The Future of Imprisonment

The Future of Imprisonment

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The imprisonment rate in America has grown by a factor of five since 1972. In that time, punishment policies have toughened, compassion for prisoners has diminished, and prisons have gotten worse-a stark contrast to the origins of the prison 200 years ago as a humanitarian reform, a substitute for capital and corporal punishment and banishment. So what went wrong? How can prisons be made simultaneously more effective and more humane? Who should be sent there in the first place? What should happen to them while they are inside? When, how, and under what conditions should they be released? The Future of Imprisonment unites some of the leading prisons and penal policy scholars of our time to address these fundamental questions. Inspired by the work of Norval Morris, the contributors look back to the past twenty-five years of penal policy in an effort to look forward to the prison's twenty-first century future. Their essays examine the effects of current high levels of imprisonment on urban neighborhoods and the people who live in them. They reveal how current policies came to be as they are and explain the theories of punishment that guide imprisonment decisions.
Finally, the contributors argue for the strategic importance of controls on punishment including imprisonment as a limit on government power; chart the rise and fall of efforts to improve conditions inside; analyze the theory and practice of prison release; and evaluate the tricky science of predicting and preventing recidivism. A definitive guide to imprisonment policies for the future, this volume convincingly demonstrates how we can prevent crime more effectively at lower economic and human cost.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195314107
  • 9780195314106
  • 1,730,170

Review quote

There are a number of insightful and thought-provoking essays in this edited volume that have a great deal to offer to those studying the myriad questions surrounding how we should decide who goes to prison and for how long, how we should treat prisoners while incarcerated, and what should be the basis for their release. * The Law and Politics Book Review * Prisons are absorbing an ever increasing portion of our state and federal resources, yet the hoped-for results of imprisonment continue to elude our grasp. In updating the 1974 work of Norval Morris, Michael Tonry has developed some powerful themes. Prisons are necessary, but better results can, and should be, achieved with a more thoughtful and systematic approach for individual offenders through rational sentencing, continued improvement in prison life, and
ultimately, a successful re-entry into the community. An impressive collection of thinkers and theories that all policy makers should consider when undertaking the important responsibility of punishing our society's law breakers. * Mike Quinlan, Former head, US Bureau of Prisons * I strongly recommend this collection of essays for anyone interested in corrections but particularly for correctional administrators. Its reading will lead you to critically examine many of your basic beliefs about the current policies of imprisonment. One will also come away with a greater appreciation of the influence Norval Morris has had on correctional thinking. * Morris Thigpen, Director of National Institute of Corrections * Reasoned and data-driven, The Future of Imprisonment provides a bridge between the great tradition of 20th Century criminology and the sophisticated analysis of the new century. Balanced and with a clear moral vision, the collection offers sophisticated insights into the uses and misuses of the incarcerative sanction. * Martin F. Horn, Commissioner of Correction and Probation, City of New York * This book should be required reading for persons involved in imprisonment social policy. Highly recommended. * Choice * The Future of Imprisonment is a valuable contribution to our understanding of how a malignant institution has not only endured in the United States, but thrived. Unlike many edited collections, the contributions are of a uniformly high standard and their reach is broad. There is plenty here to interest both penologist and policy maker, and while the current political context does not inspire great confidence, this book provides a route map for reform,
should circumstances change. * British Journal of Criminology *
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About Michael Tonry

Michael Tonry is one of the nation's most respected experts on crime and punishment. The author of the highly acclaimed Malign Neglect and (with Norval Morris) Between Prison and Probation, he is director of the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, and Sonosky Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota. He has worked as an advisor to federal and state agencies in the United States, Australia and
Canada, to national governments in Europe, and to international organizations.

Alfred Blumstein
Jeffrey Fagin
Richard S. Frase
James Jacobs
Marc Miller
John Monahan
Kevin R. Reitz
Michael Tonry
Franklin E. Zimring
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Table of contents

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