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Myths and Realities of Crime and Justice, Second Edition
What Every American Should Know

Author(s): Steven E. Barkan, PhD, University of Maine
George J. Bryjak, PhD
  • ISBN-13: 9781449691080
  • ISBN-10:1449691080
  • Paperback    368 pages      © 2014
Price: $82.95 US List
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An Engaging and Accessible Overview of Crime and Justice in America

For all their interest in crime, most Americans know very little about the reality of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States—and most of what Americans do know is a loose collection of accumulated truths, half-truths, and outright fallacies. Myths and Realities of Crime and Justice: What Every American Should Know, Second Edition provides a concise but thorough overview of criminal behavior, crime, and the criminal justice system in the United States. Using up-to-date social science research to debunk many of the beliefs Americans hold about crime, the book examines key topics such as serial killers and mass murders, gun violence, criminal victimization, identity theft, policing and police corruption, plea bargaining, jury nullification, wrongful convictions, the death penalty, and the “CSI Effect.”

The fully revised and updated second edition of this popular text includes the most recent crime and criminal justice data, and covers several recent high-profile crimes, including the Newtown shooting, the Jerry Sandusky case, and the Trayvon Martin case. It also includes new sections on recent trends in crime rates, street gangs, and hate crimes. Ideally suited for students in criminal justice programs as well as professionals who work within or in tandem with the criminal justice system, Myths and Realities of Crime and Justice: What Every American Should Know, Second Edition is a thorough, engaging, and highly relevant portrait of crime and justice in America.

Features & Benefits

  • Features fully updated crime statistics and criminal justice data
  • Includes coverage of recent high-profile crimes, including the Trayvon Martin case, the Newtown shooting, and the Jerry Sandusky case
  • Contains new sections on hot issues including solitary confinement, hate crimes, and street gangs

Applicable Courses

This text is appropriate for Media and Criminal Justice or Special Topics courses in Criminal Justice and Sociology programs. It serves well as a supplement for a variety of criminal justice courses ranging from Introduction to Criminal Justice to Forensics/CSI to Introduction to Policing, and various special topics courses such as crime prevention.

Chapter  1  What No One Is Telling You About Crime and Justice
Chapter  2  The Crime Problem
Chapter  3  How Much Crime Is There and Who Commits It?
Chapter  4  Robbers, Rapists, and Serial Killers: Violent Crime in America
Chapter  5  Hookers, Dopers, and Corporate Crooks: Economic, Exploitive, and Consensual Crime
Chapter  6  Victims and Victimization: Will You Be Next?
Chapter  7  Crime and Criminal Law: Order, Liberty, and Justice for All?
Chapter  8  Why They Break the Law
Chapter  9  Taking It to the Streets: Cops on the Job
Chapter  10  Pretrial Procedures and Plea Bargaining: From Arrest to “Let’s Make a Deal”
Chapter  11  Criminal Trials and Courtroom Issues: Convicting the Innocent, Exonerating the Guilty
Chapter  12  Prisons and Jails: Punishment at Any Cost?
Chapter  13  Community Corrections and Juvenile Justice
Chapter  14  Conclusion: What Every American Should Know

Steven E. Barkan, PhD-University of Maine

Steven E. Barkan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine. He has authored several textbooks in criminology, criminal justice and sociology, and has also published more than thirty journal articles and book chapters in his areas of interest. He is also a former president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

George J. Bryjak, PhD

George J. Bryjak received his Ph.D from the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and taught sociology at the University of San Diego for 24 years before retiring to the Adirondack Park region of New York state with his wife, Diane. He is the co-author of three sociology books (with Michael P. Soroka) and Myths and Realities of Crime and Justice: What Every American Should Know (with Steven E. Barkan). He was the recipient of a summer Fulbright fellowship to India (1981) and was a visiting professor at a teacher’s college in Zakopane, Poland (1993). His many opinion pieces have appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Daily News among other newspapers in the United States and Canada. Bryjak’s short plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Buffalo. He is the author of a short story collection: The Power of the Dark Goddess and Other Stories.