Recommended Readings


From time to time students and others have asked me to post a list of the books I would recommend they read in order to provide a better and deeper understanding of crime and criminal justice.  Below is a selection of books that I strongly recommend.  More will be added from time to time.


History of Crime and Criminal Justice


Crime and criminal justice


Beccaria, C. 1963. On Crimes and Punishment.  New York: Bobbs-Merrill.


Hay, D., P. Linebaugh, J. G. Rule, E.P. Thompson and C. Winslow (eds.). 1975. Albion's

Fatal Tree:  Crime and Society in 18th Century England. New York: Pantheon.


Erickson, K. T. 1966. Wayward Puritans. New York: John Wiley.


Foucault, M.  1979. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage;


Friedman, L. M. 1973.  A History of American Law.  New York: Simon and Schuster.


--------------- 1993. Crime and Punishment in American History.  New York: Basic Books.


Josephson, M.  1962.  The Robber Barons. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.


Lindesmith, A. R. 1965.  The Addict and the Law. New York:  Vintage Books.


Monkkonen, E. 1975.  The Dangerous Class: Crime and Poverty in Columbus, Ohio, 1860-

          1885.  Columbus: Ohio State University Press.


Musto, D. F. 1999.  The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control (3rd ed.).  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Rafter, N. H. (ed.). 1988. White Trash: The Eugenic Family Studies, 1899-1919. Boston: Northeastern University Press.


Shelden, R. G. 2008.  Controlling the Dangerous Classes: A History of Criminal Justice in

America (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


Schwartz, B. 1993.   A History of the Supreme Court.  New York: Oxford University Press.


Simon, J. 1993. Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Tigar, M. E. and M. R. Levy. 1977. Law and the Rise of Capitalism.  New York: Monthly Review Press.


Walker, S. 1998.  Popular Justice: A History of American Criminal Justice (2nd ed.) New

York: Oxford University Press.


Weiss, R. P. (ed.) 1999.  Social History of Crime, Policing and Punishment.  Brookfield, VT: Ashgate.



Death Penalty


Cutler, J. E. 1905.  Lynch Law: An Investigation into the History of Lynching in the United

States.. New York: Longman, Green. 


Masur, L. P. 1989. Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of

American Culture, 1776-1865. New York: Oxford University Press.


Raper, A. A. 1933. The Tragedy of Lynching. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.


Drug War


Lindesmith, A. R. 1965.  The Addict and the Law. New York:  Vintage Books.


Musto, D. F. 1999.  The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control (3rd ed.).  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Delinquency and Juvenile Justice


Bremner, R. H. (ed.). 1970. Children and Youth in America. Cambridge: Harvard University

Press (3 vol. set).


Hawes, J.  1971. Children in Urban Society.  New York: Oxford University Press.


Holt, M. I. 1992.  The Orphan Trains.  Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.


Kett, J. F. 1977.  Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America, 1790 to the Present. New York: Basic Books.


Mennel, R.  1973. Thorns and Thistles: Juvenile Delinquents in the U.S., 1820-1940

Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.


Miller, J. G. 1998.  Last One Over the Wall (2nd ed.).  Columbus: Ohio State University Press.


Pickett, R.  1969.  House of Refuge.  Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.


Pisciotta, A 1994.  Benevolent Repression: Social Control and the American Reformatory-Prison Movement.  New York: New York University Press.


Platt, A.  2009.  The Child Savers (40th anniversary edition).  Chicago: University of Chicago



Postman, N.  1994. The Disappearance of Childhood.  New York: Vintage.


Schlossman, S. 1977. Love and the American Delinquent: The Theory and Practice of

“Progressive” Juvenile Justice, 1825-1920.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Sutton, J. R. 1988.  Stubborn Children: Controlling Delinquency in the United States,

16401981. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Thrasher, F. 1927.  The Gang.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.




Critchley, T. A.  1972.  A History of Police in England and Wales.  Montclair, NJ: Patterson



Lane, R.  1967.  Policing the City: Boston, 1822-1885. Cambridge: Harvard University



Miller, W. R. 1999. Cops and Bobbies: Police Authority in New York and London, 1830-1870

(2nd ed.). Columbus: Ohio State University Press.


Reith, C. 1975. The Blind Eye of History:  A Study of the Origins of the Pres­ent Police Era.  Montclair, N.J.: Patterson Smith (originally published 1952).


Richardson, J. F. 1974.  Urban Police in the U.S.  Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press.


Punishment and imprisonment


Barnes, H. E. 1972.  The Story of Punishment. Montclair, NJ: Patterson Smith (originally

published in 1930).


Christianson, S.  1998.  With Liberty for Some: 500 Years of Imprisonment in America

Boston: Northeastern University Press.


de Beaumont, G. and A. de Tocqueville. 1964. On the Penitentiary System in the United States and Its Application in France.

          Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press (originally published 1833).


Foucault, M. 1979. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage.


Hindus, M. S. 1980. Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice and Authority in Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1767-1878. 

        Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.


Lewis, W. D. 2009.  From Newgate to Dannemora: The Rise of the Penitentiary in New

York, 1796-1848. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (originally published in 1964).


Morris, N. and D. J. Rothman (eds.) 1995.  The Oxford History of the Prison.  New York:

Oxford University Press.


Murton, T. and J. Hyams. 1969.  Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal.  New York: Grove Press.


Newman, G. (1985).  The Punishment Response (2nd ed.).  Albany, NY: Harrow and Heston


Rothman, D. 1971.  The Discovery of the Asylum. Boston:  Little, Brown.


---------------- 1980.  Conscience and Convenience: The Asylum and Its Alternatives in

Progressive America.  Boston: Little Brown.


Rusche, G. and O. Kirchheimer. 1968.  Punishment and Social Structure.   New York:

Russell and Russell (originally published 1938).


Sellin, J. T. 1944.  Pioneering in Penology: The Amsterdam Houses of Correction in the

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


---------------- 1976.  Slavery and the Penal System. New York: Elsevier.


Tannenbaum, F. 1933.  Osborne of Sing Sing. Chapel, NC: University of North Carolina



Wagner, D. 2005.  The Poorhouse America’s Forgotten Institution. New York: Rowman and






Blackmon, D. 2008.  Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans

from the Civil War to World War II.  New York: Doubleday.


Curtin, M. E. 2000.  Black Prisoners and Their World, Alabama, 1865-1900.  Charlottesville:

University Press of Virginia


Helmer, J. 1975.  Drugs and Minority Oppression.  New York: Seabury Press.


Lichtenstein, A.  1996. Twice the Work of Free Labor: the Political Economy of Convict Labor

in the New South.  New York: Verso.


Mancini, M. J. 1996.  One Dies, Get Another: Convict Leasing in the American South, 1866-

1928. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.


Oshinsky, D. M. 1996. Worse than Slavery: Parchman and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

New York: Free Press.


Woodward, C. V. 1955.  The Strange Career of Jim Crow. New York: Oxford Uni­versity Press.




Brenzel, B. 1983. Daughters of the State. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Freedman, E. B. 1981. Their Sisters' Keepers: Women's Prison Reform in America, 1830-

1930. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.


Knupfer, A. M. 2001.  Reform and Resistance: Gender, Delinquency, and America’s First

Juvenile Court. New York: Routledge.


Kunzel, R. 1993. Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the

Professionalization of Social Work, 1890-1945. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Odem, M. 1995. Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality

in the United States, 1885-1920.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.


Rafter, N. H. 1990.  Partial Justice: Women, Prisons, and Social Control (2nd ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.


Tappan, P. 1947.  Delinquent Girls in Court.  New York: Columbia University Press.


Contemporary (post-1950s) Readings


Corporate Crime


Cullen, L. 2002. A Job to Die For.  Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.


Derber, C.  1998.  Corporation Nation.  New York: St. Martin’s Press.


Friedrichs, D.O. 2004.  Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society (2nd

          ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Korten, D. C. 2001.  When Corporations Rule the World (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-



Crime and Criminal Justice


Becker, H. S. 1963  Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: Free Press.


Bohm, R. M. 1997.  A Primer on Crime and Delinquency.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Chambliss, W. J. (ed). 1975. Criminal Law in Action. New York: John Wiley.


------------------ 1999.  Power, Politics, and Crime.  Boulder, CO: Westview.


------------------ and R. Seidman. 1982.  Law, Order and Power (2nd  ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.


Currie, E. 1998.  Crime and Punishment in America.  New York: Metropolitan Books.


Donner, F. J.  1980.  The Age of Surveillance.  New York: Knopf.


Donziger, S. 1996.  The Real War on Crime. New York: Harper/Collins


Garland, D. 1990.  Punishment and Modern Society: A Study in Social Theory. Chicago:

          University of Chicago Press.


----------------.2001.  The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary

Society.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Glassner, B. 1999.  The Culture of Fear.  New York: Basic Books.


Gottfredson, M. R. and D. M. Gottfredson.  1988. Decision Making in Criminal Justice: Toward the Rational Exercise of Discretion.  New York: Plenum Press.


Neubauer, D. W. 2005.  America's Courts and the Criminal Justice System (8th

ed.).  Belmont, CA: Thompson/Wadsworth.


Packer, H. L. 1968.  The Limits of the Criminal Sanction. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.


President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. 1967. Task Force Report: Science and Technology. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Scheingold, S. A. 1984.  The Politics of Law and Order: Street Crime and Public Policy. New

York: Longman.


Staples, W. G. 1997. The Culture of Surveillance: Discipline and Social Control in the United

States. New York: St. Martin's Press.


Walker, S. 2006. Sense and Nonsense About Crime and Drugs (6th ed.).  Belmont, CA:



Wice, P. B. 1985.  Chaos in the Courthouse: The Inner Workings of the Urban Criminal Courts.  New York: Praeger.


Comparative Criminology


Miethe, T. and H. Lu. 2005. Punishment: A Comparative Historical Perspective. New York:

Cambridge University Press.


Critical Criminology


American Friends Service Committee.  Struggle for Justice. New York: Hill & Wang, 1971.


Balbus, I.  The Dialectics of Legal Repression.  New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1973.


Browning, S. L. R. R. Miller and R. D. Coates (eds.). 2004. The Common Good: A Critical

Examination of Law and Social Control. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.


Greenberg, D. F. (ed.) 1993. Crime and Capitalism (2nd ed.).  Philadelphia: Temple

University Press.


Quinney, R. (ed.). 1974 Criminal Justice in America: A Critical Understanding.  Boston:

Little, Brown.


----------------- 1980.  Class, State and Crime (2nd ed.).  New York: Longman.


_________ 2002. Critique of Legal Order: Crime Control in Capitalist Society. Piscataway,

NJ: Transaction Books (originally published in 1974).


--------------- 2001. The Social Reality of Crime. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books

(originally published in 1970).


Shelden, R. G., W. B. Brown, K. Miller and R. Fritzler (2015).  Crime and Criminal Justice in

American Society.  Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press (2nd edition).


Taylor, I., P. Walton and J. Young.1973.  The New Criminology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.


Terkel, G. 1996.  Law and Society: Critical Approaches.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.



Crime Control/Prison Industry


Christie, N. 2000.  Crime Control as industry: Towards Gulags, Western Style? (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.


Diaz, T. 1999. Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America.  New York: New Press.


Dyer, J. 2000.  The Perpetual Prisoner Machine: How America Profits from Crime.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press.


Gilmore, R. W. 2007.  Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing

California.  Berkeley: University of California Press.


Hallett, M.  2006.  Race, Crime and For-Profit Prisons.  Champaign, IL: University of Illinois



Low, S. 2003. Behind the Gates: Life, Security, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress

America. New York: Routledge.


Donna Selman, D. and P. Leighton. 2010. Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business

and the Incarceration Binge. New York: Rowman & Littlefield



Death Penalty



Balbus, D. C., G. Woodworth and C. A. Pulaski. 1990. Equal Justice and the Death Penalty: A Legal and Empirical Analysis.  Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Bedau, H. (ed.) 1964.  The Death Penalty in America. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.


Bowers, W. 1984.  Legal Homicide: Death as Punishment in America, 1864-1982.  Boston:

Northeastern University Press.


Brundage, W. F. (ed.). 1997. Under Sentence of Death: Lynchings in the South.  Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 


Costanzo, M. 1997. Just Revenge: Costs and Consequences of the Death Penalty. Belmont,

CA: Wadsworth. 


Gross, S. R. and R. Mauro.  1989.  Death and Discrimination: Racial Disparities in Capital Sentencing. Boston: Northeastern University Press.


Harries, K., and D. Cheatwood. 1997. The Geography of Execution: The Capital Punishment Quagmire in America. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield.


Johnson, R. 1998. Death Work: A Study of the Modern Execution Process.  Belmont, CA:



Radelet, M. L. (ed.). 1989. Facing the Death Penalty: Essays on a Cruel and Unusual

Punishment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


---------  and C. E. Putnam. 1992.  In Spite of Innocence.  Boston: Northeastern University



Tolnay, S. E. and E. M. Beck 1995.  Festival of Violence. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.


Waldrep, C. 2006. Lynching in America: A History in Documents.  New York: New York

University Press


Delinquency and Juvenile Justice


Chesney-Lind, M. and R. G. Shelden. 2015. Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (4th

ed.).  Walden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


Dryfoos, J. 1991. Adolescents at Risk. New York: Oxford University Press.


Lerner, S.  1986. Bodily Harm: The Pattern of Fear and Violence at the California Youth Authority.  Bolinas, CA: Common Knowledge Press.


Shelden, R. G. 2012. Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society (2nd ed.).  Long

Grove, IL: Waveland Press.


Drug War


Baum, D.  1997. Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure. Boston:

Little Brown/Back Bay Books.


Cockburn, A. and J. St. Clair. 1999. Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Media.  New York:



Currie, E. 1993 Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future.  New York: Hill and Wang.


Gray, M. 2000.  Drug Crazy. New York: Routledge.


Inciardi, J.  A. 2002.  The War on Drugs III.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


McCoy, A. W. 2003.  The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. Chicago: Lawrence Hill

(originally published in 1973).  


Miron, J. 2004. Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition. San Francisco:

Independent Institute.


Reinarman, C. and H. G. Levine (eds.). 1997. Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.


Webb, G.  1998.  Dark Alliance.  New York: Seven Stories Press.




Klein, M. 1995.  The American Street Gang. New York: Oxford University Press.


McCorkle, R. C. and T. D. Miethe. 2001. Panic: The Social Construction of the Street Gang Problem. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


Shelden, R. G., S. Tracy and W. Brown. 2015.  Youth Gangs in American Society (4th ed.).

Belmont, CA:  Thompson/Wadsworth.


Law and Legal Issues


Black, D.  1976. The Behavior of Law. New York: Academic Press.


Duster, T. 1970.  The Legislation of Morality.  New York: Free Press.


Lewis, A. 1964.  Gideon's Trumpet. New York: Harper & Row.




Alex, N.  Black in Blue: A Study of Negro Policemen. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1969.


Bordua, D. (ed.). 1967.  The Police: Six Sociological Essays.  New York: John Wiley.


Duneier, M. Sidewalk. 1999. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Kappeler, V. (Ed.). 2006. The Police and Society: Touchstone Readings (3rd ed.). Long

Grove, IL: Waveland Press.


Kappeler, V. E. and L.K. Gaines.2011. Community Policing: A Contemporary Perspective,

     (6th ed.). Waltham, MA: Anderson Publishing.


Walker, S. and C. M. Katz. 2013. The Police in America: An Introduction (8th ed.). New York:





Goffman, I.  1961. Asylums.  New York: Doubleday.


Irwin, J. 1970.  The Felon. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.


-------------1980. Prisons in Turmoil. Boston: Little Brown.


----------- 1985.  The Jail: Managing the Underclass in American Society.  Berkeley:

University of California Press.


----------- 2005. The Warehouse Prison: Disposal of the New Dangerous Class.  Los

Angeles: Roxbury Press.


----------- 2009. Lifers: Seeking Redemption in Prison. New York: Routledge.


Johnson, R. 2002. Hard Time: Understanding and Reforming the Prison (3rd ed.).  Belmont,

CA: Wadsworth. 



Lawrence, S. and J. Travis. 2004. The New Landscape of Imprisonment: Mapping America’s

Prison Expansion. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.


Mauer, M. and M. Chesney-Lind (eds.). 2002. Invisible Punishment: the Collateral

Consequences of Mass Imprisonment.  New York: New Press.  


Parenti, C. 2009. Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2nd ed.). New York: Verso.  


Petersilia, J. 2003. When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry. New York:

Oxford University Press. 


Reiman, J.  H. 2007.  The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison (8th ed.).  Boston: Allyn

and Bacon.


Shichor, D. and D. K. Sechrest (eds.). 1996. Three Strikes and You're Out: Vengeance as Public Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Tonry, M. (ed.). 2001 Penal Reform in Overcrowded Times. New York: Oxford University



Weiss, R. P. and N. South (eds.). 1999. Comparing Prison Systems: Toward a Comparative and International Penology.  Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.


Welch, M. 1999.  Punishment in America.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.




Alexander, M. 2010.  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

New York: New Press.


Cole, D. 1999.  No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice

System. New York: The New Press.


Goffman, A. 2015.  On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. New York: Picador. 


Higginbotham, A. L. 1996. Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of American

Legal Process.  New York: Oxford University Press.


Kennedy, R.  1997.  Race, Crime and the Law.  New York: Vintage.


Mauer, M. 2006.  Race to Incarcerate (2nd ed.). New York: The New Press.


Miller, J. G. 1996. Search and Destroy: African-Americans Males in the Criminal Justice System.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Lynch, M. J. and E. B. Patterson (eds.). 1991.  Race and Criminal Justice. New York: Harrow

and Heston.


Provine, D. M. 2007. Unequal Under Law: Race in the War on Drugs. Chicago: University of

Chicago Press.


Street, P. 2002.  The Vicious Circle: Race, Prisons, Jobs, and Community in Chicago, Illinois

and the Nation. Chicago: Chicago Urban League.


Tonry, M. 1995.  Malign Neglect: Race, Crime, and Punishment in America.  New York: Oxford University Press.


Walker, S., C. Spohn and M. DeLone. 2007. The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime

in America (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


State (Government) Crime


Blackstock, N. 1975. COINTELPRO: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom. New York:

Vintage Books.


Chomsky, N. 1992.  Deterring Democracy.  New York: Hill and Wang.


------------------1993. Year 501: The Conquest Continues. Boston: South End Press.


Johnson, C.  The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic.  New

York: Metropolitan Books, 2004.


Kinzer, S. 2006. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to

Iraq. New York: Times Books, Henry Holt and Company.


Michalowski, R. and R. Kramer (Eds.). 2006.  State-Corporate Crime.  New Brunswick, NJ:

Rutgers University Press. 




Elias, R. 1993.  Victims Still: The Political Manipulation of Crime Victims.  Thousand Oaks,

CA: Sage.  


Karmen, A. 2009.  Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Women and Crime


Chesney-Lind, M. and L. Pasko. 2004. The Female Offender: Girls, Women and Crime (2nd

ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Collins, C. F. 1997. The Imprisonment of African-American Women.  Jefferson, NC:



Messerschmidt, J. W. 1997. Crime as Structured Action: Gender, Race, Class, and Crime in

the Making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Watterson, K. 1996. Women in Prison: Inside the Concrete Womb. Boston: Northeastern

University Press.