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October 28 , 2010

Animals and Criminal Justice


Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Since civil societies are ruled by law, they can be evaluated, both figuratively and literally, by how animals are treated in the criminal justice system. This book depicts animals’ roles within society and the laws that govern how humans treat them.

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Carmen M. Cusack focuses on current issues in human-animal relationships and how these are affected by the criminal justice system. Her analysis, while objective, is rooted in firsthand activist, professional, legal, and criminal justice experience. She presents a comprehensive overview of the place of animals and the law, including pets in prison, K-9 units, constitutional rights, animal sacrifice, wild animals, entertainment, domestic violence, rehabilitation, history, and religion. She includes information about law, behavioral and social science, systemic responses and procedure, anecdotal evidence, current events, and theoretical considerations.

Animals and Criminal Justice is a useful handbook and a thorough textbook, as well as a practical guide to animals’ relationships with the criminal justice system. Professionals, including police, child protective services, judges, animal control officers, and corrections staff, as well as scholars in the fields of criminal justice and criminology will find this book invaluable.

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