Mass Incarceration on Trial

Author: Jonathan Simon
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 9781595587695
Release Date: 2014
Genre: LAW

For nearly 40 years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading. Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of tough on crime' politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and lead to the end of mass incarceration.'

Mass Incarceration on Trial

Author: Jonathan Simon
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 9781595587923
Release Date: 2014-08-05
Genre: Law

For nearly forty years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading—relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order. Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions—culminating in Brown v. Plata, decided in May 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court—that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of “tough on crime” politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and, ultimately, lead to the demise of mass incarceration. Simon argues that much like the school segregation cases of the last century, these new cases represent a major breakthrough in jurisprudence—moving us from a hollowed-out vision of civil rights to the threshold of human rights and giving court backing for the argument that, because the conditions it creates are fundamentally cruel and unusual, mass incarceration is inherently unconstitutional. Since the publication of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, states around the country have begun to question the fundamental fairness of our criminal justice system. This book offers a provocative and brilliant reading to the end of mass incarceration.

The Pains of Mass Imprisonment

Author: Benjamin Fleury-Steiner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134468041
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: Social Science

This concise and engaging book presents a critical perspective on the correctional system and the process of incarceration in the United States. Fleury-Steiner and Longazel emphasize the magnitude of mass imprisonment in the United States, especially of people of color, not by objective statistics and trends, but by the voices and lived experiences of individuals who live their harsh conditions on a daily basis. This is an ideal book for courses in corrections, social problems, criminology, and prisoner re-entry.

Governing Through Crime

Author: Jonathan Simon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195181081
Release Date: 2007-02-03
Genre: History

Across America today gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors. Social problems ranging from welfare dependency to educational inequality have been reconceptualized as crimes, with an attendant focus on assigning fault and imposing consequences. Even before the recent terrorist attacks, non-citizen residents had become subject to an increasingly harsh regime of detention and deportation, and prospective employees subjected to background checks. How and when did our everyday world become dominated by fear, every citizen treated as a potential criminal?In this startlingly original work, Jonathan Simon traces this pattern back to the collapse of the New Deal approach to governing during the 1960s when declining confidence in expert-guided government policies sent political leaders searching for new models of governance. The War on Crime offered a ready solution to their problem: politicians set agendas by drawing analogies to crime and redefined the ideal citizen as a crime victim, one whose vulnerabilities opened the door to overweening government intervention. By the 1980s, this transformation of the core powers of government had spilled over into the institutions that govern daily life. Soon our schools, our families, our workplaces, and our residential communities were being governed through crime.This powerful work concludes with a call for passive citizens to become engaged partners in the management of risk and the treatment of social ills. Only by coming together to produce security, can we free ourselves from a logic of domination by others, and from the fear that currently rules our everyday life.

Cheap on Crime

Author: Prof. Hadar Aviram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520960329
Release Date: 2015-02-06
Genre: Social Science

After forty years of increasing prison construction and incarceration rates, winds of change are blowing through the American correctional system. The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated the unsustainability of the incarceration project, thereby empowering policy makers to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity. In Cheap on Crime, Hadar Aviram draws on years of archival and journalistic research and builds on social history and economics literature to show the powerful impact of recession-era discourse on the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care, and other aspects of the American correctional landscape.

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

Author: Elizabeth Hinton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674737235
Release Date: 2016-05-09
Genre: History

How did the land of the free become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: not the War on Drugs of the Reagan administration but the War on Crime that began during Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era.

Invisible Men

Author: Becky Pettit
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 9781610447782
Release Date: 2012-06-01
Genre: Social Science

For African American men without a high school diploma, being in prison or jail is more common than being employed—a sobering reality that calls into question post-Civil Rights era social gains. Nearly 70 percent of young black men will be imprisoned at some point in their lives, and poor black men with low levels of education make up a disproportionate share of incarcerated Americans. In Invisible Men, sociologist Becky Pettit demonstrates another vexing fact of mass incarceration: most national surveys do not account for prison inmates, a fact that results in a misrepresentation of U.S. political, economic, and social conditions in general and black progress in particular. Invisible Men provides an eye-opening examination of how mass incarceration has concealed decades of racial inequality. Pettit marshals a wealth of evidence correlating the explosion in prison growth with the disappearance of millions of black men into the American penal system. She shows that, because prison inmates are not included in most survey data, statistics that seemed to indicate a narrowing black-white racial gap—on educational attainment, work force participation, and earnings—instead fail to capture persistent racial, economic, and social disadvantage among African Americans. Federal statistical agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, collect surprisingly little information about the incarcerated, and inmates are not included in household samples in national surveys. As a result, these men are invisible to most mainstream social institutions, lawmakers, and nearly all social science research that isn't directly related to crime or criminal justice. Since merely being counted poses such a challenge, inmates' lives—including their family background, the communities they come from, or what happens to them after incarceration—are even more rarely examined. And since correctional budgets provide primarily for housing and monitoring inmates, with little left over for job training or rehabilitation, a large population of young men are not only invisible to society while in prison but also ill-equipped to participate upon release. Invisible Men provides a vital reality check for social researchers, lawmakers, and anyone who cares about racial equality. The book shows that more than a half century after the first civil rights legislation, the dismal fact of mass incarceration inflicts widespread and enduring damage by undermining the fair allocation of public resources and political representation, by depriving the children of inmates of their parents' economic and emotional participation, and, ultimately, by concealing African American disadvantage from public view.

Poor Discipline

Author: Jonathan Simon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226758567
Release Date: 1993-12-10
Genre: Social Science

This powerful book reveals how modern strategies of punishment—and, by all accounts, their failure—relate to political and economic transformations in society at large. Jonathan Simon uses the practice of parole in California as a window to the changing historical understanding of what a corrections system does and how it works. Because California is representative of policies and practices on a national level, Simon explicitly presents his findings within a national framework. When parole first emerged as a corrections strategy in the nineteenth century, work was supposed to keep ex-prisoners out of trouble. This strategy foundered in the changing economy after World War II. What followed was a rehabilitative strategy, where the clinical expertise of the parole agent replaced the discipline of the industrial labor market in defining and controlling criminal deviance. Today, Simon argues, as drastic changes in the economy have virtually locked out an entire class, rehabilitation has given way to mere management. The effect is isolation of the offender, either in jail or in an underclass community; the result is an escalating cycle of imprisonment, destabilization, and insecurity. No significant improvement in the current penal crisis can be expected until we better understand the relationship between punishment and social order, a relationship which this book explores in theoretical, historical, and practical detail.

American Corrections

Author: Barry Krisberg
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781412974394
Release Date: 2014-09-23
Genre: Social Science

American Corrections: Concepts and Controversies, by Barry Krisberg, Susan Marchionna, and Chris Hartney, presents an incisive view of every aspect of corrections (including jails, probation, sentencing, prisons, and parole), prompting students to think critically about the complex issues involved in responding to the current crisis in the U.S. correctional system. Incorporating theory, research, and the most recent available data, the book takes a contemporary and issues-oriented approach as it explores the most interesting and progressive developments in correctional policy and practice. Students will come away with practical knowledge, as well as a framework for thoughtful analysis of a subject that can seem mysterious or impenetrable. In addition, the book covers subjects many corrections texts treat only minimally, including women in corrections, the death penalty, and special populations. Perhaps most importantly, the book offers a point of view on what is plaguing the American correctional system and a realistic look at the solutions that offer real promise.

Gandhi and King

Author: Michael J. Nojeim
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 0275965740
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Political Science

Explores the meaning and nature of nonviolent political resistance through the lives of two of its greatest philosopher practitioners, Mohandis Karamchand Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Understanding Mass Incarceration

Author: James Kilgore
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 9781620971222
Release Date: 2015-08-11
Genre: Law

We all know that orange is the new black and mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, but how much do we actually know about the structure, goals, and impact of our criminal justice system? Understanding Mass Incarceration offers the first comprehensive overview of the incarceration apparatus put in place by the world’s largest jailer: the United States. Drawing on a growing body of academic and professional work, Understanding Mass Incarceration describes in plain English the many competing theories of criminal justice—from rehabilitation to retribution, from restorative justice to justice reinvestment. In a lively and accessible style, author James Kilgore illuminates the difference between prisons and jails, probation and parole, laying out key concepts and policies such as the War on Drugs, broken windows policing, three-strikes sentencing, the school-to-prison pipeline, recidivism, and prison privatization. Informed by the crucial lenses of race and gender, he addresses issues typically omitted from the discussion: the rapidly increasing incarceration of women, Latinos, and transgender people; the growing imprisonment of immigrants; and the devastating impact of mass incarceration on communities. Both field guide and primer, Understanding Mass Incarceration will be an essential resource for those engaged in criminal justice activism as well as those new to the subject.

Just Mercy

Author: Bryan Stevenson
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780812994537
Release Date: 2014-10-21
Genre: Law

#1 New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction | Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Praise for Just Mercy “Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books “Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times “You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review “Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post “As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times “Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham “Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Children of the Prison Boom

Author: Sara Wakefield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199989225
Release Date: 2014-01
Genre: Social Science

Children of the Prison Boom describes the devastating effects of America's experiment in mass incarceration for a generation of vulnerable children. Wakefield and Wildeman find that parental imprisonment leads to increased mental health and behavioral problems, infant mortality, and child homelessness which translate into large-scale increases in racial inequality.

The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma

Author: Monica Williams
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479841097
Release Date: 2018-05-08
Genre: Social Science

The controversy surrounding community responses to housing for sexually violent predators When a South Carolina couple killed a registered sex offender and his wife after they moved into their neighborhood in 2013, the story exposed an extreme and relatively rare instance of violence against sex offenders. While media accounts would have us believe that vigilantes across the country lie in wait for predators who move into their neighborhoods, responses to sex offenders more often involve collective campaigns that direct outrage toward political and criminal justice systems. No community wants a sex offender in its midst, but instead of vigilantism, Monica Williams argues, citizens often leverage moral, political, and/or legal authority to keep these offenders out of local neighborhoods. Her book, the culmination of four years of research, 70 in-depth interviews, participant observations, and studies of numerous media sources, reveals the origins and characteristics of community responses to sexually violent predators (SVP) in the U.S. Specifically, The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma examines the placement process for released SVPs in California and the communities’ responses to those placements. Taking the reader into the center of these related issues, Monica Williams provokes debate on the role of communities in the execution of criminal justice policies, while also addressing the responsibility of government institutions to both groups of citizens. The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma is sure to promote increased civic engagement to help strengthen communities, increase public safety, and ensure government accountability.

The American Prison

Author: Francis T. Cullen
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781483322636
Release Date: 2013-04-11
Genre: Social Science

For the first time in four decades, prison populations are declining and politicians have reached the consensus that mass imprisonment is no longer sustainable. At this unique moment in the history of corrections, the opportunity has emerged to discuss in meaningful ways how best to shape efforts to control crime and to intervene effectively with offenders. The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future, by Francis T. Cullen, Cheryl, Lero Johnson, and Mary K. Stohr, pulls together established correctional scholars to imagine what this prison future might entail. Each scholar uses his or her expertise to craft—in an accessible way for students to read—a blueprint for how to create a new penology along a particular theme. For example, one contributor writes about how to use existing research expertise to create a prison that is therapeutic and another provides insight on how to create a "feminist" prison. In the final chapter the editors pull together the "lessons learned" in a cohesive, comprehensive essay.