Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Jones-Brown (Race, Crime and Punishment), Beverly D. Frazier (both law, police science and criminal justice administration, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, City Univ. of New York), and Marvie Brooks (retired, City Univ. of New York library system) tackle here a current and controversial topic. The 129 entries by 109 contributors cover 300 years of U.S. law and criminal justice practice at local, state, and federal levels. Biographical sketches of famous and infamous African Americans such as Johnnie Cochran Jr., Emmett Till, W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Medgar Evers, Trayvon Martin, and Margaret Laverne Mitchell are provided. Topical entries include some on gangs, juries, sex crimes and race, lynching, and racial profiling. Most are two to six pages in length, with some more in-depth articles running 12-14 pages. Each entry includes references. A directory of entries opens the volume and back matter supplies a lineup of contributors and a general index. A chronology of major events and legislation would have been a helpful addition. The layout is attractive and the language is approachable by undergraduates seeking background information on a topic. The material shows that the editors have made an effort to maintain objectivity in the presentation of provocative ideas, although the brevity of most entries does not allow the depth of explanation that might be needed in entries such as "Youth Violence," with its significant use of statistics. VERDICT Very recent events on this subject-the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and Eric Garner in New York, and the resulting demonstrations-are not included in this volume, but there is ample relevant material in a very attractive package for anyone doing research in this area. Highly recommended.-Rosanne Cordell, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Recent events in Ferguson, MO, cast new attention on the relationship between black Americans and the criminal justice system, making this volume particularly important. Coeditors Jones-Brown and Frazier (both, John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and coeditor Brooks (formerly, CUNY) are assisted by some 50 contributors who read like a who's who of criminal justice scholars. More than 120 alphabetically arranged entries cogently illustrate how blacks came to make up 30 percent of arrests, nearly 50 percent of the prison population, yet only 12 to 13 percent of the total population. Entries include suggested additional readings and references. This encyclopedia demonstrates how, beginning with enslavement, people of African descent have been systematically, legally oppressed at the local, state, and federal levels. Efforts to resist legalized oppression are documented from early American history to the present. This volume also features biographies of famous and infamous black crime suspects and victims from early American history to contemporary times. The text provides coverage of law and criminal justice practices from the precolonial period up to the present and a candid, inclusive assessment of how black Americans have come to be strongly identified with criminality. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. --D. Waheedah Bilal, Missouri State Library
Author notes provided by Syndetics
<p> Delores D. Jones-Brown is professor in the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.</p> <p> Beverly D. Frazier is assistant professor in the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.</p> <p> Marvie Brooks is retired from the City University of New York library system after 50 years of service.</p>