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Criminal Injustice: Confronting the Prison Crisis

NCJ Number
E Rosenblatt
Date Published
174 pages
Through 29 papers by writers with a variety of backgrounds, this book intends to raise the consciousness of its readers regarding the nature of American society and its criminogenic characteristics and how the prison system has been used to repress the unwanted products of such a society.
The first section of papers is an overview that profiles the larger context of the prison system in the United States, both currently and historically. Subjects addressed include the economic role of the U.S. prison system, the role of prisons in a capitalist society, the criminalization of poverty, prison labor, and the politics of a corrections system based in incarceration. The second section contains papers on the abusive conditions and climate of U.S. prisons. They focus on abuse, neglect, and poor health care in U.S. prisons; the myth of humane imprisonment in the United States; and the legislation of repression (the Federal Crime Bill and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act). A third section of papers focuses on "Women in Prison." Topics include statistics on the condition of women, the history and current reality of women's imprisonment, the politics of confining women and the resistance to such confinement, and the social control of women in prison. Four papers challenge capital punishment and call for its abolition, and another four papers portray much of imprisonment as politically motivated, with attention to the concept of prisons as concentration camps. The concluding section contains four papers on the widespread use of imprisonment in the United States as a means of controlling the unwelcome products of an American society that prefers to imprison people rather than correct the conditions that make them candidates for prison. Notes and references accompany each paper.