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The Essentials

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January 2018 | 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.  

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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


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    • 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
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“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

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