This best-selling text 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.
Also, this text discusses how this bias is accompanied with a general refusal to remedy the causes of crime—poverty, lack of education, and discrimination.
The author argues that actions of well-off people, such as their 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.
NEW: This text now has a companion 25 article reader: The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Prison: A Reader (ISBN: 0-205-68842-X). Visit this book's website for a full table of contents.