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Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, The: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice,9780205386642

Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, The: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice



Pub. Date:
Allyn & Bacon
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This best-selling text examines the premise that the criminal justice system is biased against the poor from start to finishfrom the definition of what constitutes a crime through the process of arrest, trial, and sentencingand shows that the bias is conjoined with a general refusal to remedy the causes of crimepoverty, lack of education, and discrimination. One reviewer describes this text as one of the most outstanding critiques of the criminal justice processa book that needed to be written and needs to be publishing again and againa text as relevant today as when first published in 1979. The author argues that actions of well-off people, such as refusal to make workplaces safe; refusal to curtail deadly pollution, promotion of unnecessary surgery, and prescriptions for unnecessary drugs, cause occupational and environmental hazards to innocent members of the public and produce just as much death, destruction, and financial loss as so-called crimes of the poor. However, these acts of the well-off are rarely treated as crimes, and when they are, they are never treated as severely as crimes of the poor.

Table of Contents

Each chapter concludes with a summary, study questions, additional readings, and notes.



Introduction: Criminal Justice Through the Looking Glass, or Winning by Losing.
Abbreviations Used in the Notes.
Notes to the Introduction.

1. Crime Control in America: Nothing Succeeds Like Failure.
Designed to Fail.
Four Excuses That Will Not Wash, or How We Could Reduce Crime if We Wanted To.
First Excuse: We're Too Soft.
Second Excuse: A Cost of Modern Life.
Third Excuse: Blame It on the Kids!
Fourth Excuse: We Just Don't Know What to Do.
Known Sources of Crime.
How Crime Pays: Erikson and Durkheim.

2. A Crime by Any Other Name…
What's in a Name?
The Carnival Mirror.
Criminal Justice as Creative Art.
A Crime by Any Other Name…
Work May Be Dangerous to Your Health.
Health Care May Be Dangerous to Your Health.
Waging Chemical Warfare Against America.
Poverty Kills.

3. …and the Poor Get Prison.
Weeding Out the Wealthy.
Arrest and Charging.
Adjudication and Conviction.
…and the Poor Get Prison.

4. To the Vanquished Belong the Spoils: Who Is Winning the Losing War Against Crime?
Why Is the Criminal Justice System Failing?
The Poverty of Criminals and the Crime of Poverty.
The Implicit Ideology of Criminal Justice.
The Bonus of Bias.
Ideology, or How to Fool Enough of the People Enough of the Time.

Conclusion: Criminal Justice or Criminal Justice.
The Crime of Justice.
Rehabilitating Criminal Justice in America.
Protecting Society.
Promoting Justice.

Appendix: The Marxian Critique of Criminal Justice.
Marxism and Capitalism.
Capitalism and Ideology.
Ideology and Law.
Law and Ethics.


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