Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century, 16th Edition © 2021

Criminal Justice Today, published by Pearson, looks at the American criminal justice system through the tension between individual rights and public order. By examining police, courts, and corrections, the text challenges students to think critically about the system’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Comprehensive coverage of crime in the United States
  • Updated throughout with current issues
  • Powerful Pearson Revel® Platform

Introductory Criminal Justice Program with Digital Integration

A contemporary look at America’s courts, corrections system, and policing that caters to the modern student.


Freedom and Security

Criminal Justice Today shows students how the debates around freedom and security shape the current landscape of societal thinking around the justice system.


Contemporary Concerns

Students thoroughly explore the role of social media, smartphones, and personal online videos in shaping individual and collective understanding of the criminal justice system.


Evaluating Today’s Legal System

The author of the text consistently asks students to critique the major issues affecting the criminal justice system and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to solving societal challenges.

Criminal Justice CTE Teaching Solutions

  • YOU Decide Freedom OR Safety?
  • CJ Careers
  • CJ News
  • CJ Issues

YOU decide boxes in each chapter highlight the book’s ever-evolving theme of individual rights versus public order, a hallmark feature of this text since the first edition. In each chapter of the text, Freedom or Safety boxes build on this theme by illustrating some of the personal rights issues that challenge policymakers today. Each box includes critical-thinking questions that ask readers to ponder whether and how the criminal justice system balances individual rights and public safety.


CJ Careers boxes outline the characteristics of a variety of criminal justice careers in a Q&A format, to introduce today’s pragmatic students to an assortment of potential career options and assist them in making appropriate career choices.


CJ News boxes in each chapter present case stories from the media to bring a true-to-life dimension to the study of criminal justice and allow insight into the everyday workings of the justice system.


CJ Issues boxes throughout the text showcase selected issues in the field of criminal justice, including topics related to multiculturalism, diversity, and technology.


Continuous Interactive Learning Environment


Pearson Revel® is an immersive learning experience that enlivens familiar and respected course content with media interactives and assessments. Revel improves results by empowering students to actively participate in learning. More than a digital textbook, Revel delivers an engaging blend of author content, media, and assessment.

Additional Resources for Criminal Justice Today

  • Downloadable Teacher Resources
  • Instructor’s Manual
  • Test Bank with TestGen®
  • PowerPoint Presentations

Access the complete collection of Teacher Resources provided for Criminal Justice Today.

Download Teacher Resources

The downloadable Instructor’s Manual includes content outlines for classroom discussion, teaching suggestions, and answers to selected end-of-chapter questions from the text. This also contains a Word document version of the test bank.


The Test Bank includes multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and True/False questions for each chapter.

TestGen helps you quickly create paper quizzes and tests that supplement the content in your textbook, without creating extra work for you.


PowerPoint® presentations offer clear, straightforward outlines and notes to use for class lectures or study materials. Photos, illustrations, charts, and tables from the book are included in the presentations when applicable.


Frequently asked questions about Criminal Justice Today

  • What topics are included in the Table of Contents?


    • What Is Criminal Justice?
    • The Crime Picture
    • The Search for Causes
    • Criminal Law


    • Policing: History and Structure
    • Policing: Purpose and Organization
    • Policing: Legal Aspects
    • Policing: Issues and Challenges


    • The Courts: Structure and Participants
    • Pretrial Activities and the Criminal Trial
    • Sentencing


    • Probation, Parole, and Reentry
    • Prisons and Jails
    • Prison Life


    • Juvenile Justice
    • Drugs and Crime
    • Terrorism, Multinational Criminal Justice, and Global Issues
    • High-Technology Crimes
  • What grade levels is this text appropriate for?

    Grades 9-12

  • What types of courses is this text best suited for?
    This program is designed for introductory criminal justice courses.
  • What Student Resources are available?
    Available Student Resources include the print Student Edition and student access to the Pearson Revel® online course.
  • What Teacher Resources are available?
    Available Teacher Resources include the downloadable Instructor's Manual, TestGen® Test Bank, Visual Aid PowerPoint® presentations, and teacher access to the Pearson Revel® online course.
  • What are the digital license options?
    Student digital access to Pearson Revel® can be purchased for 1 or 6 years.
  • Is institutional licensing offered for Criminal Justice Today on Pearson Revel®?
    Yes, selecting the institutional licensing option means that students will not need an access code to join their course. Contact your Savvas Account Manager for more details.

PEARSON, MYLAB, REVEL, Pearson Logo are trademarks owned and/or registered by Pearson plc and/or its affiliates. All other third party marks associated with these products are the property of their respective owners. Copyright in the works referenced herein is owned by Pearson Education, Inc. Pearson Education has control over the editorial content in these instructional materials.

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