America Behind Bars : Trends in Imprisonment, 1950 To 2000Ruddell examines the political, cultural, and social factors that contributed to the growth in incarceration in the United States from 1952 to 2000. Controlling for the influences of economic stress, violent crime, unemployment, direct outlays for assistance, the percentage of population that is black, and the percentage of males aged 15 to 29 years, Ruddell studies the influences of political disaffection, civic disengagement, and social disruption on adult imprisonment trends. The findings provide evidence of the relationships between increases in the use of punishment and cultural or political values. The results also support the proposition that the use of punishment is an inherently complex and political process.
Downsizing Prisons : How to Reduce Crime and End Mass IncarcerationOver two million people are incarcerated in America's prisons and jails, eight times as many since 1975. Mandatory minimum sentencing, parole agencies intent on sending people back to prison, three-strike laws, for-profit prisons, and other changes in the legal system have contributed to this spectacular rise of the general prison population. After overseeing the largest city jail system in the country, Michael Jacobson knows first-hand the inner workings of the corrections system. In Downsizing Prisons, he convincingly argues that mass incarceration will not, as many have claimed, reduce crime nor create more public safety. Simply put, throwing away the key is not the answer.
Handbook for Evidence Based Juvenile Justice SystemsThis handbook promotes a comprehensive strategy founded on evidence-based programming for juvenile justice systems to adopt or enhance their current system. The comprehensive strategy is supported strongly by the broad research base that is now available. This strategy recognizes, first, that a relatively small proportion of the juveniles who initially enter the juvenile justice system will prove to be serious, violent, or chronic offenders, but that group accounts for a large proportion of the overall amount of delinquency. An important component of a comprehensive evidence-based juvenile justice system, therefore, is distinguishing these offenders from others and focusing attention and resources on that smaller group. Second, a comprehensive strategy recognizes that serious, violent, or chronic delinquency emerges along developmental pathways that progress from less to more serious profiles of offending. Priority must be given to interrupting these offender careers by calibrating the level of supervision and control of the juveniles' behavior to their level of risk. The third major component of a comprehensive strategy, therefore, is effective intervention programs that are capable of reducing the recidivism of those juveniles at risk for further delinquency. The Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders is an administrative framework that supports a continuum of services that parallel the development of offender careers. This framework emphasizes evidence-based programming specifically on recidivism reduction, and supports protocols for developing comprehensive treatment plans that match effective services with offender treatment needs along the life-course of delinquent careers, as they move from intake onward, to probation, community programs, confinement, and reentry. Juvenile justice systems will benefit from incorporation of a comprehensive strategy as provided in the handbook.
Healing Corrections : The Future of ImprisonmentUnlike critics who see the organizational cultures of prisons, jails, and community correction agencies as a problem that needs to be fixed with simple-sounding reforms, Chris Innes argues instead that these types of organizational cultures are adaptive and a source of strength that can be used to genuinely transform them. He shows how operational priorities, including safety and security, become much more difficult to sustain when organizational cultures become fragmented into disconnected subcultures. To transform an organizational culture, he argues, this fragmentation must be "healed" by changing the patterns of communication that make up the day-to-day reality of an organization's culture. Innes advocates an innovative approach based on the skills and practices of dialogue. He describes in detail how Dialogic Practice can be used to transform organizational cultures through an implementation process that begins with the leadership and cascades through the organization as an expanding circle, as staff are trained and become engaged in the process. Innes draws upon the research and policy literature in several fields, the contemporary national debate on the role of the justice system in American society, and his own experience during the last forty years in correctional research and policy, and in working directly with correctional agencies. This innovative approach to transforming organizational cultures will interest correctional decision makers; administrators, researchers, and graduate students in criminal justice; advocates; and others who manage mission-driven human services organizations. Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Parole, Desistance from Crime, and Community IntegrationEvery day, about 1,600 people are released from prisons in the United States. Of these 600,000 new releasees every year, about 480,000 are subject to parole or some other kind of postrelease supervision. Prison releasees represent a challenge, both to themselves and to the communities to which they return. Will the releasees see parole as an opportunity to be reintegrated into society, with jobs and homes and supportive families and friends? Or will they commit new crimes or violate the terms of their parole contracts? If so, will they be returned to prison or placed under more stringent community supervision? Will the communities to which they return see them as people to be reintegrated or people to be avoided? And, the institution of parole itself is challenged with three different functions: to facilitate reintegration for parolees who are ready for rehabilitation; to deter crime; and to apprehend those parolees who commit new crimes and return them to prison. In recent decades, policy makers, researchers, and program administrators have focused almost exclusively on "recidivism," which is essentially the failure of releasees to refrain from crime or stay out of prison. In contrast, for this study the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) of the U.S. Department of Justice asked the National Research Council to focus on "desistance," which broadly covers continued absence of criminal activity and requires reintegration into society. Specifically, the committee was asked (1) to consider the current state of parole practices, new and emerging models of community supervision, and what is necessary for successful reentry and (2) to provide a research agenda on the effects of community supervision on desistance from criminal activity, adherence to conditions of parole, and successful reentry into the community. To carry out its charge, the committee organized and held a workshop focused on traditional and new models of community supervision, the empirical underpinnings of such models, and the infrastructure necessary to support successful reentry. Parole, Desistance from Crime, and Community Integration also reviews the literature on desistance from crime, community supervision, and the evaluation research on selected types of intervention.
Penal Sanctioning in the United States : Explaining Cross-State DifferencesLaubepin investigates differences in the scope of penal sanctioning in the American states over a thirty-year period. Her analyses replicate and expand prior research examining the determinants of incarceration rates, and explore whether this theoretical framework can be usefully applied to back-end sentencing (parole revocation). She finds that states have responded to similar policy problems with solutions shaped by local social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Not only are these dynamics historically contingent, but they also play out differently at the front and back ends of the sentencing system. Unlike prior research, this study provides weak support for the influence of political factors, but points to the importance of practices of civic engagement instead, suggesting that penal sanctioning is driven by "top down" policies as well as "bottom up" democratic processes.
The Politics of Imprisonment : How the Democratic Process Shapes the Way America Punishes OffendersThe attention devoted to the unprecedented levels of imprisonment in the United States obscure an obvious but understudied aspect of criminal justice: there is no consistent punishment policy across the U.S. It is up to individual states to administer their criminal justice systems, and thedifferences among them are vast. For example, while some states enforce mandatory minimum sentencing, some even implementing harsh and degrading practices, others rely on community sanctions. What accounts for these differences? The Politics of Imprisonment seeks to document and explain variation in American penal sanctioning, drawing out the larger lessons for America's overreliance on imprisonment. Grounding her study in a comparison of how California, Washington, and New York each developed distinctive penal regimes inthe late 1960s and early 1970s--a critical period in the history of crime control policy and a time of unsettling social change--Vanessa Barker concretely demonstrates that subtle but crucial differences in political institutions, democratic traditions, and social trust shape the way American statespunish offenders. Barker argues that the apparent link between public participation, punitiveness, and harsh justice is not universal but dependent upon the varying institutional contexts and patterns of civic engagement within the U.S. and across liberal democracies.A bracing examination of the relationship between punishment and democracy, The Politics of Imprisonment not only suggests that increased public participation in the political process can support and sustain less coercive penal regimes, but also warns that it is precisely a lack of civic engagementthat may underpin mass incarceration in the United States.
Prisonization : Individual and Institutional Factors Affecting Inmate ConductPrisonization involves the formation of an informal inmate code and develops from both the individual characteristics of inmates and from institutional features of the prison. Its explanation involves indigenous influence theory and cultural drift theory. Gillespie's exploration of these theories is based on data from questionnaires given to over 1,000 prisoners in 30 prisons throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Institutional data came from sources such as each state's Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. Results indicate that both the individual characteristics of inmates and institutional qualities affect prisonization and misconduct, but the institutional factors are weak predictors of behaviour. Individual-level antecedents explained prisonization better than did prison-level variables.
Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming CommunitiesIn the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century,African Americans made up approximately twelve percent ofthe United States population but close to forty percent of the United States prison population. Now, in the latter half of the decade, the nation is in the midst of the largest multi-year discharge of prisoners in its history. In Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming Communities, Anthony C. Thompson discusses what is likely to happen to these ex-offenders and why. For Thompson, any discussion of ex-offender reentry is, de facto, a question of race. After laying out the statistics, he identifies the ways in which media and politics have contributed to the problem, especially through stereotyping and racial bias. Well aware of the potential consequences if this country fails to act, Thompson offers concrete, realizable ideas of how our policies could, and should, change.
Situational Prison Control: Crime Prevention in Correctional InstitutionsThis book examines the control of problem behaviour in prison from a situational crime prevention perspective. Following the success of situational crime prevention in community settings, Richard Wortley argues that the same principles can be used to help reduce the levels of assault, rape, self-harm, drug use, escape and collective violence in our prison systems. This pioneering new study proposes a two-stage model of situational prevention that moves beyond traditional opportunity-reduction: it attempts to reconcile the contradictory urges to control prison disorder by 'tightening-up' and hardening the prison environment on the one hand, and 'loosening-off' and normalising it on the other. Combining a comprehensive synthesis and evaluation of existing research with original investigation and ground-breaking conclusions, Situational Prison Control will be of great interest to academics and practitioners both in the areas of correction and crime prevention more generally.
Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security PrisonIn this rare firsthand account, Lorna Rhodes takes us into a hidden world that lies at the heart of the maximum security prison. Focusing on the "supermaximums"--and the mental health units that complement them--Rhodes conveys the internal contradictions of a system mandated to both punish and treat. Her often harrowing, sometimes poignant, exploration of maximum security confinement includes vivid testimony from prisoners and prison workers, describes routines and practices inside prison walls, and takes a hard look at the prison industry. More than an exposé, Total Confinement is a theoretically sophisticated meditation on what incarceration tells us about who we are as a society. Rhodes tackles difficult questions about the extreme conditions of confinement, the treatment of the mentally ill in prisons, and an ever-advancing technology of isolation and surveillance. Using her superb interview skills and powers of observation, she documents how prisoners, workers, and administrators all struggle to retain dignity and a sense of self within maximum security institutions. In settings that place in question the very humanity of those who live and work in them, Rhodes discovers complex interactions--from the violent to the tender--among prisoners and staff. Total Confinement offers an indispensable close-up of the implications of our dependence on prisons to solve long-standing problems of crime and injustice in the United States.
Alternatives to PrisonsThis collection of essays offers readers a comprehensive look at the issues surrounding alternative prisons. This necessary book explores the effectiveness of the American prison system, the use of boot camps as a potential alternative for juveniles and adults, the role of electronic monitoring and intensive probation, and the development of reading courses as an alternative to incarceration.
America's Prisons: Opposing ViewpointsThe unprecedented growth of America's prison population in recent years has raised serious questions regarding the effectiveness of the prison system. Jerome Miller, Morgan Reynolds, and others address the following topics: Are Prisons Effective? How Should Prisons Treat Inmates? Should Prisons Use Inmate Labor? What Are the Alternatives to Prisons?
American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass ImprisonmentIn this dramatic exposé of U.S. penitentiaries and the communities around them, Sasha Abramsky finds that prisons have dumped their age-old goal of rehabilitation, often for political reasons. The new "ideal," unknown to most Americans, is a punitive mandate marked by a drive toward vengeance. Surveying this state of affairs-life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling conditions, the growth of private prisons, the treatment of juveniles-Abramsky asks: Does the vengeful impulse ennoble our culture or demean it? What can become of people who are quarantined for years in a violent subculture? California's Three Strikes law typifies the politics that exploit the grief of victims' families and our fears of violent crime. Brilliantly researched and compellingly told, American Furies shows that the ethos of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" has enormous social costs. "The most urgent book of the season. Sasha Abramsky provides us with an invaluable, if harrowing, audit of the cataclysmic damage inflicted upon American values by American prisons. The lack of compassion in our national life and the gangrened hearts of our politicians pose greater threats to our childrens' futures than any overseas terrorist conspiracy." -Mike Davis, professor of history at University of Californiandash;Irvine and author of seven books including Planet of Slums and The Monster At Our Door "A smart, compassionate and tough-minded look at the rise and impact of the tough-on-crime culture that has made America the world's foremost jailer. By showing us how we got into this mess, this revelatory book also holds out hope that we might find our way out." -Nell Bernstein, former Soros Justice Media Fellow and author of All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated "This is by far the most intelligent and haunting indictment of the American prison system that I have ever read. Sasha Abramsky has shone an incandescent lamp on a shadowy underground universe that holds and in all too many cases brutalizes the lives of more than two million Americans. He should be commended for doing so, and his book made required reading for every legislator in the land, bar none." -Simon Winchester, author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Professor and the Madman Praise for Conned: "Timely and important. Instead of preaching democracy to the world, the United States should start practicing it at home." -Eric Schlosser "The war on drugs, the disenfranchisement of convicted felons, a series of dodgy electoral Republican victories . . . someone had to connect the dots, and Sasha Abramsky has done so with passion, precision, and artistry." -Barbara Ehrenreich Sasha Abramsky has written for The Atlantic, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. The author of Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House and Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation, he has also reported on U.S. prisons for Human Rights Watch. He lives in Sacramento, California.
Invisible Punishment : The Collateral Consequences of Mass ImprisonmentIn a series of newly commissioned essays from the leading scholars and advocates in criminal justice, Invisible Punishment explores, for the first time, the far&ndash,reaching consequences of our current criminal justice policies. Adopted as part of "get tough on crime" attitudes that prevailed in the 1980s and '90s, a range of strategies, from "three strikes" and "a war on drugs," to mandatory sentencing and prison privatization, have resulted in the mass incarceration of American citizens, and have had enormous effects not just on wrongdoers, but on their families and the communities they come from. This book looks at the consequences of these policies twenty years later.
The Perpetual Prisoner Machine: How America Profits From CrimeIn The Perpetual Prisoner Machine , author Joel Dyer takes a critical look at the United States’ criminal justice system as we enter the new millennium. America has more than tripled its prison population since 1980 even though crime rates have been either flat or declining. The U.S. now incarcerates nearly two million people in its prisons and jails on any given day and over five million of its citizens are currently under some form of justice department supervision. These facts raise an obvious question: If crime rates aren’t going up, why is the prison population? The Perpetual Prisoner Machine provides the answer to this question and, shockingly, it has little to do with crime or justice. The answer is "profit.”In the 1990s, through their mutual and pension funds, millions of American investors are now unwittingly profiting from crime. As a result of America’s controversial push towards the privatization of its justice system, a growing number of well-known and politically influential U.S. Corporations--and subsequently their shareholders--are now cashing in on a prison trade whose profit potential is tied directly to the growth of the prison population. A disturbing realization, when you consider the influence that these same multi-national companies now have over our government’s policy-making process by way of their lobbyists and their ability to fill campaign coffers. The Perpetual Prisoner Machine explains how the new prison-industrial complex has capitalized upon the public’s fear of crime--which has its origins in violent media content--to help bring about the "hard on crime” policies that have led to our prison-filling, and therefore profitable, "war on crime.” In addition to a quest for profits, Dyer describes an astounding chain of events including media consolidation and globalization, advances in communication technology, and the increasing political dependence upon public opinion polls and campaign funding that have led to the creation of what the author calls "the perpetual prisoner machine,” a mechanism designed to suck the funds from social programs that diminish the crime-enhancing power of poverty and spit them into the bank accounts of those who own stock in the prison-industrial complex.Dyer concludes that powerful, market-driven forces have manipulated America into fighting a very real war against an imaginary foe. "Unfortunately,” says Dyer, "real wars have real casualties. And in this case, the victims are America’s poor, particularly those segments of our black and Hispanic population who live in poverty and who now comprise the vast majority of the new human commodity.”
A Plague of Prisons : The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in AmericaWhen Dr. John Snow first traced an outbreak of cholera to a water pump in the Soho district of London in 1854, the field of epidemiology was born. Taking the same public health approaches and tools that have successfully tracked epidemics of flu, tuberculosis, and AIDS over the intervening one hundred and fifty years, Ernest Drucker makes the case that our current unprecedented level of imprisonment has become an epidemic--a plague upon our body politic. Drucker, an internationally recognized public health scholar and Soros Justice Fellow, spent twenty years treating drug addiction and another twenty studying AIDS in some of the poorest neighborhoods of the South Bronx and worldwide. He compares mass incarceration to other, well-recognized epidemics using basic public health concepts: "prevalence and incidence," "outbreaks," "contagion," "transmission," and "potential years of life lost." He argues that imprisonment--originally conceived as a response to individuals' crimes--has become mass incarceration: a destabilizing force that undermines the families and communities it targets, damaging the very social structures that prevent crime. Sure to provoke debate, this book shifts the paradigm of how we think about punishment by demonstrating that our unprecedented rates of incarceration have the contagious and self-perpetuating features of the plagues of previous centuries.
Punishment in America : A Reference HandbookFrom the Salem witch trials to death row, this work is a gripping analysis of the evolution of punishment practices, policies, and problems in America. * A chronology tracking the history of punishment in the United States begins with ancient practices like blood feuds * A chapter on facts and data presents studies on the impact of the war on drugs and the truth-in-sentencing laws on the prison population
Sensible Justice: Alternatives to PrisonSensible Justice explores creative solutions some states and cities nationwide have devised to tackle America's expensive and controversial prison problem. Former Wall Street Journal and New York Times editor David Anderson spent a year touring the world of "alternative sanctions" that substitute for prison, including work to repay the community or earn restitution for victims; house arrest under high-tech electronic supervision; the military routine of correctional "boot camps;" and counseling for drug addicts and sex offenders. Alternative sanctions--some thriving quietly even in conservative states where headlines feature harsh law-and-order rhetoric--are demonstrating that rehabilitation works, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Just as importantly, Anderson writes, by reinforcing an ethical society's basic values, these programs allow communities to make sense of criminal justice. Combining reportage, interviews, and comprehensive research in an original and highly accessible book, Sensible Justice provides a long overdue dose of reasoned and practical options to our current approach to incarceration.