Fundamentals of Criminal Justice provides students with an accurate and comprehensive view of the police, the criminal courts, and corrections in the United States. This text is a concise, thorough, and easy-to-comprehend examination of the criminal justice system. It focuses on three main concepts that are central to the success or failure of the system and key to helping students comprehend the role that criminal justice plays, the controversies it raises, and its potential for addressing the nation's crime problem. The first concept is how the criminal justice system is structured and how it works in reality (as opposed to how it functions ideally). The second concept is the role played by race and ethnicity in the operation of the criminal justice system. And the final concept is the capacity of the criminal justice system (either as it currently exists, or with appropriate reforms) to control criminal behavior and reduce crime. Barkan and Bryjak paint a realistic and constructive portrait of the American criminal justice system.