This innovative text/reader for undergraduate criminal justice courses in the United States provides a companion or alternative to traditional texts. Instead of providing a "catalog of information" this book gives students rich insights into what it is like to work within the system (as practitioners) as well as from those who experience criminal justice as outsiders (as citizens, clients, jurors, probationers, or inmates). By providing qualitative and teachable articles from the perspective of those who experience the three components of the criminal justice system, students will be better informed about the realities of the day-to-day job of criminal justice professionals. A second, but equally important, part of the readings asks that students look beyond the actual content of the articles and use a "critical thinking" perspective to develop their own thoughts about the functions of the criminal justice system on a broader societal level. The Editors have used these articles and this approach very successfully in their large undergraduate criminal justice classes, assigning the readings together with an "essentials" paperback text.