In the past two decades, feminist theory has alerted practitioners and scholars to the tremendous force that the distribution of resources according to gender, race, class, and ethnicity has on people's social locations, actions, and well-being. At the same time, postmodern and other critical theorists (including feminists) have expressed growing concern with the extension of criminal justice controls into the community, the family, and, indeed, the very person. Community oriented police are now responsible for building community capacity to problem solve about everything from broken windows to the threats of school violence and international terrorism. Community prosecution, incredibly high rates of incarceration, and various courts that handle family, drug, and other human problems bring many, many people into the formal criminal justice system. Monitoring technologies, programs to restructure thinking processes, and the use of persistent drug testing put large numbers of people under the scrutiny of formal agents of social control and punishment. Pushing forward critical feminist work, Hoan Bui's book, In the Adopted Land: Abused Immigrant Women and the Criminal Justice System, documents the effects of the growing apparatus of criminal justice intervention on abused women who have immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. This criminal justice apparatus is the result of the transformation of domestic violence from a private family matter to a social problem, and the concomitant push for police, prosecutors, and judges to bring people into the justice system and arrange for their punishment.
The book is based on lengthy interviews with 34 Vietnamese women in four communities in the United States. The communities are located in Boston (Massachusetts), Houston (Texas), Orange County (California), and Lansing (Michigan). The analysis of the interview data reveals how gender affects women's resources, their goals, and the available strategies for achieving these goals; and the analysis