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Taming the System the Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990

by Samuel Walker

  • ISBN: 9780195078206
  • ISBN10: 0195078209

Taming the System the Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990

by Samuel Walker

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 01/01/1993
  • ISBN: 9780195078206
  • ISBN10: 0195078209
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Description: It is a truism that the administration of criminal justice consists of a series of discretionary decisions by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials. Analyzing the origins, nature, and impact of various efforts to control discretion, Taming the System is the first comprehensive history of the reform attempts in the past forty years. Of enormous value to scholars, reformers, and criminal justice professionals, Walker's book approaches the discretion problem through a detailed examination of four decision points: policing, bail setting, plea bargaining, and sentencing. In a field which largely produces short-ranged "evaluation research", this study, in taking a wider historical approach, distinguishes between the roles of administrative bodies (the police) and evaluates the longer-term trends and the successful reforms in criminal justice history. Serving as an "interim report" on what does and does not work in the system, Taming the System concludes that not only has the effort to control discretion been a unifying theme in criminal justice history, but that there have actually been some successes, resulting in reducing disparities in race and social class.
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