This study examines the structure, process and forms of retaliation in contemporary urban America where street criminals employ it instead of recourse to the criminal justice system. It explores retaliation from a first hand perspective, based on interviews with currently active street criminals rather than prisoners.
This book describes various patterns of homicide that involve men killing women and other men. A qualitative study, it eschews heavy use of statistics to focus on case studies. Kenneth Polk then establishes the themes that run through four specific "scenarios of violence." When Men Kill discusses the role of gender and class in homicide and raises a number of important policy issues. It also asks pertinent questions about the nature of masculinity. It will sharpen international understandings of homicide, while the comprehensive classification scheme it develops will be of importance to criminologists everywhere.
The Insane Chicago Way is the untold story of a daring plan by Chicago gangs in the 1990s to create a Spanish Mafia—and why it failed. John M. Hagedorn traces how Chicago Latino gang leaders, following in Al Capone’s footsteps, built a sophisticated organization dedicated to organizing crime and reducing violence. His lively stories of extensive cross-neighborhood gang organization, tales of police/gang corruption, and discovery of covert gang connections to Chicago’s Mafia challenge conventional wisdom and offer lessons for the control of violence today. The book centers on the secret history of Spanish Growth & Development (SGD)—an organization of Latino gangs founded in 1989 and modeled on the Mafia’s nationwide Commission. It also tells a story within a story of the criminal exploits of the C-Note$, the “minor league” team of the Chicago’s Mafia (called the “Outfit”), which influenced the direction of SGD. Hagedorn’s tale is based on three years of interviews with an Outfit soldier as well as access to SGD’s constitution and other secret documents, which he supplements with interviews of key SGD leaders, court records, and newspaper accounts. The result is a stunning, heretofore unknown history of the grand ambitions of Chicago gang leaders that ultimately led to SGD’s shocking collapse in a pool of blood on the steps of a gang-organized peace conference. The Insane Chicago Way is a compelling history of the lives and deaths of Chicago gang leaders. At the same time it is a sociological tour de force that warns of the dangers of organized crime while arguing that today’s relative disorganization of gangs presents opportunities for intervention and reductions in violence.
In recent years far more attention has been paid to victims of crime both in terms of awareness of the effect of crime upon their lives, and in changes that have been made to the criminal justice system to improve their rights and treatment. This process seems set to continue, with legislative plans announced to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the victim. This latest book in the Cambridge Criminal Justice Series brings together leading authorities in the field to review the role of the victim in the criminal justice system in the context of these developments.
This book offers an explosive look at violence in America--why it is so prevalent, and what and who are responsible. David Courtwright takes the long view of his subject, developing the historical pattern of violence and disorder in this country. Where there is violent and disorderly behavior, he shows, there are plenty of men, largely young and single. What began in the mining camp and bunkhouse has simply continued in the urban world of today, where many young, armed, intoxicated, honor-conscious bachelors have reverted to frontier conditions. "Violent Land" combines social science with an engrossing narrative that spans and reinterprets the history of violence and social disorder in America. Courtwright focuses on the origins, consequences, and eventual decline of frontier brutality. Though these rough days have passed, he points out that the frontier experience still looms large in our national self-image--and continues to influence the extent and type of violence in America as well as our collective response to it. Broadly interdisciplinary, looking at the interplay of biological, social, and historical forces behind the dark side of American life, this book offers a disturbing diagnosis of violence in our society.
For several decades qualitative research has been under-represented in criminological and criminal justice research. This book is designed to promote the understanding of qualitative research designs and to encourage their use among those seeking answers to questions about crime and justice. To this end a number of top qualitative scholars have been assembled to provide their insights on the topic. The chapters that appear delve into the state of qualitative methods in the discipline, the potential ethical and physical hazards of engaging in ethnographic research, how to make sense of and interpret participants’ stories, innovative ways to collect data, the value of using mixed methods to understand crime and justice issues, effective strategies for teaching fieldwork, and the inherent rewards of a career spent speaking with others. This book will be an ideal introduction for students and scholars of Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Sociology, regardless of whether their primary methodology is qualitative or quantitative. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.
Research and theorizing on criminal decision making has not kept pace with recent developments in other fields of human decision making. Whereas criminal decision making theory is still largely dominated by cognitive approaches such as rational choice-based models, psychologists, behavioral economists and neuroscientists have found affect (i.e., emotions, moods) and visceral factors such as sexual arousal and drug craving, to play a fundamental role in human decision processes. This book examines alternative approaches to incorporating affect into criminal decision making and testing its influence on such decisions. In so doing it generalizes extant cognitive theories of criminal decision making by incorporating affect into the decision process. In two conceptual and ten empirical chapters it is carefully argued how affect influences criminal decisions alongside rational and cognitive considerations. The empirical studies use a wide variety of methods ranging from interviews and observations to experimental approaches and questionnaires, and treat crimes as diverse as street robbery, pilfering, and sex offences. It will be of interest to criminologists, social psychologists, judgment and decision making researchers, behavioral economists and sociologists alike.
Unsparing and important. . . . An informative, clearheaded and sobering book.—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (1999 Critic's Choice) Inner-city black America is often stereotyped as a place of random violence, but in fact, violence in the inner city is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. This unwritten set of rules—based largely on an individual's ability to command respect—is a powerful and pervasive form of etiquette, governing the way in which people learn to negotiate public spaces. Elijah Anderson's incisive book delineates the code and examines it as a response to the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, to the stigma of race, to rampant drug use, to alienation and lack of hope.
Research on gender, sex, and crime today remains focused on topics that have been a mainstay of the field for several decades, but it has also recently expanded to include studies from a variety of disciplines, a growing number of countries, and on a wider range of crimes. The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime reflects this growing diversity and provides authoritative overviews of current research and theory on how gender and sex shape crime and criminal justice responses to it. The editors, Rosemary Gartner and Bill McCarthy, have assembled a diverse cast of criminologists, historians, legal scholars, psychologists, and sociologists from a number of countries to discuss key concepts and debates central to the field. The Handbook includes examinations of the historical and contemporary patterns of women's and men's involvement in crime; as well as biological, psychological, and social science perspectives on gender, sex, and criminal activity. Several essays discuss the ways in which sex and gender influence legal and popular reactions to crime. An important theme throughout The Handbook is the intersection of sex and gender with ethnicity, class, age, peer groups, and community as influences on crime and justice. Individual chapters investigate both conventional topics - such as domestic abuse and sexual violence - and topics that have only recently drawn the attention of scholars - such as human trafficking, honor killing, gender violence during war, state rape, and genocide. The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime offers an unparalleled and comprehensive view of the connections among gender, sex, and crime in the United States and in many other countries. Its insights illuminate both traditional areas of study in the field and pathways for developing cutting-edge research questions.
Over the last two decades, researchers have made significant discoveries about the causes and origins of delinquency. Specifically, we have learned a great deal about adolescent development and its relationship to decision-making, about multiple factors that contribute to delinquency, and about the processes and contexts associated with the course of delinquent careers. Over the same period, public officials have made sweeping jurisprudential, jurisdictional, and procedural changes in our juvenile justice systems. The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice presents a timely compilation of state-of-the-art critical reviews of knowledge about causes of delinquency and their significance for justice policy, and about developments in the juvenile justice system to prevent and control youth crime. The first half of the handbook focuses on juvenile crime and examines trends and patterns in delinquency and victimization, explores causes of delinquency-at the individual, micro-social, and macro-social levels, and from natural and social science perspectives-and their implications for structuring a youth justice system. The second half of the handbook concentrates on juvenile justice and examines a range of issues-including the historical origins and re-invention of the juvenile court; juvenile offenders' mental health status and considerations of trial competence and culpability; intake, diversion, detention, and juvenile courts; and transfer/waiver strategies-and considers how the juvenile justice system itself influences delinquency. The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice provides a comprehensive overview of juvenile crime and juvenile justice administration by authors who are all leading scholars involved in cutting-edge research, and is an essential resource for scholars, students, and justice officials.
Stories are much more than a means of communication—stories help us shape our identities, make sense of the world, and mobilize others to action. In Narrative Criminology, prominent scholars from across the academy and around the world examine stories that animate offending. From an examination of how criminals understand certain types of crime to be less moral than others, to how violent offenders and drug users each come to understand or resist their identity as ‘criminals’, to how cultural narratives motivate genocidal action, the case studies in this book cover a wide array of crimes and justice systems throughout the world. The contributors uncover the narratives at the center of their essays through qualitative interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and written archives, and they scrutinize narrative structure and meaning by analyzing genres, plots, metaphors, and other components of storytelling. In doing so, they reveal the cognitive, ideological, and institutional mechanisms by which narratives promote harmful action. Finally, they consider how offenders’ narratives are linked to and emerge from those of conventional society or specific subcultures. Each chapter reveals important insights and elements for the development of a framework of narrative criminology as an important approach for understanding crime and criminal justice. An unprecedented and landmark collection, Narrative Criminology opens the door for an exciting new field of study on the role of stories in motivating and legitimizing harm.
During the 1980s, addiction to crack cocaine escalated at an alarming rate. As the demand for crack grew, so did the economic opportunities for entrepreneurial street dealers, who developed criminal underground networks for the supply and retail sale of the high-profit substance. While crack cocaine use has since plateaued and is on the decline, hard-core dealers persist in selling the increasingly unprofitable drug in a high-risk, competitive street market. Bruce A. Jacobs bases his study on dangerous field research conducted in one of the most socially distressed and impoverished neighborhoods in St. Louis. Drawing on no-holds-barred interviews with active dealers, as well as on his own eyewitness observations of transactions and encounters with police, Jacobs captures the crack business as it actually operates on the streets. He examines the underlying motivations for selling crack, describes the complex and intricate social organization of dealing, and explores how dealers protect transactions from law enforcement, undercover police, and criminal predators. Quoting extensively from his conversations with offenders, he conveys much of the fear and aura surrounding the process and lifestyle of crack cocaine dealing. This provocative volume is appropriate for a variety of courses in criminal justice and social problems and gives general readers an inside look at one of America's most troubling problems.
Gang- and drug-related inner-city violence, with its attendant epidemic of incarceration, is the defining crime problem in our country. In some neighborhoods in America, one out of every two hundred young black men is shot to death every year, and few initiatives of government and law enforcement have made much difference. But when David Kennedy, a self-taught and then-unknown criminologist, engineered the "Boston Miracle" in the mid-1990s, he pointed the way toward what few had imagined: a solution. Don't Shoot tells the story of Kennedy's long journey. Riding with beat cops, hanging with gang members, and stoop-sitting with grandmothers, Kennedy found that all parties misunderstood each other, caught in a spiral of racialized anger and distrust. He envisioned an approach in which everyone-gang members, cops, and community members-comes together in what is essentially a huge intervention. Offenders are told that the violence must stop, that even the cops want them to stay alive and out of prison, and that even their families support swift law enforcement if the violence continues. In city after city, the same miracle has followed: violence plummets, drug markets dry up, and the relationship between the police and the community is reset. This is a landmark book, chronicling a paradigm shift in how we address one of America's most shameful social problems. A riveting, page-turning read, it combines the street vérité of The Wire, the social science of Gang Leader for a Day, and the moral urgency and personal journey of Fist Stick Knife Gun. But unlike anybody else, Kennedy shows that there could be an end in sight.
Revised edition of In their own words, 2014.
Based on no-holds-barred interviews with active armed robbers in St. Louis, Missouri, this groundbreaking volume sheds new light on the process of committing armed robbery.
This volume fills a research gap of striking proportions by exploring the contingencies that mediate the crimes perpetrated on those who are themselves perpetrators. The notion that violence is something that happens only to law-abiding citizens is both widely held and inaccurate. The disproportionate share of victims of crime are, in reality, themselves involved in crime. Yet existing scholarship has failed to explore the contingencies that mediate offenses like drug robbery - from the forces that inspire it, to the methods used to select targets, to the means employed to generate compliance, down to the tactics used to thwart retaliatory attempts after the crime has ended.Given that predatory behavior between and among offenders ultimately spreads to society at large (the ""contagion effect""), a research gap of striking proportions has emerged. The imprudence of robbing other criminals is widely assumed. Yet criminologists paradoxically observe that a major benefit of robbing fellow criminals is that they cannot report the offense to the authorities. Why, then, should offenders elect to reduce their odds of getting arrested at the cost of enhancing their chances of getting killed?Drawing on candid interviews with the perpetrators, Jacobs attempts to answer such questions and fill this gap in the research agenda of criminology. The result is a narrative that explores the world of street-corner drugs from the vantage point of those who actually commit these high-risk crimes. It also introduces serious ethical issues that criminology and law enforcement tend to gloss over or ignore entirely. This work is innovative and troubling at the same time. It takes a theme that Hollywood films have explored in greater depth than social science, and restores it as a crucial part of the ethnography of crime.
Since its first sweep in 1982, the British Crime Survey - and its counterparts in the US and other nations - have become invaluable sources of data for research and policy development. In this book, chapters by a distinguished international group of scholars describe key findings of national crime surveys in a variety of research and policy areas, including:internationa comparisons of victimization;covariation of victimization and offending;the measurement of police performance;the impact of crime in different types of communities;attitudes to crime and justice;fear of crime; andthe unequal distribution of risk.Though national crime surveys have made substantial contributions to knowledge, according to the authors the surveys must adapt to changing circumstances if they are to continue to be of value. Future directions include continuing to incorporate new technology in samples and survey designs; broadening the focus beyond 'normal' crimes and individual victims; and producing better measures of crimes such as fraud, organized crime, corruption and Internet-facilitated crime.
Ira Lipman Marvin Wolfgang was the greatest criminologist in the United States of America in the last half of the 20th century, if not the entire century. We first met on March 3, 1977, in Philadelphia. I sought him out after his work with Edwin Newman's NBC Reports: Violence in America. He was a tender, loving, caring individual who loved excellence-whether it be an intellectual challenge, the arts or any other pursuit. It is a great privilege to take part in honoring Marvin Wolfgang, a great American. Our approaches to the subject of crime came from different perspectives one as a researcher and the other as the founder of one of the world's largest security services companies. We both wanted to understand the causes of crime, and our discussions began a more than 21-year friendship, based on mutual respect and shared values. Dr. Wolfgang's scholarship aimed for the goal of promoting a safer, more prosperous society, one in which economic opportunity replaced criminal enterprise. He never saw crime in isolation but as part of a complex web of social relations. Only by understanding the causes and patterns of crime can society find ways to prevent it. Only through scholarship can the criminal justice community influence policy makers. To encourage the innovative scholarship that marked Marvin's career, Guardsmark established the Lipman Criminology Library at the University of Pennsylvania, at his request, and created a national criminology award in his name, the Wolfgang Award for Distinguished Achievement in Criminology.

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