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.

Fat Land

Author: Greg Critser
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547526683
Release Date: 2004-01-05
Genre: Health & Fitness

“An in-depth, well-researched, and thoughtful exploration of the ‘fat boom’ in America.” —TheBoston Globe Low carb, high protein, raw foods . . . despite our seemingly endless obsession with fad diets, the startling truth is that six out of ten Americans are overweight or obese. In Fat Land, award-winning nutrition and health journalist Greg Critser examines the facts and societal factors behind the sensational headlines, taking on everything from supersize to Super Mario, high-fructose corn syrup to the high costs of physical education. With a sharp eye and even sharper tongue, Critser examines why pediatricians are now treating conditions rarely seen in children before; why type 2 diabetes is on the rise; the personal struggles of those with weight problems—especially among the poor—and how agribusiness has altered our waistlines. Praised by the New York Times as “absorbing” and by Newsday as “riveting,” this disarmingly funny, yet truly alarming, exposé stands as an important examination of one of the most pressing medical and social issues in the United States. “One scary book and a good companion to Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Civil Rights Since 1787

Author: Jonathan Birnbaum
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814782491
Release Date: 2000-06
Genre: History

Winner of the 2001 Gustavus Myers Program Book Award. Contrary to simple textbook tales, the civil rights movement did not arise spontaneously in 1954 with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The black struggle for civil rights can be traced back to the arrival of the first Africans, and to their work in the plantations, manufacturies, and homes of the Americas. Civil rights was thus born as labor history. Civil Rights Since 1787 tells the story of that struggle in its full context, dividing the struggle into six major periods, from slavery to Reconstruction, from segregation to the Second Reconstruction, and from the current backlash to the future prospects for a Third Reconstruction. The "prize" that the movement has sought has often been reduced to a quest for the vote in the South. But all involved in the struggle have always known that the prize is much more than the vote, that the goal is economic as well as political. Further, in distinction from other work, Civil Rights Since 1787 establishes the links between racial repression and the repression of labor and the left, and emphasizes the North as a region of civil rights struggle. Featuring the voices and philosophies of orators, activists, and politicians, this anthology emphasizes the role of those ignored by history, as well as the part that education and religion have played in the movement. Civil Rights Since 1787 serves up an informative mix of primary documents and secondary analysis and includes the work of such figures as Ella Baker, Mary Frances Berry, Clayborne Carson, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Eric Foner, Herb Gutman, Fannie Lou Hamer, A. Leon Higginbotham, Darlene Clark Hine, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Manning Marable, Nell Painter, Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, A. Philip Randolph, Mary Church Terrell, and Howard Zinn.

The End of Prisons

Author: Mechthild E. Nagel
Publisher: Rodopi
ISBN: 9789401209236
Release Date: 2013-05-01
Genre: Social Science

This book brings together a collection of social justice scholars and activists who take Foucault’s concept of discipline and punishment to explain how prisons are constructed in society from nursing homes to zoos. This book expands the concept of prison to include any institution that dominates, oppresses, and controls. Criminologists and others, who have been concerned with reforming or dismantling the criminal justice system, have mostly avoided to look at larger carceral structures in society. In this book, for example, scholars and activists question the way patriarchy has incapacitated women and imagine the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities. In a time when popular sentiment critiques the dominant role of the elites (the “one percenters”), the state’s role in policing dissenting voices, school children, LGBTQ persons, people of color, and American Indian Nations, needs to be investigated. A prison, as defined in this book, is an institution or system that oppresses and does not allow freedom for a particular group. Within this definition, we include the imprisonment of nonhuman animals and plants, which are too often overlooked.

The New Jim Crow

Author: Michelle Alexander
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 9781595586438
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Social Science

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education and public benefits create a permanent under-caste based largely on race. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Locking Up Our Own

Author: James Forman, Jr.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374712907
Release Date: 2017-04-18
Genre: Social Science

In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

Prison Food in America

Author: Erika Camplin
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442253483
Release Date: 2016-12-08
Genre: Cooking

America seems presently fascinated by prison culture and the inner workings of what happens behind clinked doors. With TV shows creating binge-watchers of us all, and celebrities piquing public interest as they end up behind bars, Americans seem to enjoy a good gawk at prison life. Each year, more than 1.3 million visitors still trek out to Alcatraz Island, one of the most famous prisons in the world. And why shouldn’t they be curious about prison? We as a nation currently incarcerate more people per capita than any other country, and our prisons are notoriously rough, violent, and overcrowded. At the same time, we love our food, take pictures of it, post it socially, and discuss our foodie favorites. Rarely do we consider the food experiences of those for whom sustenance is more difficult to obtain, particularly those incarcerated, where choice and access is severely limited. Prison food is often everything to prisoners. It is the only marker of time throughout the day. Food becomes commerce in the microeconomies behind prison walls. It is often the only source of pleasure in a monotonous routine. It creates sites of community when prisoners ban together to create recipes, but also becomes a site of discord when issues surrounding fairness and equity arise in the chow hall. Prison Food in America offers a high-level snapshot of the fare offered behind bars, its general guidelines and regulations, fascinating stories about prisoners and food, and the remarkable and varied ways food plays a role in the fabric of prison culture.

Deportation Nation

Author: Dan Kanstroom
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674024729
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

Deportation Nation is a history of communal self-idealization and self-protection. It aims to answer two fundamental questions: how should we understand deportation and what are the antecedents of our current deportation system?" "Daniel Kanstroom argues that deportation has always been a way not only to manage immigration but also to control noncitizens' lives. It has become a crude and inefficient legal tool in ill-defined "wars" on terror and crime. Deportation Nation illuminates shadowed corners of American history, and demands more attention to hard problems of immigration, law, and human rights in a globalized but often xenophobic world."--Résumé de l'éditeur.

I Love You Mom

Author: John Borgstedt
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 9781449044435
Release Date: 2009-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

I LOVE YOU, MOM-Please Don't Break My Heart is the true story of one boy's journey through a childhood of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. John endured neglect, isolation, physical beatings, mental degradation and malevolent admissions into numerous mental institutions, and eventual attempted murder within the custodial supervision of his unscrupulous mother. This literary work is indeed John's factual account of his small, bruised body clinging to life, his struggle as a teenager fighting and winning against insurmountable odds, and his entrance into young manhood as a warrior for the young and innocent, protecting them from experiencing a similar childhood of hell on earth.

We Are All Zimbabweans Now

Author: James Kilgore
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 9780821443958
Release Date: 2011-09-12
Genre: Fiction

We Are All Zimbabweans Now is a political thriller set in Zimbabwe in the hopeful, early days of Robert Mugabe’s rise to power in the late 1980s. When Ben Dabney, a Wisconsin graduate student, arrives in the country, he is enamored with Mugabe and the promises of his government’s model of racial reconciliation. But as Ben begins his research and delves more deeply into his hero’s life, he finds fatal flaws. Ultimately Ben reconsiders not only his understanding of Mugabe, but his own professional and personal life. James Kilgore brings an authentic voice to a work of youthful hope, disillusionment, and unsettling resolution.

Locked In

Author: John Pfaff
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465096923
Release Date: 2017-02-07
Genre: Social Science

"Pfaff, let there be no doubt, is a reformer...Nonetheless, he believes that the standard story--popularized in particular by Michelle Alexander, in her influential book, The New Jim Crow--is false. We are desperately in need of reform, he insists, but we must reform the right things, and address the true problem."--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reform In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point? Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place. An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

Introducing Criminological Thinking

Author: Jon Heidt
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781483375434
Release Date: 2014-11-28
Genre: Social Science

Visual techniques for applying criminological theory to social science research Introducing Criminological Thinking: Maps, Theories, and Understanding is an accessible and user-friendly criminological theory text for students, instructors and researchers. In addition to the unique use of concept maps, mind maps, and other visual techniques to consider theory-based inquiry, this text combines an exploration of the core elements of theory with relevant examples drawn from biology, psychology, sociology, critical traditions, and integrative efforts. Unlike in other theory texts, the chapters are arranged by level of explanation to help students understand how theories from different disciplines interact with each other as a foundation for many contemporary criminological theories. Authors Jon Heidt and Johannes Wheeldon have developed a seven-step model to identify key aspects of different theories including their historical and social context, base assumptions, scope, problem foci, terms/concepts, related research, and practical ramifications. This text offers both a student-friendly theoretical discussion and accessible visual examples to explain criminological theory and its applicability to social science research.

A World Apart

Author: Cristina Rathbone
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780307430557
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: Social Science

“Life in a women’s prison is full of surprises,” writes Cristina Rathbone in her landmark account of life at MCI-Framingham. And so it is. After two intense court battles with prison officials, Rathbone gained unprecedented access to the otherwise invisible women of the oldest running women’s prison in America. The picture that emerges is both astounding and enraging. Women reveal the agonies of separation from family, and the prevalence of depression, and of sexual predation, and institutional malaise behind bars. But they also share their more personal hopes and concerns. There is horror in prison for sure, but Rathbone insists there is also humor and romance and downright bloody-mindedness. Getting beyond the political to the personal, A World Apart is both a triumph of empathy and a searing indictment of a system that has overlooked the plight of women in prison for far too long. At the center of the book is Denise, a mother serving five years for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Denise’s son is nine and obsessed with Beanie Babies when she first arrives in prison. He is fourteen and in prison himself by the time she is finally released. As Denise struggles to reconcile life in prison with the realities of her son’s excessive freedom on the outside, we meet women like Julie, who gets through her time by distracting herself with flirtatious, often salacious relationships with male correctional officers; Louise, who keeps herself going by selling makeup and personalized food packages on the prison black market; Chris, whose mental illness leads her to kill herself in prison; and Susan, who, after thirteen years of intermittent incarceration, has come to think of MCI-Framingham as home. Fearlessly truthful and revelatory, A World Apart is a major work of investigative journalism and social justice. From the Hardcover edition.

Between the World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780679645986
Release Date: 2015-07-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. Praise for Between the World and Me “Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe “Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post “Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue “A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker “Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”—Entertainment Weekly