What are the Top 5 Books in Criminal Justice?

If you find the field of criminal justice to be interesting and want to expand your knowledge and skills related to criminal justice, you should know that there are a plethora of wonderful criminal justice books you can read to accomplish this objective. Below you will find a list of the top 5 books individuals interested in criminal justice should consider reading:

1. The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things by Barry Glasner

In our current post-9/11 era, realities such as the Iraq War, Amber Alerts, and the financial collapse indicate that our society is defined by perpetual fear. Despite the rise in fear, however, sociologist Barry Glassner argues that while our perception of fear is on the rise, the level of risk is not. To legitimate his claim, Glassner examines various organizations and people who manipulate public perception and profit from their ability to increase our fear. Some of the organizations he references include advocacy groups that raise funds for themselves by intentionally exaggerating the prevalence of certain diseases as well as politicians who win votes by emphasizing the presence of drug use, terrorism, and crime.

2. Cops Don’t Cry by Vali Stone

This book records the experiences of a police officer who has a plethora of unique yet universally understood experiences, such as watching a child die in an officer’s arms and issuing his wife a ticket for speeding. In providing the reader with an interesting and oftentimes action-packed narrative regarding the life of a police officer, Vali Stone affords us an opportunity to realize that individuals in this industry endure emotional roller coasters in their attempt to protect the public. In writing the book, Stone provides aspiring officers and their families with important information regarding the joys and challenges that can result from choosing this vocational path.

3. There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

This novel records the devastating story of brothers Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers. Told by a Wall Street Journal reporter, the book references the horrors the brothers endure as they grow up in an impoverished housing project where shootings are frequent and drug gangs are plentiful. By discussing the coping mechanisms adopted by each of the brothers as they attempt to grapple with their substandard lives, Kotlowitz provides the reader with a gripping narrative regarding the world of crime as well as the profound effect it can have on young boys.

4. Inside the Criminal Mind by Dr. Stanton Samenow

This book-considered groundbreaking by many-offers the reader an examination of the criminal mind as well as long-held myths regarding what causes criminals to commit crime. By offering readers a fresh perspective regarding a plethora of crimes ranging from domestic violence to political terrorism, Dr. Stanton Samenow demonstrates that all criminals possess a very specific mind-set which often becomes evident during their formulative childhood years.

5. Policing ‘Domestic’ Violence: Women, the Law and the State by Susan S. M. Edwards

This book offers the reader an examination of both theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the world of feminism and criminology. In it, Edwards explores realities such as violence in the home and asks what role the law courts and police should play in resolving such issues. By examining court and police practices, Edwards reveals how the indigenously patriarchal nature of the law precludes women from attaining the level of protection and justice they deserve.

More Reading Options

The top 5 criminal justice books listed above are not the only great reads you can access in order to learn more about this intriguing field. There are a plethora of other reading lists that you can peruse in order to find interesting criminal justice books, such as “Top 50 Books for Criminal Justice Professionals.” By accessing a variety of criminal justice books, you can begin expanding your knowledge regarding a perpetually exciting and continually evolving field.