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NEW!!!! Girls, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice (4th edition)

Winner of the American Society of Criminology's Hindelang Award in 1992.  The Award is given annually for the book published during the previous two or three years that makes the most outstanding contribution to research in criminology.  The most often cited book on the subject of girls and delinquency.


The new edition of Girls, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice combines cutting-edge research and expanded coverage of girls’ delinquency, including coverage of girls in gangs and the sexual trafficking of girls, to provide students with an accessible, up-to-date, and globally oriented textbook.
  • Including global perspectives and coverage of cutting-edge research, this is the only textbook to deal exclusively with girls and crime
  • Offers expanded coverage of girls in gangs and emerging literature on the sexual trafficking of girls
  • Pulls together and analyzes all existing literature on the subject of female delinquency
  • Brings to light new research on a wide range of issues, including the conditions of confinement for girls incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons, Latina girls, and gender responsive programming
  • Explores the moral panic around "violent," "bad," and "mean" girls







NEW!!!! Youth Gangs In American Society (4th edition)

The latest edition of a well established text "that has become one of the most widely cited sources on the topic of gangs.  No other book provides such a thoughtful, detailed investigation of gangs as does this popular text." 

Todd Clear, Distinguished Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice












Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society (2nd ed.)




“Randall Shelden’s Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society presents the fortunate reader with a lifetime of the author’s study of crime and delinquency.  The analysis is informed by a progressive and historical understanding of the nature of American society.  Solutions to the problems of delinquency are based on a well-grounded sense of social justice.  This will be the text that I will recommend to anyone who wants and needs to know about delinquency and juvenile justice.”

 Richard Quinney, Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University

 “Great addition to this textbook topic. Strong sociological and progressive approach throughout the chapters. Useful blend of gang research into the analysis. A concise discussion of sociological theories of delinquency is offered. This has the potential to be the best textbook in the field given its discussion of scholarly ideas and justice policies in relation to each other. Also, very readable style for students.

 John Wozniak, Western Illinois University










 Juvenile Justice in America: Problems and Prospects

 Edited by Randall G. Shelden and Daniel Macallair

The editors of this volume collectively have more than sixty years of experience researching and writing about juvenile delinquency and developing and evaluating programs for juvenile offenders. Despite declines in youth crime, public perceptions of youth violence have contributed to widespread support for dismantling the juvenile court system and trying children as adults— replacing rehabilitation with incarceration as the solution to juvenile delinquency.

The articles in the first section discuss current issues in the juvenile justice system: the failures of detention and correctional facilities; disproportionate jailing of minority offenders; aftercare; and the double standard for juvenile girls. Each of the articles underscores the issues of class, gender, and racial bias. The articles in the second section offer recommendations for reform: the need to seek alternative perspectives on what constitutes delinquency; appropriate measures for addressing problem behavior; detention diversion; alternatives to secure confinement; and effective programs designed specifically for girl offenders.


Crime and Criminal Justice in American Society

This text examines the components and processes of the criminal justice system and offers an alternative interpretation.  Differences in outcomes are explained from the standpoint of class, race and gender. Among other unique topics, the text covers the problem of dealing with the mentally ill, domestic violence and the prison industrial complex.

Second Edition Coming Soon!!



Our Punitive Society: Race, Class, Gender and Punishment in America


"For almost 40 years, Randall Shelden has been known for his ground-breaking work in juvenile delinquency, gangs, and the history of American criminal justice.   Two of the finest additions to the literature are his Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society (2006) and Controlling the Dangerous Classes (2008).  In this new text, Shelden has done it again by providing an interpretative overview for a number of disturbing trends in American justice.   For the United States of America to sustain a Gulag system which has historical overtones to slavery is indeed a very serious indictment of neo-liberal, criminal justice policies.  Luckily for us all, Shelden provides a way out of this failed legacy.  This is a superb overview of the issues facing all Americans, and an equally cogent explanation for the historical patterns." 

Prof. Matthew G. Yeager, King’s University College, University of Western Ontario

“This book challenges conventional wisdom about crime and punishment in the United States.  Tracing the origins of the rise in penal sanctioning to slavery and poor houses, Shelden not only identifies macroeconomic forces as relevant to imprisonment—he connects them directly. Poverty and political powerlessness remain strong predictors of incarceration. Only when we confront these realities will we achieve a viable and humane alternative to our current incarceration binge.  I will use this book as required reading.”

Michael Hallett, Professor and Chair, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of North Florida





Controlling The Dangerous Classes (2nd edition)

"Shelden's penetrating and highly informative study unravels the historical roots of contemporary criminal justice systems and places them in the context of measures to sustain hierarchies of class, gender and race." 

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, MIT