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Criminal Justice
A History of Crime and Criminal Justice in America book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material

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A History of Crime and Criminal Justice in America

Second Edition

by Willard M. Oliver, James F. Hilgenberg, Jr.

2010 $65.00 360 pp paper

Tags: History

Electronic Teacher's Manual available

Available on Redshelf Available on Redshelf

This updated second edition provides an overview of the origin and development of the American criminal justice system, from the founding of Jamestown, the first English settlement, and tracing history to the events of September 11, 2001. Each chapter begins with an overview of the social, political, and economic forces that shaped society during a given era in American history. What follows, then, is an overview of the ordinary and extraordinary crimes of each era, and how the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice) responded to these crimes, thereby conveying how the system developed over time.

“I know of no better text that offers, with such breadth, depth, and clarity, a major survey of America's history seen through the lens of America's most defining of features, crime and justice. The course I teach is a two-semester Honors seminar for undergraduates called US Institutions & Values, one from US origins to 1900, and the other from 1900 to the present, both of which focus on punishment and the prison as essential to understanding American values and institutions. This book does it all and is a steady staple in helping my students understand and grapple with their America and its history.” — Jason S. Sexton, California State University Fullerton

A History of Crime and Criminal Justice in America provides a window into the past and a cure for our collective historical ignorance and amnesia. The authors have done a masterful job of synthesizing and presenting this enormously complex topic. This book will not provide a cure for crime or a magic bullet to reform the criminal justice system, [but] readers who make this fascinating journey through time with Willard Oliver and James Hilgenberg will . . . gain a heightened sense of the complexities of American criminal justice— and, hopefully, learn to avoid the mistakes of the past.” — Dr. Alexander W. Pisciotta, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (From the Foreword)

The Teacher's Manual (w/Test Bank) is available electronically on a CD or via email. Please contact Beth Hall at to request a copy.  

Complimentary Copy RequestIf you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.

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