This best-selling text, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, eighth edition, examines the premise that the criminal justice system is biased against the poor from start to finish: from the definition of what constitutes a crime through the process of arrest, trial, and sentencing.
The author argues that actions of well-off people, such as refusal to make workplaces safe, refusal to curtail deadly pollution, promotion of unnecessary surgery, and prescriptions for unnecessary drugs, cause occupational and environmental hazards to innocent members of the public and produce just as much death, destruction, and financial loss as so-called crimes of the poor. However, these acts of the well-off are rarely treated as crimes, and when they are, they are never treated as severely as crimes of the poor.
As with every edition, this text has been thoroughly revised. Some of the latest revisions include the following:
* Current statistics on criminal and noncriminal harms
* New section at the end of Chapter 1, “A Word about Foucault”
* Also in Chapter 1, a brief comment on Rawls’s theory of justice added to the section on poverty as a known cause of crime
* New appendix, “Between Philosophy and Criminology,” argues that criminology has a special need for philosophical reflection, and states the philosophical assumptions underlying The Rich Get Richer