Despite great effort and some improvements, criminal justice today still seems like an oxymoron. There are some very good reasons for this feeling: catastrophic failures abound and marginal improvements appear revolutionary. This book addresses the idea of justice in order to guide society toward a more effective justice system. Specifically, the authors argue that justice and love are one and the same thing. They trace impoverished and accomplished thinking in criminological and justice discourses and show that the historic ills that have plagued humanity tend to evaporate when justice and love are understood to be synonyms.
Michael J. DeValve is associate professor of criminal justice at Fayetteville State University.Tammy S. Garland is professor of criminal justice at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.Elizabeth Q. Wright is associate professor of criminal justice at Middle Tennessee State University.
Having been a big fan of Michael DeValve’s first book, I began reading this one with anticipation and excitement. Like the previous book, this is a breath of fresh air into criminological thought and a beacon of light for those of us who seek a more compassionate, loving, and human(e) approach to justice. DeValve, Garland, and Wright have composed a rich and sometimes delightfully iconoclastic critique of prior theorizing about crime and justice. In the end, they tap into something so essential, yet so neglected in our understanding of crime and criminal justice: the centrality of love in what it means to be human. Empathy, compassion, moral duties and responsibilities, connection, and mercy are all filtered through the notion of love and distilled into a refreshing unified theory of justice and crime where humanity, humaneness, and humanization are front and center.
Travelers through the criminological and justice landscapes, REJOICE! DeValve has added two new tour guides for our journey through the forest of struggle, love, and justice. The various justice and crime dialogues discussed within the book are woven in a fashion that allows the reader to delve deeply and thoughtfully into philosophical underpinnings of modern criminological discourse while enjoying the view (that being the wonderful, insightful writing and personal musings contained within). In A Unified Theory of Justice and Crime: Justice That Love Gives, DeValve, Garland, and Wright provide readers with insightful and critical assessments of criminological theories while continuing to promote a much-needed paradigm shift for those who research, study, practice, and think about justice and crime in the twenty-first century.