This popular one-volume analysis of the evolution of American criminal justice places contemporary issues of crime and justice in historical perspective. Walker identifies the major periods in the development of the American system of criminal justice, from the small institutions of the colonial period to the creation of the police, the prison, and the juvenile court in the nineteenth century and the search for professionalism in the twentieth century. He argues that the democratic tradition is responsible for the worst as well as the best in the history of criminal justice in the United States. Offering a challenging perspective on current controversies in the administration of criminal justice in light of historical origins, the author explores the evolving conflict between the advocates of crime control and the advocates of due process.
Now in its second edition, Popular Justice has been completely revised to include the most recent scholarship on crime and justice. Walker has updated his analysis of the history of American criminal justice and explores the tension between popular passions and the rule of law. He examines changing patterns in criminal activity, the institutional development of the system of criminal justice, and the major issues concerning the administration of justice. Timely and comprehensive, this text will be useful for courses in criminal justice, legal history, and criminology.