Foundations of criminal justice theory

Jeffrey B. Snipes, Edward R. Maguire

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Introduction Criminal justice has been developing as an academic field since the appearance of several influential studies and the inception of its first doctoral program in the 1960s at the University at Albany. There are now about three dozen programs in the United States and Canada. As the field continues to grow, there is a need to monitor its evolution and identify any shortcomings, inconsistencies, or other constraints that might inhibit its development. We argue that the academic study of criminal justice must overcome a major hurdle that will otherwise limit its growth and vitality: There is no common understanding or teaching of theory. Instead, academic programs consist of scattergun approaches to study, with little effort toward unity and coherence beyond very basic organizational divisions such as police, courts, and corrections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCriminal Justice Theory
Subtitle of host publicationExplaining the Nature and Behavior of Criminal Justice
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781134706112
ISBN (Print)9780415715188
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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