Review by Choice Review
The Handbook of Crime and Punishment is a lengthy attempt to distill--in 27 articles--the current state of knowledge on the most significant topics pertaining to crime and criminal justice, primarily focusing on the US. The volume provides an overview of areas ranging from the political context in which crime occurs and criminal justice policy reactions take place to specific subjects (e.g., family violence, drugs), the etiology of crime, crime reduction strategies, and punishment debates. The articles do a good job of highlighting measurement and methodological weaknesses in the literature. They also cite cross-national comparisons where appropriate (a third of the contributors are from countries other than the US), note the evolution of punishment policies, and generally provide a historical framework for the current state of crime and criminal justice affairs. Many articles contain useful prescriptions for the kind of research that is still needed. A few contributions are a bit weak on references, making it difficult to follow up or verify various assertions. Nevertheless, this book will be a helpful resource for readers at several levels. E. A. Andrus; Northeastern University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.