Coming Soon!
Today's Crime and Punishment Issues
Democrats and Republicans
by Angela D. Madden, Editor
February 2024, 335pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7332-4
$107, £83, 94€, A147
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7333-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Every U.S. state incarcerates at least twice as many people per capita as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium, even though these countries have comparable or higher rates of violent crime.

An indispensable resource for understanding how politics impacts the U.S. justice system, this book illuminates Republican and Democratic responses and attitudes toward crime, police work, sentencing, incarceration, and rehabilitation.

Today’s Crime and Punishment explores Democratic and Republican positions and perspectives on a broad array of law enforcement and criminal justice issues, including mass incarceration, sentencing disparities, anti-drug efforts, marijuana legalization, death penalty, mandatory minimums, civil asset forfeiture, prison privatization, rape and other crimes in prison settings, women in prison, support for therapeutic/educational programs, sentencing for juvenile offenders, harsher penalties for hate crimes, and voting rights for ex-felons.

The focus is on specific and timely topics in criminal justice that are most susceptible to legislative policies. Readers will benefit by developing an appreciation for how politics impacts the criminal justice system. Readers will understand how the parties have developed laws that impact their lives, dictate acceptable behavior, and legislate appropriate responses for violators. The emphasis of the series is contemporary, but it includes historical perspective to provide a sense of how parties’ positions and actions have evolved through time. Each book gives a balanced overview of the parties’ positions, both in rhetoric and practice, with all viewpoints featured.


  • Provides readers with an understanding of how politics impacts the criminal justice system and treatment of law violators
  • Provides an overview of how Republicans and Democrats differ with respect to their views on criminalizing acts and responding to law violators
  • Describes how Republicans and Democrats have been similar in some legislative responses across time
  • Traces the increasing polarization of Republicans and Democrats with respect to some criminal justice issues, such as gun violence
Angela D. Madden has been the director of Themis Center for Justice Policy, Practice & Research since 2003. Previously, she was research associate professor at the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute. Since 2013, she has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on 42 grant proposals submitted to local, state, and federal funders. Of these, 23 were awarded sums totaling more than $8 million to support programming that addresses violence and other justice-related concerns. She holds a PhD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree from East Tennessee State University, and a bachelor's degree from Tusculum College (TN).
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