Snipes, J.B. and Maguire, E.R. (2007). “Foundations of Criminal Justice Theory.” Pp. 27-49 in Criminal Justice Theory: Explaining the Nature and Behavior of Criminal Justice, edited by D.E. Duffee and E.R. Maguire. New York: Routledge.
This chapter outlines the foundations of criminal justice theory. It begins by defining what constitutes criminal justice theory, differentiating between philosophies of criminal justice which are inherently untestable, and scientific theories of criminal justice which can be tested and falsified. It also differentiates between criminological theory and criminal justice theory; the former seeks to explain variation in crime and delinquency whereas the latter seeks to explain variation in official responses to crime. The chapter outlines four tests useful for determining what constitutes criminal justice theory. It then gives some examples of criminal justice theory and discusses some ideas about its future.
Type: Book chapter