Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Criminal Justice in America, 8th Edition

  • George F. Cole
  • Christopher E. Smith
  • Christina DeJong
  • ISBN-10: 1305261062
  • ISBN-13: 9781305261068
  • 592 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2011, 2008
  • COPYRIGHT: 2016 Published
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About the Product

In CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA, Eighth Edition, authors George Cole, Christopher Smith, and Christina DeJong have accomplished much within a brief format. This concise introductory criminal justice text not only introduces students to the field's foundations and individual components, but also to the many professional opportunities available in the justice system – all within a unique interdisciplinary framework and emphasizing how public policy impacts criminal justice as it is practiced today. Created as an alternative to more expensive, encyclopedic introductory texts, this reader-friendly best seller incorporates ideas, themes, and theories from criminology, sociology, law, history, psychology, and political science. In addition to a strong interdisciplinary emphasis, CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA teaches students to become better citizens by helping them think critically about what justice means in our society and how individuals can play a role in defining that meaning.


  • To provide maximum learning reinforcement, each chapter begins with learning objectives that are matched to end-of-chapter summary sections and linked to corresponding questions in the accompanying Test Bank.

  • The authors' widely lauded interdisciplinary approach draws on research from criminology, law, history, sociology, psychology, and political science. This treatment facilitates a deeper understanding of the American criminal justice system by examining subjects such as social systems, social problems, determinants of individual behavior, government processes, policy making, and conceptions of morality and justice.

  • "What Americans Think" features throughout the book give students the opportunity to review public opinion polls and then consider a related critical thinking question.

  • "Careers in Criminal Justice" boxes feature profiles of people working in the field and current information on real-world job qualifications, outlooks, salaries, and more, such as growing opportunities with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

  • "Criminal Justice: Myth and Reality" features in each chapter address common myths and misconceptions about crime and criminal justice, providing an interesting and effective way to engage students, stimulate class discussion, and encourage critical thinking.

  • "A Question of Ethics: Think, Discuss, Write" at the end of each chapter asks students to consider real cases concerning such topics as police use of force or probation officers' acceptance of bribes. Students are challenged to place themselves in the position of administrators who must think about how to organize and reform training, supervision, and other elements essential for addressing ethical lapses by justice system officials.

About the Author

George F. Cole

The late George F. Cole was Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. He was recognized for outstanding teaching and research and in 1995 was named a Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. A specialist in the administration of criminal justice, he published extensively on such topics as prosecution, courts, and corrections. He developed and directed the graduate corrections program at the University of Connecticut and was a Fellow at the National Institute of Justice (1988). Among his other accomplishments, he was granted two awards under the Fulbright-Hays Program to conduct criminal justice research in England and the former Yugoslavia.

Christopher E. Smith

Christopher E. Smith is Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University (MSU). He earned degrees at Harvard University, the University of Bristol (England), the University of Tennessee, and the University of Connecticut. Trained as a lawyer and social scientist, he is the author of 25 books and more than 120 scholarly articles on law, courts, and criminal justice policy. He has been recognized as an outstanding teacher with MSU's "Teacher-Scholar Award" and "Social Science Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award." His other books with Cengage Learning include CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA, 9th Edition, LAW AND CONTEMPORARY CORRECTIONS, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: MYTHS AND REALITIES, and CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.

Christina DeJong

Christina DeJong is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Maryland and her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her scholarly research on genocide, recidivism, domestic violence, police-community interactions, and other topics has been published in such journals as Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Feminist Criminology, and The Journal of Family Violence. Her current research focuses on gender and sexuality issues in criminology and criminal justice, as well as violence against women in conflict and genocide. A member of the Michigan State University faculty since 1994, she has taught courses on research methods, statistical analysis, genocide, and women and criminal justice. She is also a co-author of Cengage Learning’s CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA, 9th Edition.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. The Criminal Justice System.
2. Crime and Crime Causation.
3. Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law.
4. Police.
5. Policing: Contemporary Issues and Challenges.
6. Police and Law.
7. Courts and Adjudication
8. Pretrial Procedures, Plea Bargaining, and the Criminal Trial.
9. Punishment and Sentencing.
10. Corrections.
11. Incarceration and Prison Society.
12. Probation and Intermediate Sanctions.
13. Reentry into the Community.
14. Technology and Criminal Justice.
15. Juvenile Justice.

New to this edition

  • "Evidence-Based Practice and Policy" boxes show how research-driven decisions help criminal justice officials use scarce resources to address problems, highlighting the need for future criminal justice professionals to understand and use research from such fields as psychology and public administration. Students consider the drug policy debate and whether the U.S. should treat substance abuse as a public health or a crime problem (Ch. 1), and decide if cutting budgets for corrections programs to reduce taxpayer burdens is "better" than increasing budgets to reduce recidivism (Ch. 11).
  • Group-work activities have been added to this edition by including a group or classroom exercise in each of the book's "Policy Debate" boxes. For example, a new "Policy Debate" in Chapter 14 discusses domestic law enforcement agencies' use of drones, and then asks students to work in groups to represent each side of the public debate, taking on the roles of police chief and members of a civil liberties group.
  • New content discusses many contemporary issues influencing the criminal justice system today, including intelligence-led policing and evidence-based policing, government data collection as part of homeland security programs, transnational crime and human trafficking, financial crimes that target the elderly, political crimes (i.e., the release of confidential documents by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning), legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, the measurement of repeat victimization in the NCVS, gun control policy, and the privatization of prison health care.
  • New topics include the most recent 2014 death row exoneration (Glen Ford in Louisiana), shortages of lethal injection drugs and the possibility states might consider returning to older execution methods, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and community-based alternatives to prison, probation's role in the philosophy of community justice programs, new examples of technology and crime, gunshot detection technology, the use of police software to predict crimes and deploy police resources, the use of individual body cameras by police officers, and new juvenile justice programs.
  • This edition discusses recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions affecting law enforcement and corrections, including Florida v. Jardines, Bailey v. United States, Missouri v. McNeely, Maryland v. King, and Millbrook v. United States.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online PowerPoint® Slides  (ISBN-10: 1305277953 | ISBN-13: 9781305277953)

Helping you make your lectures more engaging while effectively reaching your visually oriented students, these handy Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides outline the chapters of the main text in a classroom-ready presentation. The slides are updated to reflect the content and organization of the new edition of the text and feature some additional examples and real world cases for application and discussion.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305278046 | ISBN-13: 9781305278042)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate test bank content from the book's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305502515 | ISBN-13: 9781305502512)
MindTap Criminal Justice, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cole/Smith/Dejong's Criminal Justice in America  (ISBN-10: 1305278003 | ISBN-13: 9781305278004)

MINDTAP CRIMINAL JUSTICE FOR COLE/SMITH/ DEJONG'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA, 8th Edition is a personalized teaching experience with relevant assignments that guide students to analyze, apply, and improve thinking, allowing you to measure skills and outcomes with ease. Personalized teaching becomes yours through a Learning Path built with key student objectives and your syllabus in mind. Control what students see and when they see it. Relevant readings, multimedia, and activities are designed to take students up the levels of learning, from basic knowledge to analysis and application. Analytics and reports provide a snapshot of class progress, time in course, engagement and completion rates.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Criminal Justice, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130527802X | ISBN-13: 9781305278028)

Cengage Learning provides Learning Management System (LMS) integration with our MindLinks service. This service is designed to deliver an optimal user experience through the learning management system (LMS) already used by your institution--facilitating learning retention and contributing to better learner outcomes. Our collaboration with LMS industry leaders helps drive advanced features like gradebook integration, while the fluid pedagogical design contributes to more teachable moments.

Student Supplements

MindTap Criminal Justice, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cole/Smith/Dejong's Criminal Justice in America  (ISBN-10: 1305278003 | ISBN-13: 9781305278004)

MindTap Criminal Justice for Cole/Smith/Dejong's Criminal Justice in America, 8th Edition provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time -- you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps -- from note taking to flashcards -- you'll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Criminal Justice, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130527802X | ISBN-13: 9781305278028)

This access code will provide you with seamless access to your MindTap Criminal Justice resources from within your campus Learning Management System. You will be prompted to enter this access code the first time that you click on a link in your course that includes Cengage content.