Civil Liability in Criminal Justice

6th Edition

Authors: Darrell Ross
Paperback ISBN: 9781455730131
Imprint: Anderson
Published Date: 2nd October 2012
Page Count: 512


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Table of Contents

1. Overview of Civil Liability
2. Foundations for Liability
3. Civil Liability Under State and Federal Tort Law
4. Civil Liability and Federal Law: Section 1983 Litigation
5. Defenses to Civil Litigation and Risk Management
6. Administrative and Supervisory Liability
7. Liability for Failure to Train
8. Operating Criminal Justice Agencies Under a Constant Decree
9. Personnel Issues and Liability
10. Use of Force in Law Enforcement and Corrections
11. Section 1983 and Correctional Liability Issues
12. Section 1983 Actions in Law Enforcement
13. Liability and Wrongful Custodial Death
14. Conclusions: Shifting Directions in Civil Litigation
Table of Cases
Subject Index
Index of Cases


Close to 60,000 civil lawsuits are filed annually against criminal justice practitioners. This increasing litigation poses a significant problem for law enforcement and other personnel who must ensure they are performing their legal duties within the boundaries of case law. In brief, they not only need a working knowledge of criminal law but a firm grasp on the civil law process as well. Civil Liability in Criminal Justice provides valuable advice and protection to future officers and correctional system employees, introducing them to civil liability generally and the federal law specifically, while indicating steps that can be taken to minimize risks. The text clearly outlines the specific precedents to which both individual staff members and entire agencies must adhere and provides court decisions in common and high-liability areas.

This text is one of few on the subject that combines applicable case law and related liability research, a valuable new feature for current and future policy makers and managers. It also provides an overview of current case law in high- liability areas, enhancing student knowledge and practitioner job performance. Exercises based on ethical dilemmas and evidence-based assessments of likely trouble spots in organizational training and policy prepare the reader to avoid costly legal action in the complex worlds of policing and corrections.

Key Features

  • Hundreds of cases are referenced throughout the text, including the latest U.S. Supreme Court decisions in civil liability suits against police and corrections officers and their agencies
  • Provides richly documented research findings regarding recent trends in litigation and financial penalties
  • Includes current thinking on avoiding lawsuits through training and policy development


Criminal Justice Practitioners and Law Enforcement Personnel. Graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the criminal justice programs of 4-yr and career schools, and CJ professionals. Classes include: Civil Law; Civil and Criminal Liability , Graduate Level; and Civil & Criminal Liability for Law Enforcement.


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© Anderson 2013
Paperback ISBN:


"Ross explains the civil litigation process when filed against criminal justice agencies to students, academy recruits, practitioners, administrators, and agency trainers…This edition has 79 new cases, including 12 new Supreme Court decisions, and 55 new research studies."--Reference and Research Book News, August 2013
"It introduces the reader to civil liability generally and the federal law specifically, while indicating steps to minimize the risk of litigation."--Evidence Technology Magazine, July-August 2013

About the Authors

Darrell Ross Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor and Department Head of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Valdosta State University