American Prisons: Their Past, Present and Future

1st Edition

David Musick, Kristine Gunsaulus-Musick

Published May 18, 2017
Textbook - 242 Pages
ISBN 9781138805798 - CAT# Y170496

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Imprisonment has become big business in the United States. Using a "history of ideas" approach, this book examines the cultural underpinnings of prisons in the United States and explores how shared ideas about imprisonment evolve into a complex, loosely connected nationwide system of prisons that keeps enough persons to populate a small nation behind bars, razor wire and electrified fences.

Tracing both the history of the prison and the very idea of imprisonment in the United States, this book provides students with a critical overview of American prisons and considers their past, their present and directions for the future. Topics covered include:

• a history of imprisonment in America from 1600 to the present day;

• the twentieth-century prison building binge;

• the relationship between U.S. prisons and the private sector;

• a critical account of capital punishment;

• less-visible prison minorities, including women, children and the elderly; and

• sex, violence and disease in prison.

This comprehensive book is essential reading for advanced courses on corrections and correctional management and offers a compelling and provocative analysis of the realities of American penal culture from past to present. It is perfect reading for students of criminal justice, corrections, penology and the sociology of punishment.


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