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Crime and Punishment in America
  • Authored by: David B. Wolcott and Tom Head
  • From the Series: American Experience
  • Trim Size:
  • ISBN-10: 1438126891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4381-2689-0
  • Status: In Stock
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  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 03/01/2010
  • Dewey Number: 364
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 432

Summary

From the first incident of petty theft to modern media piracy, crime and punishment have been a part of every society. However, the structure and values of a particular society shape both the incidences of crime and the punishment of criminals. When the United States became an independent nation, politicians and civilians began the process of deciding which systems of punishment were appropriate for dealing with crime—a process that continues to this day. Crime and Punishment in America examines the development of crime and punishment in the United States—from the criminal justice practices of American Indians and the influence of colonists to the mistreatment of slaves, as well as such current criminal issues as the response to international terrorism.

Organized chronologically, this new volume explores the development of the modern penitentiary system in the United States, the beginnings of the first police force, and the controversy over the use of capital punishment. Each chapter begins with a detailed narrative of the crimes and punishments of a particular period and includes infamous criminal stories, such as the Lizzie Borden case and the rise of the modern-day serial killer. The economic and legal conditions of these crimes are also examined in this in-depth book, as well as the political and civilian responses. Each narrative section is followed by a chronology of events, highlighting important dates in the history of crime and punishment in the United States. Eyewitness testimonies—from Al Capone, Charles Manson, and hundreds more—conclude each chapter, providing firsthand accounts from criminals, victims, prosecutors, politicians, and average citizens. Appendixes provide concise biographies of 149 important individuals, as well as primary source documents, either full text or excerpts; a glossary; maps; graphs and tables; notes; a thorough bibliography; and an index. Approximately 90 black-and-white images of the criminals, crimes, prosecutors, and others affected by crime and punishment complete this fascinating resource.

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Reviews and Awards

"Expansive...[a] highly readable and illustrated compendium...[an] engaging volume...useful to researchers who have an interest in the legal system."


School Library Journal

"...well written, quite informative, and well organized...useful..."


American Reference Books Annual

"...an excellent introduction to how criminal justice blends into American history...a nice addition to circulating collections. Highly recommended."


Choice

"An absorbing volume that will draw in casual readers as well as provide a starting point for high school and undergraduate research. Recommended for public and high school libraries and academic libraries that support an undergraduate curriculum in criminal justice."


Library Journal

"...a welcome addition to a high school library...Recommended."


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Working in America
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