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Annual Editions: Criminal Justice 12/13, Thirty-Sixth Edition
1. What Is the Sequence of Events in the Criminal Justice System?, Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 1998
This report reveals that the response to crime is a complex process, involving citizens as well as many agencies, levels, and branches of government.
2. Fire Away, Michael Grunwald, Time, January 24, 2011
You might think attacks like the one in Tucson would lead to tougher gun restrictions, but you'd be dead wrong. Despite periodic spasms of attention after mass killings, gun control has made no headway at the federal or state levels.
3. The Drug War Hits Central America, Economist, April 14, 2011
The United States is involved in Central America's drug troubles not just because it helped cause them, but also because it will feel their consequences. Already the lethal combination of conflict and lack of opportunity is driving thousands of Central Americans to brave the threat of kidnap and extortion to migrate to the United States. More will follow if conditions worsen.
4. Perverted Justice, Jacob Sullum, Reason, July 2011
Two decades of ever-more-punitive sex crimes legislation have produced sentencing rules so bizarre and byzantine that the punishment for possessing images of sexually abused children can be more severe than the punishment for sexually abusing them.
5. The Death of the War on Drugs, Lawrence T. Jablecki, PhD, The Humanist, September/October 2009
Our war on drugs has created the still widely held belief that the users of illegal drugs are enemies to be conquered and destroyed. Fortunately, a fast growing number of Americans are starting to believe that this war and its harsh penalties are costing us far too much in both human and fiscal terms.
6. The Guilt Market, Alexandra Natapoff, Reason, July 2011
Criminal snitching threatens the integrity of the justice system. Informants can be powerful crime-fighting tools, providing inside information on all sorts of criminal activity, but the evidence they offer is notoriously unreliable—more than 45 percent of wrongful convictions in death penalty cases were due to false testimony from snitches.
7. Universal Policing: Counterterrorism Lessons from Northern Ireland, Justin Schoeman, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, April 2010
Lessons learned from counterinsurgency efforts in Northern Ireland incorporate fundamental principles both universal to people across the globe and capable of cutting through cultural lines. Therefore, they could be applied to similar battles against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
8. Telling the Truth about Damned Lies and Statistics, Joel Best, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2001
We should not ignore all statistics or assume that every number is false. Some statistics are bad, but others are useful. Joel Best thinks that we need good statistics to talk sensibly about social problems.
9. The Face of Domestic Violence, Amanda White as told to Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Ladies' Home Journal, March 2010
This is a first-person account of a young woman, a victim of domestic violence, who stayed with a husband who beat her over and over again. She explains what she went through and why she believed it would all get better.
10. Death by Gender, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Dissent, Spring 2010
In "honor societies," girls and women are denied the protections that outside affiliations and affection might provide. Deviation from the rules imposed by male authorities may label a female as "contaminated" and elicit harsh sanctions—including death. Girls and women must be tightly controlled because their value in the marriage market depends on their "virtue."
11. Elder Abuse Emerges from the Shadows of Public Consciousness, Philip Bulman, National Institute of Justice Journal, April 2010
Two recent studies shed light on the prevalence and detection of an often overlooked crime—elder abuse. Law enforcement officers are becoming increasingly aware of the problem, and now have solid forensic studies to rely on. Moreover, the public is also growing more aware of this previously hidden problem.
12. Options for Reporting Sexual Violence: Developments over the Past Decade, Sabrina Garcia, MA and Margaret Henderson, MPA, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2010
Developments in the field and changing social expectations have made law enforcement agencies reconsider and refine their processes for working with victims of sexual violence. "Blind reporting" can give victims of crime a safe haven to file a report at the same time that it removes that refuge from their assailants.
13. Forensic Interviewing Aids: Do Props Help Children Answer Questions about Touching?, Debra Ann Poole, Maggie Bruck, and Margaret-Ellen Pipe, Current Directions in Psychological Science, February 2011
In child sex abuse cases, studies show a lack of evidence that dolls and diagrams produce increases in accurate details of touching compared to verbal questions alone, but there are numerous barriers to policy change in the field of forensic interviewing.
14. Human Sex Trafficking, Amanda Walker-Rodriguez, JD and Rodney Hill, JD, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 2011
The United States not only faces an influx of international victims but also has its own homegrown problem of interstate sex trafficking of minors. Among the children and teens living on the streets in the United States, involvement in commercial sex activity is a problem of epidemic proportion.
15. The Changing Environment for Policing, 1985–2008, David H. Bayley and Christine Nixon, New Perspectives in Policing, National Institute of Justice, September 2010
What are the differences in the environment for policing now compared with the 1985–1991 timeframe? Are the problems similar or different from one period to the other? Police today are considered to be performing well, but this assessment may be mistaken because the institutions that provide public safety are changing in profound ways that are not being recognized.
16. Understanding the Psychology of Police Misconduct, Brian D. Fitch, PhD, The Police Chief, January 2011
Law enforcement agencies go to great lengths to recruit, hire, and train only the most qualified applicants, and most officers support the agency, its values, and its mission, performing their duties ethically while avoiding any misconduct or abuse of authority. Yet, despite the best efforts of organizations everywhere, it seems that one does not have to look very far to find examples of police misconduct.
17. Racial Profiling and Its Apologists, Tim Wise, Z Magazine, March 2002
Racial profiling cannot be justified on the basis of general crime rate data. But, according to Tim Wise, "until and unless the stereotypes that underlie [it] are attacked and exposed as a fraud, the practice will likely continue. . . ." The fact remains that the typical offender in violent crime categories is white.
18. The Art of the Police Report, Ellen Collett, Utne Reader, March/April 2011
The purpose of a police report is to be cited in court as proof of who did what to whom. Its ultimate agenda is justice and, because the stakes can be high, it's written with special care. Above all, it aims to be truthful. At the same time, to do its job, it needs to be convincing; the story it tells should be able to persuade the people in a jury box.
19. Police Investigations of the Use of Deadly Force Can Influence Perceptions and Outcomes, Shannon Bohrer, MBA and Robert Chaney, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, January 2010
When a police officer kills someone in the line of duty—or is killed—it sets in motion a series of internal and external reviews and public debates that normally does not end until several years later when the civil and criminal court trials are over. Often it is not a law enforcement shooting that generates negative consequences, but how the agency handled the incident.
20. Judging Honesty by Words, Not Fidgets, Benedict Carey, The New York Times, May 12, 2009
Forensic scientists have begun testing interrogation techniques they hope will give police interrogators a kind of honesty screen, an improved method of sorting doctored stories from truthful ones. It focuses on what people say, not how they act, because liars do not fidget any more than truth tellers.
21. Interviewing Cooperative Witnesses, Ronald P. Fisher, Rebecca Milne, and Ray Bull, Current Directions in Psychological Science, February 2011
Given the importance of interviewing cooperative witnesses, and considering the current lack of formal training at police academies, several researchers have developed theory-based interviewing protocols to improve on eliciting information from witnesses.
22. As Mental Health Resources Shrink Police Become Front Line with Lives at Stake, Henri E. Cauvin, Washingtonpost.com, April 19, 2011
A police officer who responded to a man threatening to jump off an old railroad bridge, ended up on the frontline of the American public mental health system. Like officers across the country, she was doing a job she didn't sign up for, trying to fill holes she didn't create. Financially strapped state and local governments are putting pressures on police as more people with mental health problems are cut off from treatment.
23. "I Did It": Why Do People Confess to Crimes They Didn't Commit?, Robert Kolker, New York Magazine, October 3, 2010
In the criminal justice system, nothing is more powerful than a confession; no other form of evidence is as convincing to a jury. We count on the integrity of the police and safeguards like Miranda rights to prevent abuses, and we take it on faith that innocent people would never confess to crimes they haven't committed. But they do.
24. When Our Eyes Deceive Us, Dahlia Lithwick, Newsweek, March 23, 2009
Being part of a system that identified and ultimately convicted the wrong man became another form of victimization. Our eyewitness identification process is unreliable at best and can be the cause of grievous injustice.
25. Neuroscience in the Courtroom, Michael S. Gazzaniga, Scientific American, April 2011
Brain scans and other types of neurological evidence are rarely a factor in trials today. Someday, however, they could transform judicial views of personal credibility and responsibility. The greatest influence of brain science on the law may eventually come from deeper understanding of the neurological causes of antisocial, illegal behaviors.
26. DNA's Dirty Little Secret, Michael Bobelian, Washington Monthly, March/April 2010
A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison. Juries are rarely, if ever, presented with evidence on the high probability of coincidental DNA matches. And when defense attorneys see DNA evidence, most of them assume the case against their client is airtight and start praying for a plea bargain.
27. Wrongful Convictions: How Many Innocent Americans Are behind Bars?, Radley Balko, Reason, July 2011
Since 1989, DNA testing has freed 268 people who were convicted of crimes they did not commit. Seventeen had been sentenced to death. The average exoneree served 13 years in prison before he or she was freed and only about half of the people exonerated by DNA have been compensated at all.
28. Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court, Emily Bazelon, The New York Times Magazine, February 6, 2011
When there are signs of mistreatment in child death cases—cuts, bruises, burns, fractures—there's not much dispute that the children were abused; but the only medical evidence of shaken-baby syndrome are internal symptoms. Some doctors are taking issue with the diagnosis of the syndrome, raising the possibility that innocent people have been sent to jail.
29. Justice and Antonin Scalia: The Supreme Court's Most Strident Catholic, Julia Vitullo-Martin, Commonweal, March 28, 2003
The author of this article sketches a picture of a Supreme Court justice who can be provocative and even shocking on race, and combative on issues that usually call for compassion, such as the death penalty.
30. Violence in Adolescent Dating Relationships, Ernest N. Jouriles, PhD; Cora Platt, BA; and Renee McDonald, PhD, The Prevention Researcher, February 2009
The teenage years mark a time in which romantic relationships begin to emerge and these relationships can serve a number of positive functions. However, for many juveniles, there is a darker side: dating violence.
31. Juvenile Recidivism—Measuring Success or Failure: Is There a Difference?, Colette S. Peters and Shannon Myrick, Corrections Today, February/March 2011
Recidivism reveals whether juvenile offenders who leave custody go on to lead crime-free lives, but not whether they lead productive crime-free lives. Recidivism does not measure whether these young adults demonstrate successful pro-social behavior and contribute in a positive way to their communities.
32. The Long View of Crime, Pat Kaufman, National Institute of Justice Journal, April 2010
The wide-angle lens of longitudinal research is a powerful tool for sorting out some of the chicken-and-egg, "which came first" issues at the heart of criminal research. Many studies shed new light on, or even skewer, time-honored criminological theories. It has been learned that of all the role transitions examined, marriage most effectively and consistently reduces deviance.
33. Menacing or Mimicking? Realities of Youth Gangs, James C. Howell, Juvenile and Family Court Journal, April 2007
Since the 1980s, youth gangs in the United States have been a high priority for law enforcement, and the subject of a great deal of media attention, particularly in urban areas. Despite all the attention, youth gangs remain poorly defined and vaguely characterized, and myths about them complicate the determination of appropriate community responses.
34. Whither Young Offenders? The Debate Has Begun, Trey Bundy, The New York Times, January 22, 2011
A former Fresno gang member spent two years inside California's juvenile prison system and he said that, instead of rehabilitating young offenders, correctional officers spent most of their time separating rival gangs. In recent years, some local judges often refused to send young offenders to state institutions, preferring to confine them in county facilities regarded as safer and more effective.
35. Preventing Future Crime with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Patrick Clark, National Institute of Justice Journal, April 2010
One form of psychotherapy stands out in the criminal justice system. Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces recidivism in both juveniles and adults; it has been found to be effective with substance abusing and violent offenders; and probationers, prisoners and parolees. Therapeutic approaches based on counseling, skill building, and multiple services had the greatest impact in reducing further criminal behavior.
36. Interviewing Compliant Adolescent Victims, Catherine S. Connell, MSW and Martha J. Finnegan, MSW, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2010
When adolescents do not see themselves as victims, investigators will have challenges in conducting the investigation and interviewing these victims. By staying focused on the juvenile as a victim, the interviewer avoids inflicting additional trauma, or inhibiting disclosure, or instilling in the adolescent a fear of not being believed. Interviewers must also learn about state and federal statutes regarding child protection issues.
37. Bring Back the Lash: Why Flogging Is More Humane Than Prison, Peter Moskos, Washington Monthly, May/June 2011
Is flogging too cruel to contemplate? If so, given the hypothetical choice between prison and flogging, why would you choose flogging? Perhaps it's not as crazy as you thought. As ugly as it may seem, corporal punishment would be an effective and comparatively humane way to bring our prison population back in line with world standards.
38. Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations', Adam Liptak, The New York Times, April 23, 2008
The United States leads the world in producing prisoners: this article is a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular, they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.
39. Prisoners of Parole, Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times, January 10, 2010
In many states, the majority of prison admissions come not from arrests for new crimes, but from probation and parole violations. A judge in Hawaii decided to try something new with convicted offenders with drug problems who had been sentenced to probation. The HOPE program, if widely adopted as a model for probation and parole reform, could make a surprisingly large contribution to reducing the prison population.
40. A Boom behind Bars, Graeme Wood, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 17, 2011
Private jail operators like the Corrections Corporation of America are making millions off the crackdown on illegal aliens. CCA earns about $90 a day per person to keep immigrants behind bars and to manage every aspect of detainees' lives; locking up aliens will provide "meaningful opportunity for the industry for the foreseeable future."
41. One Clique: Why Rivals on the Streets Become Allies behind Bars, Sharrod Campbell, Corrections Today, February 2009
Race is one of the strongest commonality factors among prison inmates. This primary division is often broken down into other groups or associations, and this is where many "security threat groups"—gangs—are formed.
42. New Spanish Practice Aims to Break the Cycle among Mothers and Children, Sophie Feintuch, Corrections Today, December 2010
The issues of female incarceration and what to do with young children have become particularly pressing in recent years as female incarceration rates have skyrocketed, with most of these women being mothers. Countries have responded to this phenomenon with a wide range of policies, including the U.S. practice of separating incarcerated mothers from their young children, which can be problematic.
43. Supermax Prisons, Jeffrey Ian Ross, PhD, Society, March/April 2007
The isolation, lack of meaningful activity, and shortage of human contact take their toll on supermax residents, often leading to severe psychological disorders. Several corrections and human rights organizations question whether these prisons are a violation of our Constitution.
44. The Results of American Incarceration, Todd R. Clear,
Any answer to the question, "What do we get from imprisonment?," has to recognize that U.S. imprisonment operates differently than does imprisonment in any other democratic state in the world. The author discusses the American war on crime—with the resulting 600 percent increase in prison populations—proposing that our prison population results mostly from U.S. policies enacted to deal with crime, and much less from crime itself.
45. Addressing Gender Issues among Staff in Community Corrections, Kelli D. Stevens, Corrections Today, October 2010
The number of women under correctional supervision has increased significantly during the past several decades, but the policies addressing the criminality of women and how they are treated in the criminal justice system have not kept pace. And, while community corrections organizations are actively addressing the needs of female offenders, they are still struggling to meet the needs of female professionals working in the field.