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Criminal justice /

Other Authors: Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, 2006
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Review by Choice Review

These three volumes provide an encyclopedic overview of the most important concepts in criminal justice, from individual types of crime to the broader issues of law enforcement, prosecution, and corrections. Entries range from the historical (Salem witchcraft trials, outlaws of the Old West, gangsters, and Scottsboro cases) to the very current (CSI, forensic science, GIS, homeland security, the Patriot Act, and terrorism). Since much of what Americans know about criminal justice is based on television, films, news, and fiction, the editor has inserted numerous sidebars exploring relationships between the popular media and reality to broaden this set's appeal. There is even an appendix (1 of 13) of past and present TV shows with criminal justice themes. Librarians will appreciate the inclusion with every entry of a short bibliography and cross-references to related topics, but may be disappointed that more than a quarter of the entries--on legal terminology--are taken from Salem's American Justice (CH, Nov'96, 34-1258) and Magill's Legal Guide, ed. by T. L. Hall (CH, Jun'00, 37-5438). Separate indexes for subjects and personages facilitate navigation, but why are such disparate figures as Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Jack Kevorkian, and Winona Ryder listed under both? ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic libraries supporting lower-level undergraduates and above; criminal justice instructors; public libraries. J. J. Harrison Michigan State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

This new reference set is designed for lay readers and students from middle-school level and up. The content, format, and layout are excellent for this audience. Each of the 625 alphabetically arranged articles begins with a definition of the subject and quick summaries of the criminal justice issues involved and the subject's significance. Articles cover crimes, defendants' rights, Supreme Court cases, constitutional law issues, law enforcement agencies and policing, federal and state court systems, trial procedures, and the corrections system. Photographs, graphs, and sidebars complement the text and range from the expected (a photo of the bombed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a chart showing trends in delinquency offenses) to the unexpected (a biblical quotation about the sin of extortion, a list of actors who played Al Capone). Each entry includes suggestions for further reading, consisting predominantly of books and government reports, and a list of related subjects. The publisher's note anticipates that many uses of this set will stem from readers' exposure to the popular media. Entries on Films and criminal justice, Television courtroom programs, Television crime dramas, 0 and so forth address this head-on, while other entries refer to offenders and victims who have caught the public eye (Laci Peterson in Missing persons,0 Brian David Mitchell in Competency to stand trial,0 Jenna Bush in Equal protection under the law0 ). Evidence and forensics topics are covered in detail. One appendix is devoted to television programs with criminal justice themes. Other appendixes provide a bibliography of basic works on criminal justice, a glossary, crime rates and definitions, relevant Supreme Court rulings, a list of Supreme Court justices with a summary of their notable stances on criminal justice issues, famous American trials (beginning with Roger Williams' trial for blasphemy in 1634 and running the gamut from Aaron Burr to Winona Ryder), a time line, and a list of criminal justice Internet sites. Excellent access to articles and their content is provided through a variety of methods, including a list of topics by category, an index of court cases, a personages index, and a subject index.\b \b0 Highly recommended for public, school, and college libraries. --Jan Lewis Copyright 2006 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 UpâÇôMore than 600 authoritative articles cover topics related to criminal justice. The clear and thoroughly informative essays vary in length from about a half page to several pages. The entries concentrate on American law and criminals but, unlike Carl SifakisâÇÖs The Encyclopedia of American Crime (Facts On File, 2000), coverage is not limited to the U.S. Entries for âÇ£Canadian justice system,âÇ  âÇ£International law,âÇ  âÇ£Interpol,âÇ  âÇ£Mexican justice system,âÇ  and âÇ£World CourtâÇ  provide a global perspective. Legal terms, types of crimes, crime detection and prevention organizations, and key U.S. Supreme Court decisions are clearly described. Articles generally begin with a simple definition and a note identifying the issues and their significance, and conclude with an annotated bibliography and âÇ£see-alsoâÇ  references. Numerous halftone photographs and maps appear throughout, and charts and boxed sidebars supply a wealth of additional material. Many of the sideboxes include film or television stills with explanations of how accurately they portray real criminals, criminal procedure, or legal principles. Entries for âÇ£Films and criminal justice,âÇ  âÇ£Television crime dramas,âÇ  âÇ£News,âÇ  and âÇ£Police reality showsâÇ  expand on the popular mediaâÇÖs views of crime and the law. Some coverage is given to corporate, government, and Internet crimes. The useful appendixes offer a massive amount of supplemental information, including crime trends (with charts) and summaries of famous American trials from 1634 to 2005. An inviting format, well-written articles, and lavish reference tools combine to make this an interesting and valuable resource.âÇôAnn G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.