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Justice Without Trial: Law Enforcement in Democratic Society Second Edition
Justice Without Trial Law Enforcement in Democratic Society Second Edition Author:Jerome H. Skolnick Published in 1975, ten years after the groundbreaking First Edition, now Skolnick's classic study is even more penetrating. The new edition contains an epilogue--"Ten Years After"--that examines such current topics as political crime, the concern with dissident groups, the rise of law and order as a political issue. — Basing his analysis on nume... more »rous community and case studies, Skolnick discusses such key issues as the organization of the police; the extent of the police bureaucracy; narcotics and vice investigation; the informer's payoff and its consequences; the relationship between policemen and minority groups, addicts and prostitutes.« less
This is a classic in the study of criminal justice in the United States. Although it was updated shortly after Watergate, it came after some decisions by the Warren court (Miranda, for example) began to change the interaction between cops and suspects to sculpt the modern behavior of police on the street. To my knowledge, the text is still a seminal work in sociology courses focusing on criminal justice. Skolnik's observations are still valid, and are the basis for many later sociological works focusing on police interaction with society. Fortunately, the text is also pretty accessible, though dense in some places. If you are interested in the behavior of the police as a sociologist, as a writer, or as an aspiring officer, this book will have something to say to you and will make you think about why certain patterns in criminal justice have persisted for decades, despite the "War on Drugs" and harsh sentences mandated since the book's publication.