Student Handbook of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Edited by John Muncie and David Wilson
London, UK: Cavendish Publishing Ltd., 2004
Aimed at undergraduates, the Student Handbook of Criminal Justice and Criminology encourages critical thought about criminal justice. Contributions by 21 leading criminology and criminal justice teachers and researchers, introduce historical and current issues facing all facets of criminal justice in the UK.
This edited text has 3 parts. Part 1, Approaching Criminal Justice and Criminology, introduces fundamental aspects to the study of criminology. Chapter 1 introduces theoretical approaches to crime and demonstrates how these are integrally connected with criminal justice strategies including, punishment, treatment, prevention, and tolerance. Chapter 2 critically examines the many competing process models, such as due process, medical model, and crime control that drive the system in which criminal justice agencies work. Chapter 3 explores the intricacies and importance of criminological theory and research, the ways research influences political strategies, and how politics impact the way knowledge is produced and disseminated.
Part 2, Unraveling Criminal Justice and Criminology, draws attention to social justice issues. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the role public opinion and media representations of crime have in shaping public policies. Chapters 6 and 9 expose the prejudices minorities (e.g., British Muslims) face as suspects, perpetrators, victims, and agents of crime within the criminal justice system. Chapter 7 investigates the conception of masculinity as it dominates the work of the criminal justice system and criminological research. Chapter 8 devotes attention to victims and victim services in the UK. Chapter 10 examines corporate offending, and emphasizes the need for greater attention to it by the criminal justice system. Chapter 11 considers the intersections of globalization, human rights discourses, and the process involved in setting up, and recognizing the authority of an International Criminal Court.
Part 3, Delivering Criminal Justice, addresses the agencies and processes of UK criminal justice. Agencies that respond to crime: local authority crime reduction partnerships (Chapter 12), the police (Chapter 13), the courts (Chapter 14), youth justice and youth offending teams (Chapter 15), probation (Chapter 16) and prisons (Chapter 17), are the focus of several chapters which include the agencies’ historical development, current issues, philosophies, and practices of dealing with the problem of crime. Chapter 18 offers alternative models of justice, emphasizing principles of reparation for offenders, and more involvement of victims, offenders and citizens in the criminal justice process. The final chapter introduces the Scottish criminal justice system, traces the development of Scots criminal law, and describes the agencies involved in, and the process of, Scottish criminal justice.
Muncie and Wilson offer a theoretically sound, empirically-based and policy-relevant book. The contributions are engaging, intelligible and challenge readers to think critically. Each chapter includes an introduction, a summary, and a list of key terms. At the end of each chapter, contributors offer key reading suggestions to students, and seminar topic suggestions for educators.
This Handbook offers an extensive analysis of UK criminal justice. The collection of chapters by a diverse group of experts reveals the integral and complex relationship between theory, research, and policy within criminology and the criminal justice system. While many chapters carry principles which are applicable in a Canadian context, the text focuses on criminal justice in the UK. Perhaps a Canadian text based on this model would also be valuable for students of Canadian criminology and criminal justice.
JOANNA C. JACOB