Author: Keramet Reiter
Publisher: Yale University Press
How America’s prisons turned a “brutal and inhumane” practice into standard procedure Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.
Author: Keramet Reiter, Alexa Koenig
This ground-breaking collection examines the erosion of the legal boundaries traditionally dividing civil detention from criminal punishment. The contributors empirically demonstrate how the mentally ill, non-citizen immigrants, and enemy combatants are treated like criminals in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
All Too Familiar
Author: Women's Rights Project (Human Rights Watch)
Publisher: Human Rights Watch
Federal and State Law
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Author: Christian Parenti
A documented look at the criminal justice system in America, "Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis" gives a detailed, critical account of the realities of the prison system.
THE following Treatise presents, at first sight, considerable difficulties. They do not arise from any defect in the Saint’s mode of expression, but are inherent in his subject and manner of treatment, “going deep down into the roots” of the Love of God. Thus he speaks in his Preface, and continues: “The first four books, and some chapters of the others might doubtless have been omitted without disadvantage to such souls as seek only the practice of holy love. . . . I have been forced to say many things which will appear more obscure than they are. The depths of science are always somewhat hard to sound.” But he tells us that the state of the minds of his age required this deeper treatment; and whatever may be thought as to the best way of presenting modern religious teaching to an age so ignorant, so shallow and so unthinking as is our own with regard to spiritual truths, there can be no question that this masterpiece of the chief doctor of ascetic theology must not be brought down to our level, but that we must raise ourselves towards it. Aeterna Press
Author: Robin Munro
Publisher: Human Rights Watch
V. The Legal Context
College for Convicts
Author: Christopher Zoukis
"Zoukis gives excellent examples to demonstrate that the U.S. would benefit from higher education for inmates in prison...a strongly suggested purchase...highly recommended"--Choice The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained. Presenting a workable solution to America's mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.
Author: Lorna Amarasingham Rhodes
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"Ethnographically rich, thick with gritty details and original insights, Rhodes's revelatory book about US prisons--those who are incarcerated in them and those who run them--should be read by everyone who cares about social justice and the nature of power."--Emily Martin, author of Flexible Bodies "Thank you, Lorna Rhodes, for taking us to where the 'worst of the worst' are kept out of sight and out of mind in the new millennium. This powerful ethnography of the correctional high tech machine reveals how institutional power suffocates individual agency and redefines rationality and insanity. Good, bad and evil fall by the wayside."--Philippe Bourgois, author of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio "A truly remarkable book. The inside look at supermax confinement alone is worth the price of admission, and the prose sometimes verges on poetry. This is meticulous scholarship."--Hans Toch, author of Living in Prison
City of Inmates
Author: Kelly Lytle Hernández
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Los Angeles incarcerates more people than any other city in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth. This book explains how the City of Angels became the capital city of the world's leading incarcerator. Marshaling more than two centuries of evidence, historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez unmasks how histories of native elimination, immigrant exclusion, and black disappearance drove the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles. In this telling, which spans from the Spanish colonial era to the outbreak of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Hernandez documents the persistent historical bond between the racial fantasies of conquest, namely its settler colonial form, and the eliminatory capacities of incarceration. But City of Inmates is also a chronicle of resilience and rebellion, documenting how targeted peoples and communities have always fought back. They busted out of jail, forced Supreme Court rulings, advanced revolution across bars and borders, and, as in the summer of 1965, set fire to the belly of the city. With these acts those who fought the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles altered the course of history in the city, the borderlands, and beyond. This book recounts how the dynamics of conquest met deep reservoirs of rebellion as Los Angeles became the City of Inmates, the nation's carceral core. It is a story that is far from over.
Author: Ted Conover
Acclaimed journalist Ted Conover sets a new standard for bold, in-depth reporting in this first-hand account of life inside the penal system at Sing Sing. When Ted Conover’s request to shadow a recruit at the New York State Corrections Officer Academy was denied, he decided to apply for a job as a prison officer himself. The result is an unprecedented work of eyewitness journalism: the account of Conover's year-long passage into storied Sing Sing prison as a rookie guard, or "newjack." As he struggles to become a good officer, Conover angers inmates, dodges blows, and attempts, in the face of overwhelming odds, to balance decency with toughness. Through his insights into the harsh culture of prison, the grueling and demeaning working conditions of the officers, and the unexpected ways the job encroaches on his own family life, we begin to see how our burgeoning prison system brutalizes everyone connected with it. An intimate portrait of a world few readers have ever experienced, Newjack is a haunting journey into a dark undercurrent of American life.
Prisoners of Isolation
Author: Michael Jackson
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
What is it really like in 'the hole'? On what basis do prison officials employ the most drastic of carceral punishments – solitary confinement – and to what effect? Michael Jackson, lawyer, professor, activist, made a point of finding out. Approached in 1974 by a group of prisoners in the British Columbia Penitentiary, Jackson listened to their stories, investigated, and became convinced that these prisoners were being held in solitary confinement under unlawful conditions and for arbitrary and unjustified reasons. He then helped launch proceedings on their behalf to have the imposition of solitary confinement in the B.C. Penitentiary declared 'cruel and unusual punishment.' Jackson sets out the facts and legal arguments presented to the Federal Court of Canada against a background of the historical evolution of solitary confinement and penitentiary discipline. Successfully argued, the McCann case (1975) was unique in Canadian judicial history. Since then Jackson has remained in close touch with his prison contacts, maintaining a watching brief on whether prison practice has conformed to the rule of the law. He traces the continuation of solitary confinement in the newest of Canada's maximum security institutions and describes the conditions in the 'special handling units,' the most recent addition to Canada's 'carceral archipelago.' It is clear from his findings that prison officials continue to violate human rights. Though Jackson eschews sensationalism, the raw facts and the record of direct testimony he presents make Prisoners of Isolation a disturbing book.
Before the Next Attack
Author: Bruce A. Ackerman
Publisher: Yale University Press
Also includes information on aftermath of terrorist attack, Al Qaeda, George W. Bush, civil liberties, U.S. Congress, U.S. Constitution, courts, detainees, detention, due process, emergency constitution, emergency powers, emergency regime, existential crisis, extraordinary powers, Founding Fathers, framework statutes, freedom, habeas corpus writ, Iraq war, Abraham Lincoln, Jose Padilla, panic reaction, precedents of presidential powers, presidency, president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, rule of law, second strike, Second World War, secrecy, seizure, September 11, 2001, state of emergency, supermajoritarian escalator, terrorist attack, torture, United Kingdom, etc.
Author: Terry A. Kupers
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"When I testify in court, I am often asked: 'What is the damage of long-term solitary confinement?' . . . Many prisoners emerge from prison after years in solitary with very serious psychiatric symptoms even though outwardly they may appear emotionally stable. The damage from isolation is dreadfully real." --Terry Allen Kupers Imagine spending nearly twenty-four hours a day alone, confined to an eight-by-ten-foot windowless cell. This is the reality of approximately one hundred thousand inmates in solitary confinement in the United States today. Terry Allen Kupers, one of the nation's foremost experts on the mental health effects of solitary confinement, tells the powerful stories of the inmates he has interviewed while investigating prison conditions during the past forty years. Touring supermax security prisons as a forensic psychiatrist, Kupers has met prisoners who have been viciously beaten or raped, subdued with immobilizing gas, or ignored in the face of urgent medical and psychiatric needs. Kupers criticizes the physical and psychological abuse of prisoners and then offers rehabilitative alternatives to supermax isolation. Solitary is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the true damage that solitary confinement inflicts on individuals living in isolation as well as on our society as a whole.