“There are many introduction to criminal justice textbooks; only a few can be considered “classics.” This is one of those. When the late Don Newman conceived this text and when Pat Anderson joined him as a co-author, the approach was unique in getting students to consider not “what” criminal justice is but, rather, how decision-making at various points dynamically affects what we think of as the disparate segments of the criminal justice system. With the addition of Ris Slate in the contemporary version, the decision-making approach continues and is updated to today’s contentious times in which legislative decisions made for ideological reasons result in public expectations at odds with pragmatic criminal justice decisions in the field. One of the most difficult tasks in teaching criminal justice is getting students to understand how ideological views of crime affect the practical nature of decision-making on the streets, in the offices, and around the courtrooms. By introducing these ideas at the level of an introductory course, this text makes a professor’s job substantially easier.” — Frank P. Williams III, University of Houston-Downtown “The text presents the criminal justice system in a manner different than other texts—as a complicated network influenced by a variety of actors, many of whom are behind-the-scenes and perhaps motivated by interests other than public safety. This framework for the text is particularly useful, as it helps students to appreciate the complexity of case processing, and more importantly, to understand why things are done as they are done.” — Sharon Chamard, University of Alaska Anchorage
About the Author
Patrick Anderson and Risdon Slate are Professors of Criminology at Florida Southern College.