INTERNET LAW BOOK REVIEWS Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM (London)

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Scarecrow Press, AltaMira Press, Lexington Books

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Police Education and Training in a Global Society Series:International Police Executive Symposia

Edition: HB

Authors: Edited By Peter C Kratcoski & Dilip K Das

ISBN: 9780739108130

Publishers: Lexington Books (A Division of Rowman & Littlefield)

Price: £119

Publication Date: July 2007

Publisher's Title Information


Police Education and Training in a Global Society provides an international survey of police officer education. Editors Peter C. Kratcoski and Dilip K. Das bring together police educators from every continent to explore the similarities and differences in preparing the police to meet their goals and accomplish their missions around the world. Represented are perspectives on training new recruits, in-service training, and advanced training. Several chapters focus on the specialized training such as that required to combat terrorism. Throughout, the need to concentrate on the development of technical skills and human relations is emphasized. The right combination of formal education and technical training is required if the police of the 21st century are to be effective. Police Education and Training in a Global Society is an ideal reference for police training professionals and those pursuing criminal justice and police training.

List of Contributors

Ibrahim Al Ghaith, Tariq H. Al-Hassan, Mohammed A. R. Al-Khayyat, Nasser R. Alkabi, Mark Ming-chwang Chen, Sutham Cheruprakobkit, Yulia Chistyakova, Dilip K. Das, Maximilian Edelbacher, J. Price Foster, Yakov Gilinsky, A. Grotendorst, Mark Haythorne, Knowlton W. Johnson, Peter Johnstone, Joe Frank Jones, Peter C. Kratcoski, Paulo Rogerio Lino, Otwin Marenin, Charlie Mesloh, Irena Cajner Mraovic, Kashma S. Munanura, Mike Novakowski, Suleyman Ozeren, Mustafa Ozguler, Wieslaw Phywaczewski, M. H. A. Peeters, Nathan W. Pino, J. B. A. Prins, Rick Sarre, Stephen Shamblen, Jakkrit Singhsilarak, J. G. Stam, Petar Veic, Josie Wakim, Ismail Yilmaz, and Linda Young.

The Editors
Peter C. Kratcoski, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Justice Studies at Kent State University and Adjunct Professor of Justice Studies at Kent State University's Regional Campuses.

Dilip K. Das, PhD, is founder and president of the International Police Executive Symposium and editor-in-chief of
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal


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Questioning Gypsy Identity Ethnic Narratives in Britain and America

Edition: 1st

Author: Brain A. Belton

ISBN:0759105332

Publishers: AItaMira Press

Price £14.99 PB £53 HB

Publication Date: 28th April 2005


Publisher’s Press Release

New Book Challenges The Racial And Cultural Clichés That Define Gypsies

Brain A. Belton's powerfully original new book examines Gypsy lives against the framework of social theories that illustrate how identity arises from the cultural complexity of individuals, families and communities. Questioning Gypsy Identity. Ethnic Narratives in Britain and America publishing on 28th April 2005 is an extraordinary mixture of Belton's unconventional life story and social theory, used in an original way, which radically deconstructs and demystifies the usual preconceptions and prejudices about Gypsies and Travellers. Within the book he attacks ethnicity, race and culture as the erroneous socially constructed barriers that in fact have more to do with preserving economic inequality than biological, psychological, familial or traditional 'urges'.

Questioning Gypsy Identity is the product of Brian Belton's background, he is from a family with strong links to the Gypsy community in London's East End. Growing up alongside the football violence of the 1970s, witnessing the itinerant support of West Ham United and experiencing schooling mixed with dockland gang culture, has given Belton a unique vantage point from which to study Gypsy lineage. Travelling through the United States soon after leaving school allowed him to make comparisons with Gypsy identities within American society too. Belton says of this period:

"I began to examine who I was by listening and analysing those I came into contact with through a range of casual odd jobs and the partially familiar (in terms of my Gypsy/cockney roots) but complex milieu of the greyhound race tracks of 'Dixie'. In these places and circumstances I met the people and asked, 'Who are you?' The sum of this experience is a cavalcade of self and socially identified Gypsies, Travellers, itinerants, temporary, part and full-time wanderers. Some had habituated the life from an early age, others had inherited it across generations, but the overall picture that I convey onto the mind of my readers is not the 'sameness' claimed by the many and moribund studies of Gypsies and Travellers, on the contrary one is struck by the diversity of the background and motivations of those who made my journey more than a mere coverage of miles of filling of time".

Questioning Gypsy Identity includes a devastating critique of the accepted paradigm of the origins of the American Gypsy population through a concise and readable analysis of penal transportation and migration.

Belton has produced a book that crosses many lines of thought; it will appeal to those interested in anthropology, sociology, youth and social work, teaching and also to anyone trying to make sense of personal and group identity and the nature of race and ethnicity. It will convince even the most ardent of 'Gypsiolgoists', those theorists that Belton sees as both dangerous and almost purposefully ignorant of the character of those we call Gypsies, involved in a wanton demarcation of humanity, to consider, his final question;

If the Gypsy population is a product of social conditions and interactions, would it not be more accurate and productive to admit that the phenomena involved are the generators of the crucial factors in human distinction and the resulting inequalities rather than seek to make marginal and fragile hereditary and biological boundaries the pivot of perceived differences?


REVIEW

The main premise of 'Questioning Gypsy Identity' is 'an effort to explore and understand how gypsy ethnicity is produced out of a particular type of social narrative' (Belton, 2005:3).  The author uses the book as a discussion to address the current lack of contextual and social perspectives governing the construct of gypsy identity.  The notion of gypsy identity seeks to be explained within a broad social framework, challenging past literature specifying its foundations under a biological guise of romanticism.  It is explored through a dichotomous combination of story telling and social theories prevailing around the themes of: social interaction, identity and culture and categorisation.

The significant theme precipitating through the book rests on the debate that gypsy identity is innately a social construct, supported solidly by narrative discourse and the sociological theory of Symbolic Interactionism.  The crux of the argument focuses upon the use of the narrative as a means to communicate gypsy ethnicity.  Through the narrative, ethnicity becomes a social construct defined not only by the self, but also by how the self is defined by others.  It is usually established through learned symbols available within a culture that is conversed through communication.  Belton (2005) argues that it is through such interaction that identity and culture is inherently learned.  The influential nature of the role of the narrative can lay to rest the claims that identity is a biological construct.         

The thematic concerns of the author in respect of the interwoven nature of social interaction and its influence upon identity and culture is explored further in terms of its formation during the period of colonialism.  The debate provides an alternative viewpoint as to how gypsy identity is maintained and explored.  Belton (2005) employs the use of the colonial era as an idiomatic expression to emphasize the relationship and creation of identity through the roles of the dominant and oppressed groups.  In essence, the author contends that the construct of identity is subsequently a product of social and economic exploitation, leading to a creation of the 'other'.  It is this factor that is perceived as anticipating the conditions of race, ethnicity and culture itself.  

The creation of difference has the capacity to become a precursor of the categorisation of the gypsy population.  Belton (2005) succeeds in debating the issue that the identification of gypsies as a distinct racial/ethnic or homogenous group is not legitimate.  The underlying factor is essentially embedded within the notion of the fluidity of identity that has the ability to change and adapt according to different social and economic conditions.  It is an idea succinctly validated in the concept of commonality in shared difference.  The author conveys this notion through the examples of migratory behaviour of groups of individuals in the United States known as 'snowbirds' and 'sea gypsies'.  These examples are illustrative of the distorted nature of identity between gypsies and non-gypsies, if biological determinants are still relied upon.

The categorisation of gypsies as an apparent homogenous group can be influenced by legislation.  It leads to the creation of deviant groups that need to be controlled.  Belton (2005) draws upon the broad theoretical framework of Marxism to provide an overview to the discussion.  It is further elaborated through the works of Foucault, particularly in relation to 'Discipline and Punish' (1977) and the carceral society.  The foundations of a carceral society are considered in relation to the issues of regulation and social control.  This presumption is inherently intertwined with Foucault’s power-knowledge dynamic.  The maintenance of social control and regulation exists to objectify and manipulate the physical body.  It can only succeed if categorisation occurs.  In this instance, categorisation is not only created by social influences that give prevalence to ethnic groupings but can also be used to create a socially cohesive group to stand their cause and combat oppression experienced.

In evaluation, 'Questioning Gypsy Identity' is a well-researched account of the exploration of the social construct of gypsy ethnicity.  The book is aptly structured to offer the reader a chapter-by-chapter summary of the key arguments, followed by laying the foundations for the ensuing sections.  The discussion is enriched further by the use of story telling narratives in parallel to the author’s main theoretical debate.  The utilisation of the colonial simile strengthens the succinct nature of Belton’s exploration of a new gypsy paradigm by ensuring its applicability to the innate complexities surrounding the construction of ethnic identities.

Faiza Qureshi  

REFERENCES:

Belton, B A (2005) Questioning Gypsy Identity: Ethnic Narratives in Britain and America.  Oxford: AltaMira Press.

Foucault, M.  (1977) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison.  London: Allen Lane Publishers.         



Homicide Investigation: An Introduction

Reviewed by Andy Day

(PLEASE NOTE - This book is about the subject in the USA) WARNING Some readers may find the graphics and descriptions disturbing


Homicide Investigation - An Introduction.

Author: John J Miletich.

ISBN: 0-8108-4625-X.

Publishers: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Cost: £37 RRP UK

Publication Date: August 2003.

This book is exactly what it says - An 'Introduction' to Homicide Investigation. Written by an American, about the American system of homicide investigation, it does, however, mention in passing the murder of London WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan People’s Bureau in St. James’s Square in 1984.

The book introduces the reader to current American Police investigation methods, and how the various facets of the American Forensic Science system operate. Utilising hundreds of sources including many personal contacts in the police and scientific community the author analyses the methods used to determine and understand what occurred at a homicide crime scene.

Chapters cover many different types of homicide, including serial killers, mass murderers, crimes of passion, underworld and contract killings, drug related murders, homosexual homicide, ritualistic murders, trophy killers, hate crimes, and 'justifiable homicide'. The many different methods used to commit murder are also described and discussed. There are sections on firearms, stabbings, strangulations, drowning, explosives, poisonings, and many more.

This book is, however, above everything else - American, and as such describes certain methods and procedures that are not, and indeed, would not be used in this country. It is my opinion,  that some of the American ways of packaging forensic exhibits as described in the book, leave a lot to be desired. The author also writes about developing fingerprints using various powders of different colours for different backgrounds. This system has not been used at the majority of crime scenes in the UK for more than thirty years. The author makes no mention of aluminium fingerprint powder at all, and this is now more or less the only powder used by crime scene examiners in the UK to examine the most common types of surfaces. The method described to "lift" fingerprints is also alien to this country. Some statements made in the book are just not true, for instance "rigor mortis must be absent to fingerprint a deceased person". True, it is a great deal easier if rigor mortis is not present, but I have fingerprinted many, many bodies where rigor mortis is fully developed.

The chapter on Integrity of Evidence is basically good, but here again the way that some American police departments treat homicide crime scenes, with regard to possible contamination, or the suggestion of contamination that may be levelled by defence lawyers, is frankly, in my view, appalling.

The author states " Some police departments require forensic personnel at homicide crime scenes to wear latex surgical gloves - and bunny suits", these are later explained as being white hooded coveralls. No self respecting crime scene examiner in the UK will even consider, or in fact be allowed to enter a murder scene unless properly attired in approved disposable coveralls, overshoes, latex gloves, pulled over the cuffs of the coverall, and of course, a facemask as well, the latter not only for health and safety reasons, but also to prevent ones own DNA from contaminating the scene.

The book depicts and describes in great detail many different types of homicide scenes, and the later examinations that are carried out. The three pages describing the work of the Pathologist and how a post-mortem examination is performed are so graphic, that whilst reading them, I was sure that I could, once again, smell some of the pungent aromas that seem only to occur in a mortuary.

The section about estimating time of death is interesting. It describes temperature loss after death and the various influences that can affect it. The other changes that take place in a body after death are also discussed, but I take issue with the author when he describes how lividity is detected, and also with the time scales that he states with regard to rigor mortis. Having described and explained all the different aspects of estimating when a person died, and how important that can be to an investigation, especially with regard to an alibi of a possible suspect, the author then states “The most reliable estimate, (of time of death), is between the times when the decedent was last seen alive and the time the decedents body was discovered.”

The last part of the book is dedicated to Case Profiles. If you are a reader of 'true crime literature' or you enjoy reading about interesting and unusual American homicide cases, how those crimes occurred, an outline of the police investigation, how most of the cases were solved, but how some still remain unsolved, then this is a book for you.

Andrew Day.

June 2004.

Profile of the Reviewer.

Andrew (Andy Day) joined the City of London Police Cadets in 1961 and the regular Force in 1962.  In 1969 he joined the Photographic Department.  He served in the same Department, renamed, The Scenes of Crime Department and later, The Scientific Support Unit, until he retired.

In 1993 he retired from the City of London Police and became a Civilian Crime Scene Examiner and Crime Scene Manager with the same force, a post he held for nine years until he finally left the City in 2002, having served it in total for more than forty years. After being a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at the London South Bank University he has now retired. 


Chapters cover in this book:

Types of homicides

Serial killers

Police databases

Crime scenes

Evidence

Wounds and injuries

Weapons

Forensic investigation procedures

Perpetrator profiles

About the Author

John J. Miletich, former librarian at the University of Alberta, is the author of reference publications in the social and health sciences. He is also the author of Police, Firefighter, and Paramedic Stress: An Annotated Bibliography.

Recommended reading for those wishing to understand many of expressions used in American Detective Series on TV



Title: The Great Pictorial History of World Crime

Author: Jay Robert Nash

ISBN:  1928831206

Publishers Scarecrow Press

Price:  £170 RRP UK

Publication Date: 2004


Have you ever looked for answers to these questions that have nagged and plagued criminologists for decades?

Who really assassinated President John Fitzgerald Kennedy'?

Did Butch Cassidy survive the wild shootout with Bolivian troops in 1908?

Was a "double" killed instead of the notorious bandit John Dillinger outside a Chicago theatre in 1934?

Who was the fiend known as Jack the Ripper and does Scotland Yard know that it can solve the case with evidence residing in its own files'?

Who were the real machine gun killers in the 1933 Kansas City Massacre?

Who were the four Capone gang killers that machine "gunned to death the seven rival gangsters in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre'?

Which criminal secret society marks its members with tattoos'?

What ancient criminal secret society is the role model for Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda?

Was John Wilkes Booth secretly supported by a powerful political cabal in his 1865 assassination of the great Abraham Lincoln?

These and many more perplexing questions are addressed by the author in revealing detail, putting to rest ancient suspicions, while unearthing new evidence that reveals the true existence of sinister conspiracies. This kaleidoscopic effort records and relates through memorable text and graphics the history of man's darkest deeds from earliest eras to the global terrorism of today and will certainly become the standard reference work in its field. In addition to being a vital and informative historical and sociological reference work, The Great Pictorial History of World Crime provides gripping reading for anyone interested in true crime, political science, law enforcement, criminology and criminal justice. An extensive Bibliography and comprehensive Index further enhances this important work as a necessary source tool for researchers.

JAY ROBERT NASH is a four-time winner of the American Library Association's Best Reference Work award (for Darkest Hours; Blood Letters and Badmen; and, for year and decade, The Motion Picture Guide). He is also the recipient of the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award for the 8 volume Encyclopaedia of World Crime. He has written and published dozens of additional reference works.

This unparalleled reference spans the entire scope of world history offering a thorough investigation into the most infamous crimes and their perpetrators throughout recorded time. Arranged by subject, from Assassination to the Wrongly Convicted, each chapter begins with an essay that introduces the topic and provides a concise overview of the historical, social, and very often, political significance of the crime. Subjects are further developed crime-by-crime, from ancient to modern times through descriptive entries covering the criminal acts, modus operandi, criminal background information, and motives along with insightful anecdotes. Every major crime category is presented as a separate, all-inclusive history. This arrangement facilitates the Encyclopedia's readability as well as its usefulness by specialists and non-specialists alike who need a "first-stop" resource.

Within the two-volumes there are thousands of in-depth profiles and more than 2,000 illustrations, almost half of which are published here for the first time and drawn from the author's personal collection of photographs, drawings, and primary documents. Through these fascinating and revealing graphics, the sinister and startling face of crime is exposed in all its blatant and deceptive poses. Riveting details and history-altering facts will engage and inform all who seek information within these volumes.

An extensive bibliography of more than 5,000 entries and a comprehensive proper name and subject index make this an easy-to-use and essential reference for those searching for details of the people, places, and events in the world of crime.

Author Jay Robert Nash draws upon his exhaustive personal collection of images to offer more than 2,000 illustrations and more than a million words that bring to life history's most notorious criminals in engrossing and exacting detail. Libraries who purchased Nash's Encyclopedia of World Crime will want to update and expand their collection with these new volumes from the "Dean of American True-Crime Writers". Every major crime category is presented as a comprehensive history.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Compiled by "America's foremost chronicler of crime."

Each chapter opens with an overview of major crime category.

Subjects are developed chronologically, providing a narrative time line of crime.

Crime classifications are arranged alphabetically for easy access.

More than 2000 photographs, drawings, and primary documents from author's private collection enhance the visual presentation of factual data.

End of chapter chronologies include other notable cases.

About The Author
Jay Robert Nash, hailed as  America's foremost chronicler of crime  (Chicago Tribune), is a four-time recipient of the American Library Association's Best Reference Work award. He is also the winner of the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award. He has published numerous crime-related books.

Assasination

Bigamy

Burglary

Cannibalism

Drugs

Fraud

Gangs, Gangsters, and Organized Crime

Kidnapping

Murder/Celebrity Slayings

Murder/Mass Murder

Murder/Serial Killers

Murder/Unsolved Homicides

Piracy

Robbery

Secret Criminal Societies

Terrorism



Gang Cop

The Words and Ways of Officer Paco Domingo

Author: Malcolm W. Klein

ISBN: 0-7591-0547-2

Publisher's: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group -Imprint: AItaMira Press

Price: £14.95 Paperback

Subject: Criminology

Publication Date: February 2004

"Paco Domingo" is a gang cop: a composite figure derived from criminologist Malcolm Klein's real observations, actual events and verbatim court testimony in over 40 years of police and gang research. Klein, well-known criminologist and police consultant, tells the story of Domingo, who is deeply engaged in battling his street gang opponents. The author points to the dangers in police elite units when an officer begins to rationalise the use of police violence and corruption.

For all of those concerned with dealing in practical ways with street gangs, the greatest impediment has been ignorance about their nature. Klein highlights the importance of the training of gang cops, often the first point of contact with gang members in the community. He points out the discrepancies between some of their views and assumptions of fact in law enforcement on the one hand, and what criminological research has discovered on the other. The author assesses the knowledge and skills of the gang cop, and current gaps in our knowledge of street gangs. This book is valuable to anyone working in this area of law enforcement, criminologists and community and governmental agencies concerned with gangs.

Contents:

Preface; 1: The Relationship Develops: Gang Cop, Gang Researcher; 2: Paco: Character and Values; 3: Paco Considers the European Cop; 4: Street Gangs and Community Policing; 5: Defining Street Gangs; 6: Street Gang Structures; 7: Changes in Street Gang Culture; 8: Changes in Paco's Career; 9: Street Gang Neighbourhoods; 10: Gang Member Characteristics; 11: Street Gang Crime Patterns; 12: Street Gangs are Groups; 13: Street Gang Victims; 14: Gang Control: Paco's Way and Other Ways; 15: Paco Goes to Court; 16: Elite Units, Gang Units, and Paco; 17: Rampart: The Smoking Gun.

The Author

Malcolm W. Klein is Professor Emeritus of the University of Southern California and an independent consultant on street gang issues. His research appears in many journals and he has authored and edited fourteen books, including The American Street Gang (OUP). Crime I Law Enforcement

Violence Prevention and Policy Series Mark S. Fleisher, series editor

"A powerful new book ... Malcolm Klein draws on forty years of research on gangs, law enforcement, and intervention policy. He demonstrates the ways in which the police are organized, trained, and isolated to respond to gangs, and where these ways can and have gone wrong."

-Scott H. Decker, University of Missouri, St. Louis

"Gang Cop is a revealing and compelling look inside the world of the police gang unit officer. Klein not only offers readers a colourful and unforgettable depiction of gang cops and the world in which they work and live, but he also provides readers with a scholarly examination of gangs and gang crime." -Charles Katz, Arizona State University West



Title: Community in the Digital Age

Author: Andrew Feenberg

ISBN: 0-7425-2959-2

Publishers: Rowman and Littlefield

Price £26.95 RRP UK

Publication Date:  2004

Is the Internet the key to a reinvigorated public life?  Or will it fragment society by enabling citizens to associate only with like-minded others?  Online community has provided social researchers with insights into our evolving social life. As suburbanization and the breakdown of the extended family and neighbourhood isolate individuals more and more, the Internet appears as a possible source for reconnection.  Are virtual communities "real" enough to support the kinds of personal commitment and growth we associate with community life, or are they fragile and ultimately unsatisfying substitutes for human interaction? Community in the Digital Age features the latest, most challenging work in an important and fast-changing field, providing a forum for some of the leading North American social scientists and philosophers concerned with the social and political implications of this new technology.  Their provocative arguments touch on all sides of the debate surrounding the Internet, community, and democracy.

Reviews

"Community in the Digital Age refreshingly updates and extends the debates about who we are when we are online. Smartly linking offline and online realities and interpre­tations, the authors of the essays collected here provide us with new and clear under­standings of community in the information age.  This book may well be considered the harbinger of the next generation of community studies." -Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago.

"A stimulating contribution from many of the world's leading commentators to the controversies surrounding the social, political, and cultural importance of online community networks." -Brian D. Loader, editor, Information, Communication, & Society.

Contributors

Philip E. Agre, Maria Bakardjieva, Darin Barney, Bruce Bimber, Albert Borgmann, Hubert Dreyfus, Amitai Etzioni, Andrew Feenberg, Tetsuji Iseda, Diane Johnson, Richard Kahn, Douglas Kellner, Yumiko Nara, Mark Poster, Douglas Schuler, Leslie Regan Shade, Sherry Turkle

About the Editors

Andrew Feenberg is Canada Research Chair in the Philosophy of Technology at Simon Fraser University.

Darin Barney is assistant professor of communication at McGill University.


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