Vera Institute of Justice names book co-written by ASU professor as one of ‘Best of 2019’

A book co-written by an ASU professor about how inequalities in the criminal justice system have roots in bail and pretrial detention issues has been recognized by the Vera Institute of Justice as one of its best books of 2019.

Professor Henry F. Fradella of ASU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) and Christine S. Scott-Hayward, associate professor of law, criminology and criminal justice at California State University, Long Beach, wrote Punishing Poverty: How Bail and Pretrial Detention Fuel Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System, published in September by the University of California Press.

Fradella, who is also affiliate professor of law at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, is the author or coauthor of a dozen books, including Stop and Frisk and America’s Courts and the Criminal Justice System. 

According to its description on the publisher’s website, the book “examines how the current system of pretrial release detains hundreds of thousands of defendants awaiting trial. Tracing the historical antecedents of the U.S. bail system, with particular attention to the failures of bail reform efforts in the mid- to late 20th century, authors Christine Scott-Hayward and Henry Fradella describe the painful social and economic impact of contemporary bail decisions.”

Fradella said that until recently, little change has occurred despite criticisms of systematic reliance on money bail. Slow change has begun, he said, but “pretrial detention remains the norm in the United States, particularly for the poor. Our book explains why that is and what might be done to change it.”

Fradella said he and Scott-Hayward wanted to offer “some concrete solutions – a path forward for bail reform in the United States.”

The book is available in paperback or as an e-book for $29.95.

The 59-year-old, New York City-based Vera Institute’s mission is “to drive change” and “to urgently build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety and strengthen communities.” Its Best of 2019 awards honor the best articles, books, podcasts, films, and thought leaders/influencers in the justice field of the past year.

Mark J. Scarp
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions
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