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The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison:
Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, Seventh Edition

by Jeffrey Reiman

ISBN 0205386644 / 9780205386642 / 0-205-38664-4
Publisher Allyn & Bacon
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

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--and shows that the bias is conjoined with a general refusal to remedy the causes of crime--poverty, lack of education, and discrimination. One reviewer describes this text as "one of the most outstanding critiques of the criminal justice process!a book that needed to be written and needs to be publishing again and again!a text as relevant today as when first published in 1979." 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. [via]