LAW & CRIME

Criminal Justice in America: The Encyclopedia of Crime, Law Enforcement, Courts, and Corrections

ABC-CLIO. 2 vols. 2020. 779p. ed. by Carla Lewandowski & Jeff Bumgarner. ISBN 9781440862625. $204. REF
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Offering a basic, comprehensive overview of the issues and trends in the U.S. criminal justice system, Lewandowski (law & justice studies; Rowan Univ., NJ) and Bumgarner (criminal justice & political science, North Dakota State Univ.; Federal Law Enforcement) define and explain how the four subsystems (crime, law enforcement, courts, corrections) differ and work together. Entries cover topics such as the Central Park Five, the Columbine High School shooting, elderly inmates, and more. Details on the Black Lives Matter movement appear only in the article on Michael Brown. The 305 signed, expertly written, alphabetically arranged articles vary in length from one to six pages and include short bibliographies. The index, which provides access to more specific discussions, includes see-also references. The topical guide categorizes the entries by criminal justice subsystem. A thorough bibliography lists titles published between 1831 and 2019. The 229 primarily academic contributors range from full professors and PhD candidates to JD and undergraduate students in sociology, psychology, criminal justice, prelaw, law, and political science. A criminal justice time line spans from 1607 through 2020. Similar titles concentrate on single topics (e.g., the court system, forensic science, criminal psychology, constitutional amendments).
VERDICT This is a solid, browsable reference work that will appeal to the public and law enforcement as well as undergraduates focusing on criminology, sociology, psychology, or law.

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