Prisons in Crisis

Prisons in Crisis

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"A policy-oriented, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural examination of the cost and consequences of imprisonment. "Prisons in Crisis" confronts us with the uncomfortable view that the system of punishment in the U.S. is a reflection of ourselves: authoritarian, violence-prone, and conflict-oriented. Selke details how prisons in the United States are wastelands of human dignity, opportunity, and support, and needlessly drain a suffering economy. He gives us the opportunity to look elsewhere for alternatives." - John Ortiz Smykla, University of Alabama. More than one million people are now in prison in the United States. During the 1980s, our prison population doubled, a result in part of get-tough political rhetoric, the war on drugs, and radical changes in our sentencing laws. Our incarceration rates are the highest in the world, and our prisons are both overcrowded and ineffective. According to most experts, prison officials are in the midst of the biggest prison crisis in our history. William L. Selke conveys the urgency of the problem by looking in some detail at prison life and conditions today. He reviews ideas and policies, both at home and from abroad, that can be used to alleviate the crisis if we are able to muster the political courage and public support to put them into effect. His proposals for making our prison systems more effective make an important contribution to the current debate.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 141 x 209.8 x 14mm | 273.71g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253208149
  • 9780253208149

About William L. Selke

WILLIAM L. SELKE is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University.show more

Back cover copy

More than one million people are now in prison in the United States. Incarceration rates in the U.S. are the highest in the world. William conveys the urgency of the problem by looking in detail at prison life and prison conditions today. He then reviews ideas and policies, both at home and abroad, that can be used to alleviate the prison courage and public support to put them into effect. His proposal for making prison systems more effective are an important contribution to the current debate over the ongoing prison crisis.show more

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1. The Sentence of Imprisonment Prison Populations Comparisons of Imprisonment Rates Differences among Nations Ranking the Fifty States Ideologies and Criminal Justice The Community Corrections Model Research on the Use of Imprisonment 2. U.S. Prisons in the Nineties Sentencing Reform and Prisons The PrisonersO Rights Movement Prison Conditions Today Issues befor the Courts Findings of Fact Responses to 1983 Suits Continued Expansion Depopulation 3. Scandinavian Criminology and Prisons Scandinavian Criminology Crime and Punishment in Denmark and the United States Levels of Crime Criminal Codes and Sentencing Conditions in Danish Prisons Cultural Values and Imprisonment 4. Open versus Closed Prisons The Basic Dilemma for Prisons Closed Prisons Nature of Prison Life The Convict Society Impact of Incarceration Open Prisons Philosophies of Open Prisons Characteristics of the Open Prison Effects of Imprisonment A Prison Index 5. International Corrections Cross-Cultural Research Correctional Practices Worldwide CanadaOs Two-Year Rule Forced Labor in Japan The Swedish Ombudsman The Penal Colonies in Mexico and India OOne Person, One CellO in the Netherlands The English Probation Center Prosecution Practices in Germany Denmark and Depenalization Electronic Monitoring in the United States Can Changes be Imported? 6. Toward a Moderation of Punishment Barriers to Prison Reform External Approaches to Change The Correctional OFree LunchO A Principled Jurisprudence of Sentencing Detention instead of Imprisonment Prison for Violent Offencers Only Improvements from Within Bureaucratic Control Inmate Governance The Cology of Prison Survival Principles of Reform Antecedents to Change Epilogue References Indexshow more