Civil Liability in Criminal Justice  book cover
7th Edition

Civil Liability in Criminal Justice

ISBN 9781351062664
Published May 24, 2018 by Routledge
560 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The increasing litigation against criminal justice practitioners in the United States poses a significant problem for law enforcement and other personnel. Law enforcement and corrections professionals need to have a working knowledge of both criminal law and the civil law process to ensure that they are performing their duties within the limits of the law. Civil Liability in Criminal Justice, 7th Edition, provides valuable information and recommendations to current and future officers and correctional system employees, introducing them to civil liability and federal law, as well as recommending strategies that can be taken to minimize risks.

Civil Liability in Criminal Justice is unique in its combination of applicable case law and related liability research, while still providing an overview of current case law in high-liability areas. This new edition, revised to include up-to-date United States Supreme Court cases, including liability trends on the use of force, arrest-related deaths, custodial suicides in detention, qualified immunity, and the outcomes of the Department of Justice and the application of Section 14141, additional context for liability issues, and extended coverage of collective bargaining and public perception, is a valuable resource for enhancing student knowledge and practitioner job performance.

The text is suitable for undergraduate and graduate courses in Criminal Justice programs as well as for in-service and academy training. Ross offers an engaging, accessible introduction to this aspect of the US criminal justice system.

Table of Contents

1. Overview of Civil Liability 

2. Foundations for Liability 

3. Civil Liability Under State and Federal Tort Law 

4. Civil Liability and Federal Law 

5. Defenses to Civil Litigation and Risk Management 

6. Administrative and Supervisory Liability 

7. Liability for Failure to Train 

8. Operating Criminal Justice Agencies Under a Consent Decree 

9. Personnel Issues and Liability 

10. Use of Force in Law Enforcement and Corrections 

11. Section 1983 and Correctional Liability Issues 

12. Section 1983 Actions in Law Enforcement 

13. Liability and Arrest-Related Deaths 

14. Liability and Suicides in Detention 

15. Conclusions: Shifting Directions in Civil Litigation

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Darrell L. Ross, Ph.D., is Professor and Department Head of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, and Director of the Center for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) at Valdosta State University, USA. Ross worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections as an officer, cell block supervisor of mentally impaired prisoners, probation officer, and instructor in the training academy, and taught in the Police Academy at Ferris State University as a certified instructor teaching subject control techniques, human factors, mechanics of arrest, and responding to the mentally ill person. He was the Director of the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University and served on the faculty and as chair of the criminal justice program at East Carolina University. Ross has published five books, more than 95 articles, book chapters, and monographs, and has provided expert witness services since 1987.


"Dr. Ross’s book teaches law enforcement agencies how to see operations through the lens of risk. Now for every training event or planned operation we identify the risks and the control measures to counter them. The end result: we have seen a remarkable reduction in consequences of legal liability, and better officer performance and perceived professionalism from the community."—Jim A. Blocker, Chief of Police, Battle Creek, Michigan     

"Dr. Ross provides the ‘A to Z’ reference book for civil liability in a criminal justice setting, whether it be day to day policing or overseeing offenders in correctional institutions. A practical, subject-by-subject guide, this book gives clear data and reasoning behind civil liability, what drives it and how to mitigate it. The final chapter clearly sets out trends based on law and recent Court decisions. A must read, this book should be in the hands of every American criminal justice executive."--Jim Ferraris, Chief of Police, Woodburn, Oregon, Police Department

"This text discusses complex concepts and principles in easily understood language. It is thoroughly researched and well organized. Readers will learn duties and responsibilities that are owed to all and strategies to prevent harms and avoid or limit exposure to civil liability."-- Andrew Fulkerson, J.D., Ph.D., Professor, Southeast Missouri State University; former judge and prosecuting attorney, State of Arkansas