Crime and Punishment in America
An Encyclopedia of Trends and Controversies in the Justice System
by Laura L. Finley, Editor
December 2016, 743pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-927-3
$208, £155, 174€, A298
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-928-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Socioeconomic factors on crime. Hate crimes. Concealed carry laws. Racial disparities in sentencing. These are just a few of the controversies in our justice system.

Covering some of the most hotly contested topics in crime and criminal justice, including proposed sentencing and prison reforms, controversial developments like Stand Your Ground laws, and Supreme Court decisions, this work supplies essential background, current data, and a range of viewpoints on these important issues.

Should people be able to use lethal force before retreating? What are the arguments for and against executing mentally ill inmates? Should police always need warrants to search individuals or their property? How can we best hold accountable white collar offenders? Why do men perpetrate crime at higher rates than women? This two-volume set grapples with the answers to these complex questions and many more, enabling readers to better understand current crime/punishment issues within the context of America’s ever-evolving culture, economy, and politics.

This multidisciplinary reference work offers a current and thorough compilation of the most important and hotly contested topics related to crime and criminal justice. Organized alphabetically, each entry presents scholarly research and authoritative sources to inform readers about the subject.


  • Provides readers with a thorough analysis of the most controversial topics in criminal justice that includes contributions from renowned scholars, activists, victim service providers, and other experts
  • Addresses current trends and problems in America's criminal justice system
  • Includes tables, graphs, and charts tracking the most important developments related to crime, sentencing, and the prison system
Laura L. Finley, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and criminology at Barry University, Miami Shores, FL. She is author, coauthor, or editor of 16 books and numerous journal articles and book chapters.


"Librarians interested in building collections will appreciate the appendix of recommended documentary films, books, journals, and organizations (with URLs). Recommended for institutions serving undergraduates and/or criminal justice and social service programs. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, May 1, 2017

"Students in upper grades of secondary education and postsecondary schools will find this provides helpful material for papers. Public library patrons and fans of crime shows who want more information will also find this beneficial. VERDICT A solid option for those in need of a basic resource that answers questions from both students and the general public."—Library Journal, March 1, 2017
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