Book Review: Thurman, Q., & Jamieson, J. D. (2004). Police Problem Solving. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson. pp. vi, 169

AuthorJorja Leap
Published date01 March 2008
Date01 March 2008
Subject MatterArticles
issue into manageable pieces. Within the 149 pages,Alexander cites more than 70 court cases
adding further credibility to this solidly written book.
Occasionally, Alexander breaks from the book’s logical sequence to inject a personal
opinion or assumption and at times takes a sarcastic tone. These undercurrents were daunting
but made the reader analyze other aspects of the book to determine whether the arguments
being made were compelling or subjective anecdotes. Although Alexander’s sarcasm is
apparent, it cannot be denied that this appears to be a part of the historical court experience
of African Americans. Judicial statements and decisions which give way to broad interpre-
tations of the law are frequently demonstrated in the book. Abuse of the law has occurred
so frequently over so many decades that it is, perhaps, a running joke to African Americans
including Alexander. Specifically, this book has succeeded in weaving a theoretical fabric
that explains the continued discriminatory practices of the judicial system that African
Americans face.
Despite Alexander’s occasional assumptions and cynicism, Racism, African Americans, and
Social Justice is a solid, well-written book which has the ability to teach a new generation of
students about the real history of African Americans. Although many books exist on this subject,
Alexander’s straightforward style which sometimes reads like a novel, yet is supported by
historical documents, has the ability to engage a new generation of students, as well as anyone
with an interest in the experiences of African Americans. More important, it is one of the
few books which cite historical Federal Court documentation as it pertains to the courts’
discrimination against African Americans. He does offer a readable integration of literature
that spans several areas of the criminal justice field. The strength of this book is its impressive
review of federal cases and research showing that discrimination and injustice occur at every
layer of society. This would be an appropriate choice for a text in graduate and undergrad-
uate courses in criminal justice, law, political science, sociology, and social work.
A professor of social work at the Ohio State University, Rudolph Alexander, Jr., has
published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, in both social work and crimi-
nal justice. He is also the author of four books, including Race and Justice and To Ascend
Into the Shining World Again. Alexander’s autobiography chronicles his journey from being
a 17-year-old youth on death row in 1968 Georgia, to a free man and professor at Ohio
State University.
David N. Baker
University of Toledo
Thurman, Q., & Jamieson, J. D. (2004). Police Problem
Solving. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson. pp. vi, 169.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016808314564
Law enforcement is often characterized as conservative in its methods and traditional in its
approach to crime. Correspondingly, police departments often resist scrutiny or change except
in times of internal scandal or external catastrophe. This volume represents a refreshing and
much-needed departure from that reality. It is also useful reading outside the law enforcement
116 Criminal Justice Review

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