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The Essentials

Additional resources:

December 2017 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written by former practitioners who are experts in the field, Corrections: The Essentials, Third Edition, addresses the most important topics in corrections in a brief, yet comprehensive format. Authors Mary K. Stohr and Anthony Walsh introduce students to the history and development of correctional institutions, while offering a unique perspective on ethics and diversity. The Third Edition provides insights into the future of corrections as well as updated coverage of the most important issues impacting the field today. 

New to the Third Edition

  • Updated and expanded coverage of ethical considerations, special populations, and the history of corrections provides students with the context for understanding policy decisions and their consequences, both past and present.
  • More coverage on disparities in sentencing and drug courts encourages students to think critically about U.S. drug policies and the effectiveness of those policies. 
  • Additional content on federal procedures and private prisons shows real examples of private prisons, their profit motives, and the effect they have had on the correctional system. 
  • The most current data, facts, figures, and research are included throughout the book to provide students with insights into today’s world of corrections.  

A Complete Teaching & Learning Package

Contact your rep to request a demo, explore bundling options, answer your questions, and find the perfect combination of tools and resources below to fit your unique course needs.

  • SAGE Premium Video
    Included in the Interactive eBook! Corrections News Clips bring extra coverage of current events into the book, connecting brief 2 to 4 minute news clips to core chapter content. Learn more about SAGE Premium Video. 
  • Interactive eBook
    Your students save when you bundle the print version with the Interactive eBook (Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-2642-9), which includes access to SAGE Premium Video and other multimedia tools. Learn more about the Interactive eBook.
  • SAGE coursepacks
    FREE! Easily import our quality instructor and student resource content into your school’s learning management system (LMS) and save time. Learn more about instructor resources. 
Chapter 1. The Philosophical and Ideological Underpinnings of Corrections
Introduction: What Is Corrections?

From Arrest to Punishment

The Major Punishment Justifications

The Due Process and Crime Control Models and Cultural Comparisons

Chapter 2. Correctional History: Ancient Times to Colonial Jails
Introduction: The Evolving Practice of Corrections

Themes: Truths That Underlie Correctional Practice

Early Punishments in Westernized Countries

Enlightenment—Paradigm Shift

Colonial Jails and Prisons

Chapter 3. Correctional History: The 17th to 20th Centuries
Introduction: The Grand Reforms

Early Modern Prisons and the Pennsylvania and New York Models

Early Prisons and Jails Not Reformed

The Renewed Promise of Reform

Southern and Northern Prisons, the Contract and Lease Systems, and Industrial Prisons

Correctional Institutions or Warehouse Prisons?

Themes That Prevail in Correctional History

Chapter 4. Ethics and Corrections
Introduction: To Do the Right Thing!

Ethical Foundation for Professional Practice

Why People Behave Unethically

How to Prevent Unethical Behavior and Promote Ethical Work Practices

War on Drugs = Attack on Ethics?

Chapter 5. Sentencing: The Application of Punishment
Introduction: What Is Sentencing?

Types of Sentences: Indeterminate, Determinate, and Mandatory

Habitual Offender Statutes

Other Types of Sentences: Shock, Split, and Non-custodial Sentences

Sentencing by Civil Commitment for Sex Offenders

Problem-Solving Courts

Drug Courts

Sentencing Disparity, Legitimate and Illegitimate

Structuring Sentencing: The Presentence Investigation Report

Structured Sentencing: Sentencing Guidelines

The Future of Sentencing Guidelines

Chapter 6. Jails and Detention Centers
Introduction: The Community Institution

Jail Inmates and Their Processing

Trends in Jail Populations

Medical Problems

Suicides, Gangs, and Sexual Violence in Jails

Innovations in Jails

Chapter 7. Community Corrections: Probation and Intermediary Sanctions
Introduction: The Origins of Probation

Number and Demographic Characteristics of Offenders on Probation

Why Do We Need Community Corrections?

The Probation Officer Role

Models of Probation Supervision

Probation Violations and Graduated Sanctions

Probation Officer Stress

Engaging the Community to Prevent Recidivism

Intermediate Sanctions

Chapter 8. Prisons and the Correctional Client
Introduction: The State of Prisons

Prison Organizations

Attributes of the Prison That Shape the Experience

The Prison Subculture


Social Support

Special Populations

Chapter 9. The Corrections Experience for Staff
Introduction: What Is a Profession?

The State of the Work in Correctional Institutions and Programs

Why Require More Education and Training?

Individual-Level Factors That Affect the Correctional Workplace

Correctional Roles

The Subculture and Socialization

Staff Interactions With Inmates

Chapter 10. Community Corrections: Parole and Prisoner Reentry
Introduction: What Is Parole?

Parole Boards

What Goes In Must Come Out: Prisoner Reentry Into the Community

The Impact of Imprisonment and Reentry on Communities

What Makes for a Successful Reentry?

Determining Parole “Success”

Parole Violations and Graduated Sanctions

House Arrest, Electronic Monitoring, and Global Positioning Systems

Concluding Remarks on Reentry and Recidivism

Chapter 11. Women and Corrections

History and Growth

Women and Girls in Corrections Today

Female Correctional Officers

Chapter 12. Minorities and Corrections

Defining Race, Ethnicity, Disparity, and Discrimination

A Legacy of Racism

The Connection Between Class and Race/ Ethnicity

Minorities: Policies and Practices That Have Resulted in Increased Incarceration

Minorities: Experiencing Incarceration

Chapter 13. Juveniles and Corrections
Introduction: Delinquency and Status Offending

The Extent of Delinquency

The Juvenile Brain and Juvenile Behavior

History and Philosophy of Juvenile Justice

Childhood in the United States

The Beginning of the Juvenile Courts

Processing Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile Community Corrections

Intensive Probation

Residential and Institutional Juvenile Corrections

Chapter 14. Legal Issues in Corrections

The Rule of Law

The Hands-Off Period: 1866–1963

The Prisoners’ Rights Period: 1964–1978

The Deference Period: 1997–Present

First Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Eighth Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment

The Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders

Curtailing Prisoner Petitions

Legal Issues in Probation and Parole

Chapter 15. Correctional Programming and Treatment
Introduction: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Rehabilitation

The Shift From “Nothing Works” to “What Works?”

Evidence-Based Practices

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Substance Abuse Programming

Anger Management

Sex Offenders and Their Treatment

Mentally Ill Offenders

Chapter 16. The Death Penalty
Introduction: The Death Penalty and Public Opinion

Methods of Execution Used in the United States

Legal Challenges to the Death Penalty

Does the Death Penalty Deter?

Financial Costs and the Death Penalty

Racial Disparity in Death Sentences

Women and the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty and Mental Disability

The Death Penalty and Mental Illness

The Innocence Revolution

Chapter 17. Corrections in the 21st Century
Introduction: Learning From the Past So That We Have Hope for the Future

Punitive Policies Yield Overuse of Corrections


Professionalization and Innovation


Concluding Thoughts

Answers to Test Your Knowledge
About the Authors


Student Study Site

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  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter.
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  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS
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o    Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives

o    Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation

o    Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided

  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life and appeal to different learning styles, featuring:
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook 
    • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions
    • News Clips that bring extra coverage of current events into the book, connecting multiple, brief 2- to 4-minute news clips to core chapter content.
    • Career insights from professionals in the field encourage students to start thinking about a variety of careers in Corrections
  • Video resources that bring concepts to life, are tied to learning objectives and make learning easier
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video
  • All tables and figures from the textbook

“This is a great overview of the field of corrections. Focuses on the major schools of thought and provides a background for why the correction system is the way it is today.”

Dr. Karin J. Storm
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Brandman University

I thought this text was pretty well laid out and executed. I really enjoyed all the various boxes in the chapters that helped to break it up some and keep it interesting. I like the instructor resources and those are always incredibly helpful.”

Erin Graybill Ellis, M.A.
Texas Woman’s University

"Stohr & Walsh is a solid corrections text. The Essentials version of the text provides concise coverage of a broad range of topics relevant in Corrections courses and provides a number of pedagogical enhancements that augment the information provided in the text. The diverse topical coverage makes the text appropriate for a number of corrections courses and allows the professor to customize the student experience to fit their course needs.”

Michael S. Caudy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Texas at San Antonio

For instructors