4 out of 4 stars
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In The Quiet Revolution, author Ed Barajas seeks to debunk some common misconceptions about the state of the criminal justice system in the United States. A twenty-seven year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Mr. Barajas uses his extensive professional experience and knowledge to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. justice system, and provides details about the methods that have been most effective in reducing crime.
Like many Americans, if you had asked me about the crime rate in the United States before I read this book, I would have said that it's out of control. Every time I watch the evening news, I get bombarded with stories that depict my country as a place that is seemingly overrun with violent criminals. Fortunately, reading The Quiet Revolution has set me straight. In spite of the media hype that tends to portray an escalation in violent crime throughout the United Sates, the truth of the matter is that crime has actually been on the decline for the past two decades, and Mr. Barajas takes the reader on a journey that explains how this seemingly unlikely trend has come about.
However, no institution is perfect, and the author also addresses aspects of the justice system that could be improved. Additionally, he takes on the well-intentioned (but often misguided) reform movement that tends to portray the justice system as biased and overly punitive.
Although the subject matter is heavy, The Quiet Revolution is an easy to understand book that does not require the reader to have a background in criminal justice. The author gives more than adequate explanations when needed, and has provided a glossary of the terminology used throughout the book. The writing itself has an almost conversational style that smoothly transitions the reader from one chapter to the next, with minimal errors that can be easily corrected.
Mr. Barajas uses plenty of statistical data to back up his points, and provides a list of references for each one. Interestingly, he also provides the names of several books that oppose his viewpoint in the introduction, which I highly respect, as this gives readers an opportunity to become familiar with both sides of the issue and make their own decisions.
In addition to addressing the modern-day criminal justice system, Mr. Barajas provides historical background that explains how it came to its present state. These history lessons not only helped me gain better comprehension of the subject matter, but were also very interesting in and of themselves.
The Quiet Revolution is an educational and thought-provoking read, and I give it 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to all U.S. citizens, as the criminal justice system is a significant part of our lives. The knowledge within can also help one weed out the truth from the hype when watching media coverage on the matter.
The Quiet Revolution
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