The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, And Criminal Justice, Seventh Edition

  • Publish Date: 2003-07-18
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Jeffrey Reiman

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What if our criminal justice system is biased against the poor from start to finish - from the definition of what constitutes a crime through the process of arrest, trial, and sentencing? The author argues that actions of well-off people-refusal to make workplaces safe, refusal to curtail deadly pollution, promotion of unnecessary surgery, prescription of unnecessary drugs, etc.-cause occupational and environmental hazards to innocent members of the public and produce as much death, destruction, and financial loss as so-called crimes of the poor. However, these crimes of the well-off are rarely treated as severely as those of the poor. Reiman documents the extent of anti-poor bias in arrest, conviction, and sentencing practices and shows that the bias is conjoined with a general refusal to remedy the causes of crime-poverty, poor education, and discrimination. As a result, the criminal justice system fails to reduce crime. The author uses numerous studies and examples to illustrate his points, and difficult concepts are explained in a non-technical manner. The book provokes thought and discussion, even among people who disagree with its content.

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