5 Great Books About Criminal Justice

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Staff Writers
Updated March 24, 2021

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5 Terrific Criminal Justice Books

  • Inside the Criminal Mind
  • There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America
  • Cops Don't Cry
  • The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things
  • Policing ‘Domestic' Violence: Women, the Law and the State

For those pursuing a Criminal Justice degree or who are just interested in the subject, there are many fine books worth reading. These books provide excellent insight into exactly what goes on in our criminal justice system. Here are 5 books about criminal justice that everyone should read:

1. Inside the Criminal Mind

This 1984 book by Dr. Stanton Samenow, who is a clinical psychologist with more than 3 decades of experience in working with a variety of criminals, not only explores the mind of a criminal and how it differs from that of an ordinary citizen, but it also exposes common myths about crime and how to prevent it. It further details how to properly rehabilitate criminals.

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2. There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America

This award-winning 1991 book by Wall Street Journal reporter Alex Kotlowitz tells the story of two young African-American boys growing up in a Chicago public housing project, and how their lives were affected by both neglect and crime. The book gives tremendous insight into the causes of crime and how it affects children. The Los Angeles Times called the book both "impressive and unsettling."

3. Cops Don't Cry

This 1999 book by Vali Stone provides readers a view into the daily lives of police officers, from the perspective of a wife of one of these officers. The book shows what an emotionally trying job police officers have and how these emotions affect not only the officer but his or her family as well. It further offers solutions for improving the emotional well being of police officers.

4. The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things

This 2010 book by sociology professor Barry Glassner was not only a bestseller, but it also was awarded the book of the year by numerous publications. It demonstrates how the level of crime has not really increased in recent years, in spite of public perceptions. Glassner shows how only the fear of crime has increased and how it has increased dramatically. He goes on to make the case that these fears have gotten in the way of society solving issues that actually threaten it.

5. Policing ‘Domestic' Violence: Women, the Law and the State

This 1989 book by sociology professor Susan S. M. Edwards focuses on domestic violence. Drawing upon extensive research, the book details the causes of domestic violence and what law enforcement and the legal system should do to control it. It further delves into the important question of whether family privacy should take precedence over the protection of women.

In conclusion, there are many useful and gripping books about criminal justice. These books can be especially helpful for people in the process of attaining a Criminal Justice degree.

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