Samuel H. Pillsbury
January 22, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9781138354197 - CAT# K399299
January 22, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9781138354173 - CAT# K399296
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Criminal violence harms persons and relationships in ways that law cannot touch. In Imagining a Greater Justice, Pillsbury posits that we need a justice that is commensurate with the harm and wrong done, and one that comprehends how violence shatters survivors′ sense of trust and place in community. The author asks: Can we imagine a justice that respects an offender‘s humanity? Can we imagine a justice that treats someone who has spent half of his life locked up for serious crime as a human being capable of change? Can we imagine a justice that acknowledges the racial violence of the past and the racial misunderstandings that undercut the trust needed for effective law enforcement? Can we imagine a justice concerned with healing the community after violence? Pillsbury contends that real change is possible. With violent crime rates at relatively low levels in most U.S. jurisdictions. and new perspectives on criminal justice receiving a respectful hearing in many localities and states, this is a promising time for criminal justice reform in the United States.
Acknowledging that public fear and anger about criminal violence drive the punitive impulse that created the mass incarceration of today, the book challenges many deep-rooted assumptions about wrongdoing, as well as ideas about freedom and individuality and the obligations owed to strangers. The chapters follow a journey from listening to victim’s experiences of wrongful violence to the work of redeeming the hurt as well as those who do the hurting. Early chapters examine the harms of criminal violence, set out the basic moral and legal responsibility of wrongdoers, and analyze common mistakes made in judging the wrongs of others. Then the book goes on to reflect on proper sentencing determinations, examine historical evidence of penal punitiveness, and consider the realities of incarceration, focusing especially on solitary confinement and sexual violence. The book then shifts to look at the victim rights movement, what victims of violent wrongs need, the redemption of violent offenders, problems with race in criminal justice; and, ultimately, how individuals might live out the ideals of a greater justice. Imagining a Greater Justice offers a well-informed look at violence, race, and restorative justice, including often-ignored moral and ethical issues. It posits important policy implications that are essential reading for students of law and criminal justice, as well as all persons affected by violent crime and the administration of justice.
Introduction; Acknowledgements; Part 1: Judging Wrong 1. Violence and the Soul 2. Blaming for Moral Disregard 3. Judging Wrong Part Two: Just Punishment 4. Punishing With Regard 5. Cruelty by Law: Mandatory Life in California 6. Our Prisons, Our Prisoners: Cruelty in Penal Practice Part 3: Relational Justice 7. Victims and Justice under Law 8. Victims and Relational Justice 9. Redeeming the Responsible 10. Healing the American Community: Race and Criminal Justice 11. Living a Larger Justice
This is a very important book and I am hopeful it finds a wide readership. Pillsbury has galvanized our imagination of the justice system we actually could have. He manages to get underneath all the issues we need to explore with sophistication, keen insight and great heart. He proposes a point of view both larger and more humble and our country will benefit greatly...if we listen to him.
Gregory Boyle, S.J. Founder of Homeboy Industries. Author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.
This is an important piece of scholarship that offers meaningful insights and novel ways of thinking about issues of law, justice, and the human condition. It contains numerous "aha!" passages that inspire head nodding in recognition of the fundamental truths laid bare. The author’s style successfully captures legal nuances without being tedious or overly technical. The issues explored could not be more timely; indeed, with recent broad societal recognition of issues of sexual abuse and harassment the prescience of the author’s observations border on startling. The discussion of racism—particularly the pervasiveness of unconsciously held attitudes about race -- could significantly affect individual attitudes and legal and social policies.
Distinguished Teaching Professor
School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany
This lucid and engaging book reconceptualizes criminal law in a fascinating way, drawing together a number of important strands of the discussion that are too often treated separately: criminal law jurisprudence and philosophy, psychological questions, practical questions of institutional design, and even spiritual questions. It also considers topics that are rarely treated in standard criminal law accounts: most particularly the role of the victim. One of the book’s unusual strengths is that although grounded in legal jurisprudence, it is highly attuned to—and comfortable discussing—the emotional aspects of crime and punishment.
Susan A. Bandes
Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus
DePaul University College of Law
I have long admired Samuel Pillsbury’s writing on crime and punishment for its intellectual rigor and commitment to make the law more just and humane. In Imagining a Greater Justice—Criminal Violence, Punishment, and Relational Justice he has produced his most important work.
Drawing on law and social science and on his own work with crime victims and offenders, Pillsbury details the complex harms suffered by victims of violence and explores how offenders have come to commit violence. He creatively employs the perspectives of the different vocations he has followed -- journalist, attorney, academic, and Episcopal deacon -- to develop a concept of relational justice for crimes of violence. Relational justice includes punishment, but sees justice as finally a community endeavor that should help victims heal and offenders be redeemed. Imagining A Greater Justice challenged some of my own views about crime and punishment; I am confident that it will challenge many others, as the best writing often does.
Jeffrie G. Murphy
Regents’ Professor of Law, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Arizona State University
The author is well-positioned to write this book, given his multiple professional commitments and expertise. He clearly brings both knowledge and compassion to the project. Addressing criminal justice through the lenses of punishment and healing for all is an important and innovative approach.
Monica J Casper
Professor of Gender and Women's Studies; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Arizona