Essentials of Criminological Theory, Fourth Edition / L. Thomas Winfree Jr.

This concise textbook introduces students to multidisciplinary theories about why people commit crime. Winfree and Abadinsky strive to make the study of crime and justice as clear, concise, current, and consumable as possible. Tracing the evolution of theories and their influence on research today, the authors provide a solid foundation for students to understand the role theory plays in criminal justice practices.

The first nine chapters explore various types of theories, providing the historical context and the basic assumptions each theory makes about human behavior, the causal arguments, and what criminologists have learned from testing the theories. The theory as originally proposed may have gone through a metamorphosis. Change is an important and exciting aspect of crime theory. Ideas that attempt to describe, explain, predict, and possibly control a specific behavior sometimes remain as originally conceived and sometimes evolve to something quite different. The final chapter explores the ways the various theories influence criminal justice policy, focusing on law enforcement.

To help readers assimilate and synthesize the essentials of criminological theory, each chapter contains learning objectives, boxed material to stimulate critical thinking, bulleted summary points, key terms, and critical review questions. There are marginal notes throughout the text to highlight concepts, as well as a comprehensive glossary for easy review of important terms.

Title of related interest also available from Waveland Press: Jacoby et al., Classics of Criminology, Fourth Edition (ISBN 9781577667360).
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