1st Edition

The Use of Force in Criminal Justice

By Richard M. Hough Copyright 2018
    208 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Use of Force in Criminal Justice addresses the how, why, and when of utilizing force against citizens in a democracy. This is the first true textbook on this topic, offering students and instructors a balanced, research-based approach to understanding the use of force in law enforcement, as well as in corrections and juvenile justice. Hough includes features to reinforce key concepts, including "What-Why," "Try This," "Going Global," and "Research Results" boxes.

    The Use of Force in Criminal Justice combines academic and practitioner perspectives, making the book well-suited for undergraduate and graduate courses in criminal justice as well as professional training and executive education. The text is accompanied by online resources such as  PowerPoints, lesson notes, and a test bank. The Use of Force in Criminal Justice is an invaluable aid for force trainers, risk managers, and attorneys who must understand the research on force and force issues rather than the rhetoric of individual anecdotes and personal system-of-force concepts. ​

    1. Considering the Use of Force in Criminal Justice

    2. Law and the Use of Force

    3. The Construction and Content of Force Policies

    4. The Use of Less Lethal Force

    5. The Use of Lethal Force

    6. Physiological and Psychological Considerations in Force Situations

    7. Training to Use Force

    8. Use of Force in Law Enforcement

    9. Use of Force in Corrections

    10. Force by Tactical Teams

    11.  Force and Special Populations

    12. The Future is Now


    Richard M. Hough is a faculty member in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and is the Coordinator of the Public Administration Program in the Department of Legal Studies, Public Administration, and Sport Management at the University of West Florida. For more than 25 years Dr. Hough has taught criminal justice and public administration courses dealing with the practices and policies of criminal justice personnel for undergraduate and graduate students. As an instructor of defensive tactics, he has taught physical control and defense techniques and force concepts to law enforcement and corrections academy recruits and in-service officers for more than 30 years. Dr. Hough regularly consults as an expert witness in force usage and police and corrections practices in federal and state courts, and has done so for 25 years.

    'Recent events in the US and wider world have emphasized just how critical and controversial the use of force by state agents can be in a democracy and in the full glare of contemporary media. Few writers are as well qualified or experienced as Richard Hough in analyzing these issues and setting them in context. One of the great merits of this highly readable and thoroughly researched book is that while readers might not always agree with all of his answers, it is abundantly clear that he is asking the right questions.'Peter Squires, Professor of Criminology & Public Policy, University of Brighton; President: British Society for Criminology 2015-2018

    'The breadth of Dr. Richard Hough’s experience and his keen insights show in this unique text, which is a comprehensive examination/presentation of knowledge gained through both practical on-the-street practice and academic study of force. The work is infused with the human view of officers and those in related occupations and shows appreciation for the complicated dynamics, human and otherwise, affecting officers involved in such events. It is a must-have for administrators, trainers, and educators.' – Chief Charles D. Reynolds (ret), Past President International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Police Practices Consultant

    'Police use of force has always been a potential hot-button topic, but given greater media attention due to captured recordings of force incidents in recent years, this issue has taken center stage. Enter Richard Hough’s examination of police use of force, which approaches the topic from a variety of angles and is a welcome addition to the literature. I encourage those interested in police use of force to check out the book and begin thinking critically about the myriad complexities at hand.'William Terrill, Professor, School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Arizona​ State University

    'Dr. Richard Hough brings both practical and academic insight to the raw subject of police force. In this captivating work, he wastes no time tackling the pertinent, often uncomfortable issues we must face as a society: Who are the police supposed to be? To what degree is force a component of the profession and why? If force events are each unique and dynamic--and now almost universally captured on video--how do we explain reasonable force to our public, especially when it's ugly? This book is for cops, yes, but it's equally suited to concerned citizens and policy makers. Dr. Hough brings considerable light to otherwise obscured and complicated issues. Highly recommended.' – Lt. Jim Glennon (ret), Co-Owner of Calibre Press, Author of Arresting Communication: Essential Interaction Skills for Law Enforcement and Co-Author of the 2018 edition of Street Survival: Tactics for Deadly Force Encounters