Conservative Criminology serves as an important counterpoint to virtually every other academic text on crime. Hundreds of books have been written about crime and criminal justice policy from a variety of perspectives, including Marxist, liberal, progressive, feminist, radical, and post-modernist. To date, however, no book has been written outlining a conservative perspective on crime and criminal justice policy. Not a polemic against liberalism, Conservative Criminology nonetheless focuses on how liberal ideology affects the study of crime and criminals and the policies that criminologist advocate. Wright and DeLisi, both senior scholars, give a voice to a major political philosophy—a philosophy often demonized by academics—and to conservatives in the academic world. In the end, Conservative Criminology calls for an investment in intellectual diversity, a respect for varying political philosophies, and a renewed commitment to honesty in scholarship.
The authors encourage debate in the profession about the proper role of ideology in the academy and in public policies on crime and justice. Conservative Criminology is for the criminal justice professional and student. It serves as a stimulating supplement to courses in criminology and criminal justice, as well as a primary text for special issues or capstone courses. This book supports the reader in recognizing ideological biases, whatever they might be, and in considering their own convictions.
Wright and DeLisi provide an invaluable primer in the much-neglected area of conservative criminology. They indict the dominant liberal paradigm for using its power to silence uncomfortable views and for using ideological purity, not science, to decide controversial issues. Whether readers find its claims irritating or illuminating, Conservative Criminology promises to provoke important debates and to force progressives, such as myself, to sharpen our thinking and compile more convincing evidence. It is a volume that should be read by all.
- Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati
Using reason and data Wright and DeLisi persuasively argue that criminology has been contaminated by an overwhelming commitment to leftist ideology. Conservative Criminology offers a refreshing and open discussion regarding the need for a diversity of thought in criminology that includes a conservative voice. A must read for all criminologists!
-Michael G. Vaughn, Saint Louis University
Wright and DeLisi’s Conservative Criminology presents an inconvenient truth that criminology has shut out an important way of looking at the world. As a liberal criminologist, I found it compelling, frustrating, and challenging, all at the same time! It’s a must read for scholars and students alike.
- Travis Pratt, University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute