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.

Children of the Prison Boom

Author: Sara Wakefield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199989249
Release Date: 2013-11-07
Genre: Social Science

An unrelenting prison boom, marked by stark racial disparities, pulled a disproportionate number of young black men into prison in the last forty years. In Children of the Prison Boom, Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman draw upon broadly representative survey data and interviews to describe the devastating effects of America's experiment in mass incarceration on a generation of vulnerable children tied to these men. In so doing, they show that the effects of mass imprisonment may be even greater on the children left behind than on the men who were locked up. Parental imprisonment has been transformed from an event affecting only the unluckiest of children-those with parents seriously involved in crime-to one that is remarkably common, especially for black children. This book documents how, even for children at high risk of problems, paternal incarceration makes a bad situation worse, increasing mental health and behavioral problems, infant mortality, and child homelessness. Pushing against prevailing understandings of and research on the consequences of mass incarceration for inequality among adult men, these harms to children translate into large-scale increases in racial inequalities. Parental imprisonment has become a distinctively American way of perpetuating intergenerational inequality-one that should be placed alongside a decaying public education system and concentrated disadvantage in urban centers as a factor that disproportionately touches, and disadvantages, poor black children. More troubling, even if incarceration rates were reduced dramatically in the near future, the long-term harms of our national experiment in the mass incarceration of marginalized men are yet to be fully revealed. Optimism about current reductions in the imprisonment rate and the resilience of children must therefore be set against the backdrop of the children of the prison boom-a lost generation now coming of age.

Children of the Prison Boom

Author: Sara Wakefield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199989232
Release Date: 2013-11-07
Genre: Social Science

An unrelenting prison boom, marked by stark racial disparities, pulled a disproportionate number of young black men into prison in the last forty years. In Children of the Prison Boom, Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman draw upon broadly representative survey data and interviews to describe the devastating effects of America's experiment in mass incarceration on a generation of vulnerable children tied to these men. In so doing, they show that the effects of mass imprisonment may be even greater on the children left behind than on the men who were locked up. Parental imprisonment has been transformed from an event affecting only the unluckiest of children-those with parents seriously involved in crime-to one that is remarkably common, especially for black children. This book documents how, even for children at high risk of problems, paternal incarceration makes a bad situation worse, increasing mental health and behavioral problems, infant mortality, and child homelessness. Pushing against prevailing understandings of and research on the consequences of mass incarceration for inequality among adult men, these harms to children translate into large-scale increases in racial inequalities. Parental imprisonment has become a distinctively American way of perpetuating intergenerational inequality-one that should be placed alongside a decaying public education system and concentrated disadvantage in urban centers as a factor that disproportionately touches, and disadvantages, poor black children. More troubling, even if incarceration rates were reduced dramatically in the near future, the long-term harms of our national experiment in the mass incarceration of marginalized men are yet to be fully revealed. Optimism about current reductions in the imprisonment rate and the resilience of children must therefore be set against the backdrop of the children of the prison boom-a lost generation now coming of age.

Do Prisons Make Us Safer

Author: Steven Raphael
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 9781610444651
Release Date: 2009-01-22
Genre: Social Science

The number of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails more than quadrupled between 1975 and 2005, reaching the unprecedented level of over two million inmates today. Annual corrections spending now exceeds 64 billion dollars, and many of the social and economic burdens resulting from mass incarceration fall disproportionately on minority communities. Yet crime rates across the country have also dropped considerably during this time period. In Do Prisons Make Us Safer? leading experts systematically examine the complex repercussions of the massive surge in our nation’s prison system. Do Prisons Make Us Safer? asks whether it makes sense to maintain such a large and costly prison system. The contributors expand the scope of previous analyses to include a number of underexplored dimensions, such as the fiscal impact on states, effects on children, and employment prospects for former inmates. Steven Raphael and Michael Stoll assess the reasons behind the explosion in incarceration rates and find that criminal behavior itself accounts for only a small fraction of the prison boom. Eighty-five percent of the trend can be attributed to “get tough on crime” policies that have increased both the likelihood of a prison sentence and the length of time served. Shawn Bushway shows that while prison time effectively deters and incapacitates criminals in the short term, long-term benefits such as overall crime reduction or individual rehabilitation are less clear cut. Amy Lerman conducts a novel investigation into the effects of imprisonment on criminal psychology and uncovers striking evidence that placement in a high security penitentiary leads to increased rates of violence and anger—particularly in the case of first time or minor offenders. Rucker Johnson documents the spill-over effects of parental incarceration—children who have had a parent serve prison time exhibit more behavioral problems than their peers. Policies to enhance the well-being of these children are essential to breaking a devastating cycle of poverty, unemployment, and crime. John Donohue’s economic calculations suggest that alternative social welfare policies such as education and employment programs for at-risk youth may lower crime just as effectively as prisons, but at a much lower human cost. The cost of hiring a new teacher is roughly equal to the cost of incarcerating an additional inmate. The United States currently imprisons a greater proportion of its citizens than any other nation in the world. Until now, however, we’ve lacked systematic and comprehensive data on how this prison boom has affected families, communities, and our nation as a whole. Do Prisons Make Us Safer? provides a highly nuanced and deeply engaging account of one of the most dramatic policy developments in recent U.S. history.

Punishment and Inequality in America

Author: Bruce Western
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 9781610445559
Release Date: 2006-05-25
Genre: Social Science

Over the last thirty years, the prison population in the United States has increased more than seven-fold to over two million people, including vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities and people with little education. For some racial and educational groups, incarceration has become a depressingly regular experience, and prison culture and influence pervade their communities. Almost 60 percent of black male high school drop-outs in their early thirties have spent time in prison. In Punishment and Inequality in America, sociologist Bruce Western explores the recent era of mass incarceration and the serious social and economic consequences it has wrought. Punishment and Inequality in America dispels many of the myths about the relationships among crime, imprisonment, and inequality. While many people support the increase in incarceration because of recent reductions in crime, Western shows that the decrease in crime rates in the 1990s was mostly fueled by growth in city police forces and the pacification of the drug trade. Getting “tough on crime” with longer sentences only explains about 10 percent of the fall in crime, but has come at a significant cost. Punishment and Inequality in America reveals a strong relationship between incarceration and severely dampened economic prospects for former inmates. Western finds that because of their involvement in the penal system, young black men hardly benefited from the economic boom of the 1990s. Those who spent time in prison had much lower wages and employment rates than did similar men without criminal records. The losses from mass incarceration spread to the social sphere as well, leaving one out of ten young black children with a father behind bars by the end of the 1990s, thereby helping perpetuate the damaging cycle of broken families, poverty, and crime. The recent explosion of imprisonment is exacting heavy costs on American society and exacerbating inequality. Whereas college or the military were once the formative institutions in young men’s lives, prison has increasingly usurped that role in many communities. Punishment and Inequality in America profiles how the growth in incarceration came about and the toll it is taking on the social and economic fabric of many American communities.

Why Are So Many Americans in Prison

Author: Steven Raphael
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 9781610448161
Release Date: 2013-05-14
Genre: Social Science

Between 1975 and 2007, the American incarceration rate increased nearly fivefold, a historic increase that puts the United States in a league of its own among advanced economies. We incarcerate more people today than we ever have, and we stand out as the nation that most frequently uses incarceration to punish those who break the law. What factors explain the dramatic rise in incarceration rates in such a short period of time? In Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? Steven Raphael and Michael A. Stoll analyze the shocking expansion of America’s prison system and illustrate the pressing need to rethink mass incarceration in this country. Raphael and Stoll carefully evaluate changes in crime patterns, enforcement practices and sentencing laws to reach a sobering conclusion: So many Americans are in prison today because we have chosen, through our public policies, to put them there. They dispel the notion that a rise in crime rates fueled the incarceration surge; in fact, crime rates have steadily declined to all-time lows. There is also little evidence for other factors commonly offered to explain the prison boom, such as the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill since the 1950s, changing demographics, or the crack-cocaine epidemic. By contrast, Raphael and Stoll demonstrate that legislative changes to a relatively small set of sentencing policies explain nearly all prison growth since the 1980s. So-called tough on crime laws, including mandatory minimum penalties and repeat offender statutes, have increased the propensity to punish more offenders with lengthier prison sentences. Raphael and Stoll argue that the high-incarceration regime has inflicted broad social costs, particularly among minority communities, who form a disproportionate share of the incarcerated population. Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? ends with a powerful plea to consider alternative crime control strategies, such as expanded policing, drug court programs, and sentencing law reform, which together can end our addiction to incarceration and still preserve public safety. As states confront the budgetary and social costs of the incarceration boom, Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? provides a revealing and accessible guide to the policies that created the era of mass incarceration and what we can do now to end it.

A Prisoner and Yet

Author: Corrie ten Boom
Publisher: CLC Publications
ISBN: 9781936143719
Release Date: 2012-01-01
Genre: Religion

A Prisoner and Yet... reveals a belief in Christ that carried an innocent woman through some of the worst agonies man can devise. Here is one of the most tragic, yet most inspiring and faith-giving true stories of Corrie ten Boom during her time spent in a Nazi concentration camp.

Golden Gulag

Author: Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520938038
Release Date: 2007-01-08
Genre: Social Science

Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%. Despite a crime rate that has been falling steadily for decades, California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called "the biggest prison building project in the history of the world." Golden Gulag provides the first detailed explanation for that buildup by looking at how political and economic forces, ranging from global to local, conjoined to produce the prison boom. In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity. Detailing crises that hit California’s economy with particular ferocity, she argues that defeats of radical struggles, weakening of labor, and shifting patterns of capital investment have been key conditions for prison growth. The results—a vast and expensive prison system, a huge number of incarcerated young people of color, and the increase in punitive justice such as the "three strikes" law—pose profound and troubling questions for the future of California, the United States, and the world. Golden Gulag provides a rich context for this complex dilemma, and at the same time challenges many cherished assumptions about who benefits and who suffers from the state’s commitment to prison expansion.

Crime and Punishment in America

Author: Elliott Currie
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250024213
Release Date: 2013-03-26
Genre: Political Science

An acclaimed criminologist examines America's ongoing war against violent crime, arguing that ever-increasing rates of imprisonment have not reduced--and will not reduce--crime rates and offering a range of tested alternatives based on deterrence. Tour.

Why Are So Many Black Men in Prison

Author: Demico Boothe
Publisher: Full Surface Publishing
ISBN: 9780979295300
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Social Science

African-American males are being imprisoned at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Out of the more than 11 million black adult males in the U.S. population, nearly 1.5 million are in prisons and jails with another 3.5 million more on probation or parole or who have previously been on probation or parole. Black males make up the majority of the total prison population, and due to either present or past incarceration is the most socially disenfranchised group of American citizens in the country today. This book, which was penned by Boothe while he was still incarcerated, details the author's personal story of a negligent upbringing in an impoverished community, his subsequent engagement in criminal activity (drug dealing), his incarceration, and his release from prison and experiencing of the crippling social disenfranchisement that comes with being an ex-felon. The author then relates his personal experiences and realizations to the seminal problems within the African-American community, federal government, and criminal justice system that cause his own experiences to be the same experiences of millions of other young black men. This book focuses on the totality of how and why the U.S. prison system became the largest prison system in the world, and is filled with relevant statistical and historical references and controversial facts and quotes from notable persons and sources.

Are Prisons Obsolete

Author: Angela Y. Davis
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 9781609801045
Release Date: 2011-01-04
Genre: Political Science

With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable. In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.

Blacks Behind Bars

Author: Ray Von Robertson
Publisher: Cognella Academic Publishing
ISBN: 1626611661
Release Date: 2013-04-12
Genre: African Americans

"Blacks Behind Bars" presents an impassioned yet reasoned examination of how the burgeoning prison boom and problematic forms of policing marginalize African-Americans in American society. The anthology takes a critical look at our nation's criminal justice system and related institutions. The readings in the anthology are presented in two sections. The first focuses on policing and addresses such topics as racial profiling, differing perceptions of the use of force by police, and the scope of complaints about police misconduct. In the second half of the text, the readings examine connections between the Prison Industrial Complex and white supremacy, African-American men and the Prison Industrial Complex, the intersection(s) of race, gender, and mass incarceration. The text features readings from notable scholars including Marc Mauer, Michael Tonry, Earl Smith, Angela Hattery, Loic Wacquant, Ronald Weitzer, Robert Staples, Shaun Gabbidon, Wesley G. Jennings, George E. Higgins, Kareem L. Jordan, Michael D. White, Robert J. Kane, Kimberly D. Hassell, and Carol A. Archbold. "Blacks Behind Bars" is an excellent reader for courses in criminal justice, criminology, Black studies, and race and ethnicity as well as sociology and psychology classes. Ray Von Robertson holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Robertson is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His most recent book is "The Plight of Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions: A Critical Reader." Dr. Robertson has published scholarly works on critical race theory, police brutality, birthing options for African-American women, boxing, and the Black Seminoles. He is a member of the Association of Black Sociologists, National Association of African-American Studies, and the National Council for Black Studies as well as an editorial board member for the "Journal of Pan African Studies."

Economic Impacts of Prison Growth

Author: Suzanne M. Kirchhoff
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
ISBN: 9781437932324
Release Date: 2010-08
Genre: Corrections

The U.S. corrections system (CS) has gone through an unprecedented expansion during the last few decades. At the end of 2008, 2.3 million adults were in state, local, or fed. custody, with another 5.1 million on probation or parole. Of that total, 9% were in fed. custody. Globally, the U.S. has 5% of the world¿s population but 25% of its prisoners. Contents of this report: (1) CS Sector; (2) U.S. CS; (3) Incarceration Trends; (4) Prison Employment: Unions; (5) Prison Construction; Rural Prisons; Cost and Overcrowding; Financing; (6) Private Sector: Private Prison Co.; The Private Prison Industry: Corrections Corp. of America; Geo Group; Cornell Co.; Other Private Firms; Phone Service; (7) Prisons as Drivers of Econ. Development. Illus.

The Children of Men

Author: P. D. James
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780307367716
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Genre: Fiction

The Children of Men begins in England in 2021, in a world where all human males have become sterile and no child will be born again. The final generation has turned twenty-five, and civilization is giving way to strange faiths and cruelties, mass suicides and despair. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and cousin to the omnipotent Warden of England, a dictator of great subtlety, has resigned himself to apathy. Then he meets Julian, a bright, attractive woman, who wants Theo to join her circle of unlikely revolutionaries, a move that may shatter his shell of passivity.… And maybe, just maybe, hold the key to survival for the human race. From the Trade Paperback edition.