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Cop Watch by Hans TochIn Cop Watch: Spectators, Social Media, and Police Reform, renowned social psychologist Hans Toch takes stock of the vast changes in police procedures that have occurred over the last half-century by examining the evolving role of spectators to police-citizen interactions. This sympathetic and informed analysis details the concerns of both disgruntled citizens and unsettled police. Their interactions are played out on a broad stage, from 1960s riots and Kerner Commission findings, to 2011 accusations of police brutality in Seattle. In this unflinching examination of the power of the crowd and society to shape police practice, Toch provides a uniquely compelling look at the struggles and complexities of policing in a volatile world.
The Harms of Crime Media by Denise L. Bissler (Editor); Joan L. Conners (Editor)A scan of today's television programming reveals numerous media stories, factual and fictional, featuring some aspect of crime. These depictions can stray far from reality, with the effect of creating and reinforcing distorted impressions. This collection offers a sociological analysis of race, class, and gender stereotypes within crime media. Essays discuss particular examples of inequalities and stereotypes, consider the implications of such portrayals, and demonstrate how they influence the public's expectations and beliefs about real-world crime.
The Victimization of Women by Michelle L. Meloy; Susan L. MillerIn The Victimization of Women, Michelle Meloy and Susan Miller present a balanced, comprehensive, and objective summary of the most significant research on the victimizations, violence, and victim politics that disproportionately affect women. They examine the history of violence against women, the surrounding debates, the legal reforms and justice system outcomes, the related media and social-service responses, and the current science on intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. Plus, they augment these victimization findings with original research on women convicted of domestic battery and men convicted of sexual abuse and other sex-related offenses. In these new data the authors explore the unanticipated consequences associated with changes to the laws governing domestic violence and the newer forms of sex-offender legislation. Both of these investigations are based on qualitative data that involve in-depth offender-based interviews that probe the circumstances surrounding the arrests and victimizations involved in the cases, the significant legal issues, and their experiences with the criminal justice system.
The Central Park Five by Sarah BurnsA riveting, in-depth account of one of New York City’s most notorious crimes. On April 20, 1989, the body of a woman is discovered in Central Park, her skull so badly smashed that nearly 80 percent of her blood has spilled onto the ground. Within days, five black and Latino teenagers confess to her rape and beating. In a city where urban crime is at a high and violence is frequent, the ensuing media frenzy and hysterical public reaction is extraordinary. The young men are tried as adults and convicted of rape, despite the fact that the teens quickly recant their inconsistent and inaccurate confessions and that no DNA tests or eyewitness accounts tie any of them to the victim. They serve their complete sentences before another man, serial rapist Matias Reyes, confesses to the crime and is connected to it by DNA testing. Intertwining the stories of these five young men, the police officers, the district attorneys, the victim, and Matias Reyes, Sarah Burns unravels the forces that made both the crime and its prosecution possible. Most dramatically, she gives us a portrait of a city already beset by violence and deepening rifts between races and classes, whose law enforcement, government, social institutions, and media were undermining the very rights of the individuals they were designed to safeguard and protect.