Criminal Justice and the Humanities

The increased scrutiny of police in recent years presents a difficult question: How can we create a more intelligent form of criminal justice? This book argues an infusion of the humanities into the criminal justice curriculum can accomplish what no other form of training can: the cultivation of criminal justice professionals whose physical strength is matched by mental and ethical strength. By bringing students to wrestle with the conceptual problems involved in crime and justice as represented in classical literary and philosophical works, a humanistic criminal justice education can bring law enforcement agents to think deeply about their enterprise before - rather than after - action must be taken in a high-pressure situation out on the street. Understanding the ancient artistic and philosophical origins of modern forms of crime and justice, moreover, can help academics reconnect the social science of criminology with the social problems that prompted it in the first place. In other words, the humanities can help us ensure the enterprise of criminal justice is worthy enough to merit the immense power society bestows upon it.