Save 40% with UC Press at 2018 Western Society of Criminology Conference

The 2018 WSC Conference convenes February 1 – 3 in Long Beach, CA. Senior Editor Maura Roessner will be in attendance; email or contact her @Maura_R if you’d like to learn more about working with her to become a UC Press author or reviewer.  #missiondriven

See Maura with #WSC2018 President Hadar Aviram and author Valerie Jenness at 3:30pm today as they discuss “From Scholarship to Impact” at the presidential plenary.

And see Susan F. Turner on Saturday at 12:45pm as she discusses “Lifer Reentry and Community Reintegration: An Analysis of Paroled Lifers in Los Angeles.”

You can check out the following UC Press titles in Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Law and Society with books that focus on incarceration, corrections, policing, gender, immigration, school to prison pipeline, and much more. And read more from our authors such as WSC President Hadar Aviram, Nikki Jones, Patrick Lopez-Aguado, and much more.

Save 40% online with discount code 17E2829, or request an exam copy for consideration to use in your upcoming classes.


Cheap on Crime

by Hadar Aviram, author of Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment

This guest post is published in advance of the American Sociological Association conference in Seattle. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on August 23rd.

What are the major changes in criminal justice since the Great Recession of 2008?

For the last forty years, the American correctional system has been a growing—and costly—machine involving 2.3 million lives behind bars and millions more under correctional supervision. But in the late 2000s, around the time of the Great Recession, some things started to change. 2009 was the first year, after decades of growth, that saw the national incarceration rates decline. In some ways, nothing much has happened: not all states reduced their incarceration rates and we still have a long way to go. But several states have reformed their sentencing regime, several have abolished the death penalty or introduced moratoria on its application, and several states have started rethinking the war on drugs by legalizing recreational marijuana. In Cheap on Crime, I examine the new conversation around these reforms in the aftermath of the financial crisis and identify four main features of this new discourse: heavy reliance on bipartisan arguments surrounding costs and savings, the creations of new, bipartisan coalitions advocating financial prudence, the search for new practices for savings in both the public and private correctional sector, and a change in our attitude toward inmates, from wards of the states to consumers of products or burdens on the economy.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of relying on cost and savings as a catalyst for reform?

One advantage is obvious: the cost conversation has broken the impasse between tough­-on-­crime conservatives and human rights advocates by introducing a rationale that everyone can relate to, which has led to some progress on issues that had been stuck for many years. The Achilles heel of the cost conversation is that it is possible to maintain a criminal justice system that is “tough ‘n’ cheap,” and that savings also mean serious cuts to rehabilitation and re-entry programs. The other serious concern is that savings-­related correctional reform can be reversed as the economy improves, which I argue is more likely in some areas (like incarceration rates, privatization, and out-of-state incarceration) than in others (death penalty abolition, drug decriminalization/legalization.)

Where should we go from here?

The worst of the recession is behind us and the economy is improving, and it would make sense to retool our conversation about savings from a reliance on emergency measures and cuts to thinking about the need for returns on investment. Long­-term savings on incarceration should include the closing of the revolving prison door, especially where disempowered and disenfranchised communities are involved. This requires prisons that are actually equipped for—and incentivized to provide—rehabilitation and a robust reentry network for formerly incarcerated people. Since prison has proven a failure in crime prevention, we need to provide it where it matters—in the community—and only then will we truly realize the potential, tangible and intangible, of investing in effective and humane corrections.


Aviram.Hadar.photoHadar Aviram is Professor of Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she co-directs the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice and publishes the California Correctional Crisis blog. She lives in San Francisco.


14 UC Press titles awarded CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

We are pleased to announce that fourteen of our titles have been awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2015 by CHOICE!

This selective list, announced in every year’s January issue, consists of only about ten percent of the 7,000 works reviewed by CHOICE during the previous calendar year. It is a reflection of the best scholarly titles reviewed by CHOICE, chosen based upon the following criteria:

  • overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
  • importance relative to other literature in the field
  • distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
  • originality or uniqueness of treatment
  • value to undergraduate students
  • importance in building undergraduate library collections

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We’re proudly displaying these winning titles in our Oakland offices. Check out our CHOICE shelf, and each individual title, below.

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