Description : 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.
Description : A Call to Action By: Dr. Herron Keyon Gaston A Call to Action: Practically Reversing the Trends of Mass Incarceration explores and establishes a blueprint for United Methodist Churches based on the current Mission Plan for Restorative Justice Ministries (MPRJM). This Mission Plan could be used internally or externally within the United Methodist Church and beyond to begin to deal with the issues associated with the large numbers of persons leaving the prison system and reentering communities where the connectional system of the United Methodist Churches is established, and where other church denominations are in general, to assist retuning prisoners with reentry and restorative justice programs and ministries. A Call to Action is for the United Methodist Church to use its historical work in this area along with its unique reformative connectional system. The United Methodist Church is poised to lead in this area because of its creed, structure, and connectional emphasis on mission work, outreach, and methodical steadfastness to deliver and foster justice and the restorative process among former prisoners. The Summerfield United Methodist Church Prison Reentry Model in Bridgeport, Connecticut, was identified as one of the unique prison reentry and restorative justice type programs to further explore this initiative. Using the Summerfield model as a starting point for this project, Gaston invited parishioners to participate in focus group sessions in May 2017. A group of twenty-five parishioners of varying socioeconomic backgrounds volunteered to participate. The main discussion centered on the current prison fellowship ministry and whether members believed that they were making a difference in their own community. This book has implications for the ministerial practice for dealing with those who have transgressed — and how the United Methodist Church must use its spiritual and connectional resources to reform, redeem, and restore formerly incarcerated individuals back to God and to humanity.
Description : One of the most important problems faced by the United States is addressing its broken criminal justice system. This collection of essays offers a thorough examination of incarceration as a form of punishment. In addition to focusing on the philosophical aspects related to punishment, the volume's diverse group of contributors provides additional background in criminology, economics, law, and sociology to help contextualize the philosophical issues. The first group of essays addresses whether or not our current institutions connected with punishment and incarceration are justified in a liberal society. The next set of chapters explores the negative effects of incarceration as a form of punishment, including its impact on children and families. The volume then describes how we arrived at our current situation in the United States, focusing on questions related to how we view prisons and prisoners, policing for profit, and the motivations of prosecutors in trying to secure convictions. Finally, Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration examines specific policy alternatives that might offer solutions to our current approach to punishment and incarceration.
Description : Understanding and Improving Prisoner Reentry Outcomes Prisoner Reentry is an engaging and comprehensive examination of prisoner reentry and how to improve public safety, well-being, and justice in the “era of mass incarceration.” Renowned authors Daniel P. Mears and Joshua C. Cochran investigate historical trends in incarceration and punishment policy, the salience of in-prison and post-prison contexts and experiences for reentry, and the importance of understanding group differences in offending, punishment, and social context. Using extensive reliance on both theory and empirical research, the authors identify how reentry reflects criminal justice policy in America and, at the same time, has profound implications for crime prevention and justice. Readers will develop a diverse foundation for current policies, identify the implications of reentry for families, community, and society at large, and gain a conceptual and empirical toolkit for analyzing and improving the lives of those released from prison.
Description : 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.
Description : This volume maintains that current incarceration policy in urban America does more harm than good, from increasing crime to widening racial disparities and diminished life chances for youths. The author argues that we cannot overcome the problem of mass incarceration concentrated in poor places without incorporating an idea of community justice into our failing correctional and criminal justice systems. He demonstrates that high doses of incarceration contribute to the very social problems it is intended to solve: it breaks up family and social networks; deprives siblings, spouses, and parents of emotional and financial support; and threatens the economic and political infrastructure of already struggling neighborhoods. Especially at risk are children who are more likely to commit a crime if a father or brother has been to prison. The author maintains that when incarceration occurs at high levels, crime rates will go up; having exactly the opposite of its intended effect: it destabilizes the community, thus further reducing public safety.
Description : The United States has built a carceral state that is unprecedented among Western countries and in US history. Nearly one in 50 people, excluding children and the elderly, is incarcerated today, a rate unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. What are some of the main political forces that explain this unprecedented reliance on mass imprisonment? Throughout American history, crime and punishment have been central features of American political development. This 2006 book examines the development of four key movements that mediated the construction of the carceral state in important ways: the victims' movement, the women's movement, the prisoners' rights movement, and opponents of the death penalty. This book argues that punitive penal policies were forged by particular social movements and interest groups within the constraints of larger institutional structures and historical developments that distinguish the United States from other Western countries.
Description : American conservatism rose hand-in-hand with the growth of mass incarceration. For decades, conservatives deployed "tough on crime" rhetoric to attack liberals as out-of-touch elitists who coddled criminals while the nation spiraled toward disorder. As a result, conservatives have been the motive force in building our vast prison system. Indeed, expanding the number of Americans under lock and key was long a point of pride for politicians on the right - even as the U.S. prison population eclipsed international records. Over the last few years, conservatives in Washington, D.C. and in bright-red states like Georgia and Texas, have reversed course, and are now leading the charge to curb prison growth. In Prison Break, David Dagan and Steve Teles explain how this striking turn of events occurred, how it will affect mass incarceration, and what it teaches us about achieving policy breakthroughs in our polarized age. Combining insights from law, sociology, and political science, Teles and Dagan will offer the first comprehensive account of this major political shift. In a challenge to the conventional wisdom, they argue that the fiscal pressures brought on by recession are only a small part of the explanation for the conservatives' shift, over-shadowed by Republicans' increasing anti-statism, the waning efficacy of "tough on crime" politics and the increasing engagement of evangelicals. These forces set the stage for a small cadre of conservative leaders to reframe criminal justice in terms of redeeming wayward souls and rolling back government. These developments have created the potential to significantly reduce mass incarceration, but only if reformers on both the right and the left play their cards right. As Dagan and Teles stress, there is also a broader lesson in this story about the conditions for cross-party cooperation in our polarized age. Partisan identity, they argue, generally precedes position-taking, and policy breakthroughs are unlikely to come by "reaching across the aisle," promoting "compromise," or appealing to "expert opinion." Instead, change happens when political movements redefine their own orthodoxies for their own reasons. As Dagan and Teles show, outsiders can assist in this process - and they played a crucial role in the case of criminal justice - but they cannot manufacture it. This book will not only reshape our understanding of conservatism and American penal policy, but also force us to reconsider the drivers of policy innovation in the context of American politics.
Description : This book places prison witness at the center of discussions of the human experience of law and order, and of the nature of the rights-bearing person. Readings of canonical and contemporary writers facing incarceration yield abiding literary tropes that chart the path from institutional abjection toward the minimal threshold of personhood.
Description : “No country in history has ever handed over so many inmates to private corporations. This book looks at the consequences” (Eric Schlosser, bestselling author of Fast Food Nation). In Prison Profiteers, coeditors Tara Herivel and Paul Wright “follow the money to an astonishing constellation of prison administrators and politicians working in collusion with private parties to maximize profits” (Publishers Weekly). From investment banks, guard unions, and the makers of Taser stun guns to health care providers, telephone companies, and the US military (which relies heavily on prison labor), this network of perversely motivated interests has turned the imprisonment of 1 out of every 135 Americans into a lucrative business. Called “an essential read for anyone who wants to understand what’s gone wrong with criminal justice in the United States” by ACLU National Prison Project director Elizabeth Alexander, this incisive and deftly researched volume shows how billions of tax dollars designated for the public good end up lining the pockets of those private enterprises dedicated to keeping prisons packed. “An important analysis of a troubling social trend” that is sure to inform and outrage any concerned citizen, Prison Profiteers reframes the conversation by exposing those who stand to profit from the imprisonment of millions of Americans (Booklist). “Indispensable . . . An easy and accessible read—and a necessary one.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune “This is lucid, eye-opening reading for anyone interested in American justice.” —Publishers Weekly “Impressive . . . A thoughtful, comprehensive and accessible analysis of the money trail behind the prison-industrial-complex.” —The Black Commentator