potentially making their classroom encounters more lively and compelling.
In this new edition, we have added discussions about the current controversies and styles of policing, a chapter devoted to wrongful convictions, and a discussion of a public health reform approach to some of the most challenging parts of our system going forward.
"I hate all of those sensationalizing pictures and distracting sidebars in most introduction to criminal justice texts, but the students like the real stories, so this book is perfect. This text looks like what I would get if I could special order a book.
— Randi Blumenthal-Guigui, Criminal Justice Internship Director and Lecturer Marist College