The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice, Fifth Edition by Victor E. Kappeler

The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice, Fifth Edition

Book Title: The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice, Fifth Edition

Publisher: Waveland Press, Inc.

ISBN: 1478602600

Author: Victor E. Kappeler


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Victor E. Kappeler with The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice, Fifth Edition

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The social construction of crime is often out of proportion to the threat posed. The media and advocacy groups shine a spotlight on some crimes and ignore others. Street crime is highlighted as putting everyone at risk of victimization, while the greater social harms from corporate malfeasance receive far less attention.

Social arrangements dictate what is defined as crime and the punishments for those who engage in the proscribed behavior. Interest groups promote their agendas by appealing to public fears. Justifications often have no basis in fact, but the public accepts the exaggerations and blames the targeted offenders. The net-widening effect of more laws and more punishment catches those least able to defend themselves.

This innovative alternative to traditional textbooks provides insightful observations of myths and trends in criminal justice. Fourteen chapters challenge misconceptions about specific crimes or aspects of the criminal justice system. Kappeler and Potter dissect popular images of crimes and criminals in a cogent, compelling, and engaging manner. They trace the social construction of each issue and identify the misleading statistics and fears that form the basis of myths and the collateral damage of basing policies on mythical beliefs. The authors encourage skepticism about commonly accepted beliefs, offer readers a fresh perspective, and urge them to analyze important issues from novel vantage points.

Titles of related interest from Waveland Press: Potter-Kappeler, Constructing Crime: Perspectives on Making News and Social Problems, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577664468) and Shelden et al., Crime and Criminal Justice in American Society, Second Edition (ISBN 9781478607656).