Contemporary Corrections : A Critical Thinking Approach book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Corrections
A Critical Thinking Approach

ISBN 9780367028671
Published October 5, 2020 by Routledge
606 Pages

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USD $74.95

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Book Description

Contemporary Corrections: A Critical Thinking Approach introduces readers to the essential elements of the US corrections system without drowning students in a sea of nonessential information. Unbiased and accessible, the text includes coverage of the history of corrections, alternatives to incarceration, probation/parole, race/ethnicity/gender issues in corrections, re-entry into the community, and more. The authors' unparalleled practical approach, reinforced by contemporary examples, illuminates the role corrections plays in our society.

The authors have reinvigorated earlier work with additional content on international comparative data to increase our understanding of how prison officials in other nations have developed different types of responses to the problems that challenge every US correctional administrator, a new chapter on correctional personnel, and an integration of race and ethnicity issues throughout the book.

Unrivaled in scope, this book offers undergraduates a concise but comprehensive introduction to corrections with textual materials and assignments designed to encourage students’ critical thinking skills.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Corrections
Case Study
Overview of American Correctional Systems
Philosophies of Punishment
Criminological Theories and Corrections
Direct and Indirect Costs of Imprisonment
Five Trends Affecting Corrections

Chapter 2: A Brief History of Punishments and Corrections
Case Study
A History of Punishments
The Origins and Evolution of American Jails
The Development of the Penitentiary
Prison Reform

Chapter 3: Sentencing and Criminal Sanctions
Case Study
Sentencing Options
Decision-Making and Sentencing
After the Verdict
Sentencing Trends

Chapter 4: Probation and Community Corrections
Case Study
A Short History of Community Supervision
Diverting Individuals from the Justice System
Ordinary Probation
Intermediate Sanctions
Characteristics of Community Corrections Programs
Probation Officer Roles and Functions
Increasing Successful Probation Outcomes

Chapter 5: Jails and Detention Facilities
Case Study
Contemporary Jail and Detention Facilities
Alternative Detention Arrangements
Profile of Jail Inmates
Jail Design
Jail Personnel
Major Jail Challenges

Chapter 6: Institutional Corrections
Case Study
Prisoner Management
Institutional Controls
Prison Types and Functions
Inmate Classification
Federal Prison System
State Prison Systems
Private Prison Systems

Chapter 7: Correctional Personnel
Case Study
Corrections Officers
Corrections Counselors
Community-Based Corrections: Probation and Parole Officers
Administrative and Support Staff
Employee Ethics
Well-Being and Corrections Work

Chapter 8: Prisoners and Prison Life
Case Study
Evolution of Jail and Prison Culture
The Pains of Imprisonment
Prison Effects
Jail and Prison Gangs: Security Threat Groups

Chapter 9: Living and Dying in Prison
Case Study
Life-Sentenced Prisoners
Elderly Prisoners
Capital Punishment

Chapter 10: Parole and Prisoner Reentry
Case Study
Origins of Parole
The Administration of Parole
Conditions of Release
Violations of Parole
Community Reentry

Chapter 11: Gender Issues in Corrections
Case Study
Nature and Extent of Female Criminality
Explaining Women's Involvement in Crime
A Brief History of Women’s Incarceration
Women in Corrections
Operating Women’s Correctional Facilities
Inmate Culture in Women’s Jails and Prisons

Chapter 12: Corrections Law and Inmate Litigation
Case Study
The History of Inmate Litigation
Inmate Litigation and Postconviction Relief
Legal Assistance and Legal Access
Inmate Advocates, Advocacy Groups, and Ombudsmen
Laws and Litigation Dealing with Probation and Parole
Issues Raised by Corrections Lawsuits
Emerging Issues in Inmate Litigation

Chapter 13: The Future of Corrections
Case Study
Future Correctional Philosophies
Forecasting Future Correctional Trends
External Factors Influencing Correctional Operations
Internal Factors Influencing Correctional Operations|
Future Correctional Research
The Challenges Ahead for Corrections
Vested Interests and the Prison-Industrial Complex


A bonus chapter, Juvenile Corrections, is available for download on the website. See the "Support Material" tab.

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Rick Ruddell is Professor and Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies at the University of Regina. Prior to this appointment, he served as Director of Operational Research with the Correctional Service of Canada and held faculty positions at Eastern Kentucky University and the California State University, Chico. In addition to publishing over 130 articles and technical reports, his recently published books include Oil, Gas, and Crime: The Dark Side of the Boomtown, Policing Rural Canada, Exploring Criminal Justice in Canada, and Making Sense of Criminal Justice.

G. Larry Mays is Regents Professor Emeritus at New Mexico State University. He has published more than 100 journal articles, practitioner texts, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. Among the books he has coauthored are America's Courts and the Judicial Process, 2nd edition (2017), Introduction to Criminal Justice, 2nd edition (2019), and Making Sense of Criminal Justice, 3rd edition. (2019). Mays has received numerous awards, including the Carnegie Foundation's Professor of the Year for the State of New Mexico, and he is a life member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

L. Thomas Winfree, Jr. is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University. Besides teaching literally tens of thousands of students over his 40-year academic career, Winfree authored or co-authored over 130 refereed articles and book chapters. Moreover, he is the coauthor of two anthologies and eight textbooks, most recently Essentials of Criminological Theory with Howard Abadinsky (2017); Mental Illness and Criminal Justice with Anne Fisher Segal and Stan Friedman (2019); and Introduction to Criminal Justice: The Essentials with G. Larry Mays and Leanne Fiftal Alarid (2021).


"Authored by three accomplished scholars, this text offers an illuminating tour across the diverse features of contemporary corrections. The book’s foundation rests on its conceptual and research rigor that provide essential details on correctional trends, populations, and system components. Most innovative, it is designed to engage students in the learning enterprise by offering real-world examples and challenging them to think critically. At once accessible and scholarly, Contemporary Corrections is ideal for classroom use."

Francis T. Cullen, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

"Contemporary Corrections: A Critical Thinking Approach represents a needed addition to the extant stock of corrections texts, particularly those with an essentials or foundations orientation. It is concise enough to be thoroughly covered in a semester or abbreviated term and strikes the right balance between conveying the scope of the field and the depth of issues. It is written by seasoned authors who understand the complexities and challenges facing the field and know how to teach others to begin doing the same." 

Kevin I. Minor, Foundation Professor of Justice Studies, Eastern Kentucky University

"I recommend the revised edition of Contemporary Corrections by Ruddell, Mays, and Winfree. Not only does the text provide an in-depth look into the essentials in corrections, the authors also contextualize the topics using examples from actual case studies. This approach provides an opportunity to launch class discussions and engage students in problem-solving activities. As a scholar in gender and justice, I appreciate the authors’ coverage of the ways in which race, class, and gender intersect to impact justice."

Dawn Beichner, Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies and Criminal Justice Sciences, Illinois State University