Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990

By Samuel Walker | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Ford Foundation provided a fellowship that supported the research reported in this book. The fellowship was specifically awarded for research on the history of the American Bar Foundation Survey of the Administration of Criminal Justice. The history of the survey is summarized in Chapter I and examined in greater length in an article published elsewhere. Research on the survey stimulated my thinking about the general question of discretion and led me to write this book. I am indebted to the Ford Foundation for its generous support and its policy of letting scholars do their work free of time-consuming bureaucratic oversight.

Frank Remington and Herman Goldstein of the University of Wisconsin Law School also deserve much of the credit for helping me write this book. They were instrumental in recommending me for the Ford Foundation fellowship. More generally, as key figures in the American Bar Foundation Survey they have played important roles in the broader effort to control discretion in criminal justice. I thank both Frank and Herman for their interest in and support of my research.

David Rothman of Columbia University and Susan Herman of Brooklyn Law School read the manuscript and made a number of suggestions that greatly strengthened the final version. Cassie Spohn, a colleague at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, read several of the chapters and made extremely helpful suggestions. On a number of points, the book is much stronger as a result of her comments. Dennis Kenney, another colleague, read the chapter on police discretion and made several helpful comments. At Oxford University Press, Nancy Lane was once again a marvelous editor. This is the third book we have done together over the past fifteen years. It has been an extremely rewarding relationship. My heartfelt thanks to Nancy.

-vii-

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Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in Criminal Justice, 1950-1990
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Discretion and Its Discontents 3
  • 2 - Police Discretion 21
  • Conclusions 52
  • 3 - The Two Bail Reform Movements 54
  • Conclusions 79
  • 4 - The Plea-Bargaining Problem 81
  • Conclusions 108
  • 5 - Sentencing Reform 112
  • Conclusions 141
  • 6 - A System Tamed? an Interim Report on the Control of Discretion 145
  • Conclusion 156
  • Notes 157
  • Index 185
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