Praeger Publishers - Greenwood Publishing Group 2007
"INTERNET LAW BOOK REVIEWS - Service Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM

Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings

Edition: HB

Author: Sheldon X Zhang

ISBN: 0275989518

Publishers: Westport, Greenwood, Praeger

Price: £22.95

Publication Date: 30th July 2007

Publisher's Title Information


Coming to America to make a better life has long been a dream of many from around the world, even if it means being voluntarily smuggled into the country to gain entry. Perhaps more ominously, various criminal elements now traffic people to the United States--especially vulnerable groups like women and children from poor nations--against their will for sexual exploitation, slavery, and other illicit, underground purposes. The implications for the United States are potentially staggering. This book examines how for-profit human smuggling and trafficking activities to the United States are carried out and explores the legal and policy challenges of dealing with these problems. Zhang covers the scope and patterns of global human trafficking and smuggling activities; the strategies and methods employed by various groups to bring individuals into the United States; major smuggling routes and venues; the involvement of organized criminal organizations in transnational human smuggling activities; and the challenges confronting the U.S. government in combating these activities.


From Ko-Lin Chin, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark:

This volume is simply one of the best books on human smuggling and trafficking, well written, well organized, and comprehensive. The book is unique because Professor Zhang is not only extremely familiar with the literature, but also has conducted empirical research on the topic for so many years. As a result, this is a solid book filled with findings from some of the best research on human smuggling and trafficking.

From Carlo Morselli, School of Criminology/International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Université de Montréal:

This book is precisely the type of sound and firmly documented work that we need to approach human smuggling. Strong on aggregate facts, rich in interview material, informative on the ins and outs of the smuggling trade, and void of the stereotypes that are too often and too easily used to represent this phenomenon, Zhang is definitely ahead of the game when it comes to research in this area.

From Dr. Jeffrey Scott McIllwain, Co-Director, Graduate Program in Homeland Security San Diego State University:

Dr. Zhang provides an insightful, scholarly analysis of human trafficking at a time when immigration policy once again dominates American political discourse. By breaking down the human trafficking business into its component parts, Dr. Zhang is able to provide policymakers with a research-based foundation from which they can develop more effective and efficient countermeasures.

The Author

Sheldon X. Zhang is Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University. He is the co-author of Criminology: A Global Perspective. His research revolves around two main themes--transnational organized crime and community-based corrections. His articles have appeared in journals such as Criminology, British Journal of Criminology, Criminology and Social Policy, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and Crime and Delinquency. He has given numerous conference presentations and keynote speeches to academic as well as law enforcement audiences.


This is a book about smuggling and trafficking of people into the United States of America.

There is a distinct difference between smuggling and trafficking of people.  Human smuggling is the act of assisting and facilitating, often for a fee, the unauthorised entry of a foreign national into a country.  It is important to note that smuggling does not only occur for money because sometimes, people who smuggle others into a country do so because they are related to those they smuggle into a country, making smuggling by friends and relations a purely personal act, whilst smuggling by professional smugglers is usually done for profit.

Trafficking, defined in the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime Trafficking Protocol 2000, identifies elements of trafficking as being ‘recruitment and facilitated movement of a person within or across national frontiers by means of coercion, threats or deception for the purpose of exploitation’.

This is different to smuggling, which ends when the migrants reach their destination, both relating to the complex causes of illegal/irregular migration.  The nine chapters of this book comprise 203 pages and these range from topics of human smuggling through illegal channels, legal channels, counterfeit documents, bribery, and terrorism.

In Chapter 4- on human smuggling through illegal channels, the author discusses smuggling overland, by sea and by air. The author discusses the United States border, which consists of 5,000 miles of border with Canada, 2,000 miles border with Mexico and 93,000 miles of shoreline. Yet the United States only employs 11,300 Patrol Agents for this entire vast border. The author describes the routes which smugglers take, some of these being “treacherous and dangerous”.  One would think that because of the 93,000 miles of USA shoreline, there would be more smuggling by sea, but this is not so. Smuggling by sea is mostly used by Chinese smuggling organisations and the practice is not what it used to be in 1882 when the United States implemented the Chinese Exclusion Act 1882, the first American immigration law, targeted a particular group of people based on their race.

Smuggling by air can use the method of a visiting delegation, facilitated by legal documents and temporary visas or permits to make transfers in other countries.  One such strategy is by entering the country as a business delegation.  This strategy is only successful when facilitated by corrupt officials and by switching boarding passes and passports,

Professor Zhang says that there are three basic strategies to the transporting or smuggling of illegal migrants into the United States: 

By travel to Mexico and Canada by some means and then illegally crossing into the United States;

By transporting migrants as stowaways in fishing trawlers, freighters, luxury yachts or cargo containers to reach a port or unguarded United States shore;

By flying to the United States either directly or through transit.

Professor Zhang’s well-researched book causes deliberation as to border controls. Reading the details in this scholarly work makes one wonder if obvious border controls and ID cards are really the solution, or whether deeper thought should be addressed to this worldwide problem which does not stand alone, but is deeply integrated with other social problems of poverty, inequality and fairness, as everybody wants the opportunities that health, food and money bring.  Border controls might not necessarily be the answer.  This book gives an unemotional, data-filled account of the problem of smuggling and trafficking as it impacts the United States.

Sally Ramage

Forensic Science: Modern Methods of Solving Crimes

Edition: HB

Author: Max M Houck

ISBN: 027599323X

Publishers: Praeger (Westport)

Price: £22.95

Publication Date: 2007

Publisher’s Title Description

From Poe's Dupin and Doyle's Holmes to the television hits Quincy and CSI, the public's fascination with science employed to solve crimes continues and grows. But this understanding of how science works in the forensic laboratory is filtered through the fictional worlds of books and television. How is science really used to fight crime? What techniques are used to catch criminals and free the innocent? Forensic scientists work with police, investigators, medical personnel, attorneys, and others to uphold justice, but their methods are often misunderstood, overestimated, underestimated, revered, or disputed. Here, the author answers many common questions about forensic science: How is the science conducted and by whom? What are the real limits, and real benefits, of forensic science? What new techniques are emerging to catch 21st-century criminals? Readers are treated to an insider's overview of the realties of forensic science. Forensic Science: Modern Methods of Solving Crime covers the basic concepts of forensic science and how it assists in criminal investigations. Starting with a brief history of forensic science, from its early days in Europe to the modern advances of today, the book describes each method and presents cases that highlight the applications of the methods. Houck profiles pioneers in forensic science, offers an overview of such forensic topics as DNA, fibers, fingerprints, and firearms, takes readers through the collection and processing of evidence, and uses frequent examples and anecdotes to illustrate all the major areas of forensic science. This introduction to the field is a useful starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about the real world of forensic science.

Reviews to date

Houck presents an introduction to the field that he hopes will distract students from media accusations of ineptness and sensational movie portrayals. His topics include the nature of evidence, fingerprints, trace evidence, DNA, firearms, and expert testimony.
Reference & Research Book News May 2007


This is an American book and it looks at Forensic Science from an entirely American perspective.  The basics of Forensic Science are of course, the same the world over, no matter in which country they are practised.  However, the American system of criminal justice is completely different to that in the UK.

The American system of Forensic Science Laboratory accreditation, standardisation and certification is totally different from ours, as are the many American agencies, which are involved in investigating crime and instigating prosecutions.

This book covers the basic concepts of forensic science and how it assists in criminal investigations.  It starts with a chapter on the history of forensic science, from its early days in Europe to the modern advances of today.  The following chapters then give an overview of:-

The Nature of Evidence.



Trace Evidence.



Anthropology and

Expert Testimony.

Immediately after the Preface, (more on that later), there is a section entitled 'Important Moments in the History of Forensic Science,' which briefly lists important occurrences in this field from 1810 to the present day. I was pleased to see Francis Galton, Sir Edward Henry, (fingerprints), and Sir Alec Jeffreys (DNA), included in this useful list.

However, in the first chapter (History of Forensic Science), under the section 'Pioneers in Forensic Science' they do not even get a mention.  In my view, any book which has a section on pioneers in forensic science, must include these three British pioneers who, played such an important part in the advancement of identification methods.

The author covers such subjects as individualisation of evidence, relationships and context and comparison of evidence, but hardly mentions what is to me the most important thing about potential evidence, is the correct collection, preservation, packing and documentation of such evidence.

The difference between the American and UK systems is starkly illustrated by quoting one paragraph of the book, which is included in the chapter 'Pathology'. The paragraph reads, "The position of Coroner is by appointment or election and typically no formal education or medical training is required.  Today, many coroners are funeral directors, who get possession of the body after the autopsy. This can be a major source of income for such officials."

 In the UK the Coroners Court is the highest in the land taking precedence over all other courts, and a Coroner is a trained experienced lawyer, who also has some medical training or background.

I also take issue with the author regarding 'Evidence Collection at Autopsy' when he states the number and type of swabs that should be collected in cases of suspected sexual crimes.  Those mentioned are in the UK, totally inadequate.

There are other statements in the book which are incorrect either side of the Atlantic: "Typically, only head and pubic hairs are suitable for microscopic comparison".

The section on paint, glass and soils is good, as is the section on firearms and ammunition. The section on hair comparison concentrates on the actual hair and does not mention other things that may be important in hair comparison i.e. dyes, bleaches, gels and sprays.

My harshest criticism, however, is for the chapter on fingerprints. The chapter covers friction ridges and classification adequately, but does not mention at all how fingerprints are retrieved from an item or scene, and hardly mentions the many and varied methods of developing latent fingerprints.  There are four illustrations in the chapter, three are of actual fingerprints and one shows the anatomy of a fingerprint.

Figure 4.1 states that the illustration is of a loop fingerprint pattern.  It is not.  The fingerprint shown is an arch pattern.

Figure 4.3 states that the illustration is of an arch pattern.  It is not.  The fingerprint shown is a loop pattern.

These are basic fingerprint patterns, and to have these labelled wrongly in any book on forensic science is a grave mistake.  I expect that somewhere along the line the illustrations of the arch and loop patterns were switched without the author’s knowledge - I sincerely hope that this is the case.  However, I would also expect and hope that before any book is published each chapter is proof-read by an expert in that field, in which case these problems should have been discovered and rectified, as indeed should the fact that in the Preface – the very first page of the book, a paragraph consisting of some 94 words is completely repeated.

I am sure that having read my comments above you will not be surprised to learn that I am unable to recommend this book to any reader in the United Kingdom.

Andy Day, 2007


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