Book Review: Neustein, A., & Lesher, M. (2005). From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running From Family Courts—And What Can Be Done About It. Boston: University Press of New England. pp. 316

Published date01 March 2008
Date01 March 2008
Subject MatterArticles
to locations, including specific strategies for using “problem oriented approaches” to
enhance criminal investigations. The subsequent chapter reinforces this with Rossmo’s
detailed exposition on the problem-solving capacity of geographic profiling. Finally, in his
article, “Problem Solving and Terrorism Vulnerability,” Poole’s discussion of cost-neutral
domestic security strategies is insightful and invaluable, particularly given law enforce-
ment’s constantly expanding role in homeland security.
The book concludes with a fifth, one-chapter section that quite logically considers the
problem-solving approach in the “Twenty First Century.” Ikeda’s article offers a thoughtful
analysis of not only the advantages but also the limitations of the problem-solving
approach, discussing challenges to its acceptance and sustainability.
Throughout the book, charts and tables are user-friendly and geared for quick reference.
All materials are useful for law enforcement professionals, as well as those who are assessing
related social problems. Most of the book is strongly organized, although it would have been
beneficial to have an introduction to each section, perhaps clarifying general issues and terms
in each area.
One particular aspect of police problem solving warrants further development: crimes
that involve specific victim characteristics, including but not limited to age, race, ethnicity,
gender, and sexual orientation. The work focuses more on traditional “crime problems.
There is no extensive discussion of police problem solving and its efficacy in terms of hate
crimes based on religion or violence directed against gays and lesbians. In addition, it might
have been useful to examine police problem solving and its application to child abuse or
domestic violence. Are there any efforts involving law enforcement and community partners
that apply police problem-solving methods? It is essential to note that demographic factors
are not overlooked. Many chapters mention them, as exemplified by the discussion of
demographics in Scott’s chapter on disorderly youth. However, this book leaves the issue
unfinished—perhaps warranting a second volume on “Police Problem Solving and Specific
Populations.” Perhaps, it is a mark of its strengths that it leaves the reader wanting more.
This book recommends and explains an effective and useful law enforcement “best practice”
which deserves greater consideration and usage. In turn, with its expert editing, writing,
fine research, and overall quality, this work also offers cross-disciplinary value. Police
Problem Solving is ultimately an excellent example of the intersection between academic
research, public organizations, and the social good.
Jorja Leap
University of California, Los Angeles
Neustein, A., & Lesher, M. (2005). From Madness to Mutiny: Why
Mothers Are Running From Family Courts—And What Can Be Done
About It. Boston: University Press of New England. pp. 316.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016808315256
The last few decades of the 20th century witnessed a flurry of awareness campaigns,
legal reforms, and interventions designed to combat domestic abuse. Prior to that period, a
118 Criminal Justice Review

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