College in Prison

Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration

Author: Daniel Karpowitz

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813584140

Category: Education

Page: 160

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Over the years, American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative is different. College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country access to a high-quality liberal arts education. Earning degrees in subjects ranging from Mandarin to advanced mathematics, graduates have, upon release, gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how the liberal arts can alter the landscape of some of our most important public institutions giving people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities. Drawing on fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI’s development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts dramatic scenes from in and around college-in-prison classrooms pinpointing the contested meanings that emerge in moments of highly-charged reading, writing, and public speaking. Through examining the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions—the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary—College in Prison makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States.
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Inside Private Prisons

An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Author: Lauren-Brooke Eisen

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231542313

Category: Law

Page: 321

View: 4074

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When the tough-on-crime politics of the 1980s overcrowded state prisons, private companies saw potential profit in building and operating correctional facilities. Today more than a hundred thousand of the 1.5 million incarcerated Americans are held in private prisons in twenty-nine states and federal corrections. Private prisons are criticized for making money off mass incarceration—to the tune of $5 billion in annual revenue. Based on Lauren-Brooke Eisen’s work as a prosecutor, journalist, and attorney at policy think tanks, Inside Private Prisons blends investigative reportage and quantitative and historical research to analyze privatized corrections in America. From divestment campaigns to boardrooms to private immigration-detention centers across the Southwest, Eisen examines private prisons through the eyes of inmates, their families, correctional staff, policymakers, activists, Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, undocumented immigrants, and the executives of America’s largest private prison corporations. Private prisons have become ground zero in the anti-mass-incarceration movement. Universities have divested from these companies, political candidates hesitate to accept their campaign donations, and the Department of Justice tried to phase out its contracts with them. On the other side, impoverished rural towns often try to lure the for-profit prison industry to build facilities and create new jobs. Neither an endorsement or a demonization, Inside Private Prisons details the complicated and perverse incentives rooted in the industry, from mandatory bed occupancy to vested interests in mass incarceration. If private prisons are here to stay, how can we fix them? This book is a blueprint for policymakers to reform practices and for concerned citizens to understand our changing carceral landscape.
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God in Captivity

Redemption and Punishment in America's Faith-Based Prisons

Author: Tanya Erzen

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807089982

Category: Church work with prisoners

Page: 222

View: 3839

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It is by now well known that the United States' incarceration rate is the highest in the world. What is not broadly understood is how cash-strapped and overcrowded state and federal prisons are increasingly relying on religious organizations to provide educational and mental health services and to help maintain order. And these religious organizations are overwhelmingly run by nondenominational Protestant Christians who see prisoners as captive audiences. Some 20,000 of these Evangelical Christian volunteers now run educational programs in over 300 U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. Tanya Erzen gained inside access to many of these programs, spending time with prisoners, wardens, and members of faith-based ministries in six states, at both male and female penitentiaries, to better understand both the nature of these ministries and their effects. What she discovered raises questions about how these ministries and the people who live in prison grapple with the meaning of punishment and redemption, as well as what legal and ethical issues emerge when conservative Christians are the main and sometimes only outside forces in a prison system that no longer offers even the pretense of rehabilitation. Yet Erzen also shows how prison ministries make undeniably positive impacts on the lives of many prisoners: men and women who have no hope of ever leaving prison can achieve personal growth, a sense of community, and a degree of liberation within the confines of their cells.
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Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration

Author: Richard Sparks

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190243090

Category: Crime prevention

Page: 360

View: 2738

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The United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration - and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals - rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratic theory and punishment policy. This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratic theory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratic theory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society.
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Doing Time, Writing Lives

Refiguring Literacy and Higher Education in Prison

Author: Patrick W. Berry

Publisher: SIU Press

ISBN: 0809336375

Category: Education

Page: 160

View: 4636

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Doing Time, Writing Lives offers a much-needed analysis of the teaching of college writing in U.S. prisons. Through the examination of a college-in-prison program, Berry exposes not only incarcerated students' hopes and dreams for their futures but also their anxieties about whether education will help them.
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Down in the Chapel

Religious Life in an American Prison

Author: Joshua Dubler

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 146683711X

Category: Religion

Page: 400

View: 5935

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A bold and provocative interpretation of one of the most religiously vibrant places in America—a state penitentiary Baraka, Al, Teddy, and Sayyid—four black men from South Philadelphia, two Christian and two Muslim—are serving life sentences at Pennsylvania's maximum-security Graterford Prison. All of them work in Graterford's chapel, a place that is at once a sanctuary for religious contemplation and an arena for disputing the workings of God and man. Day in, day out, everything is, in its twisted way, rather ordinary. And then one of them disappears. Down in the Chapel tells the story of one week at Graterford Prison. We learn how the men at Graterford pass their time, care for themselves, and commune with their makers. We observe a variety of Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, and others, at prayer and in study and song. And we listen in as an interloping scholar of religion tries to make sense of it all. When prisoners turn to God, they are often scorned as con artists who fake their piety, or pitied as wretches who cling to faith because faith is all they have left. Joshua Dubler goes beyond these stereotypes to show the religious life of a prison in all its complexity. One part prison procedural, one part philosophical investigation, Down in the Chapel explores the many uses prisoners make of their religions and weighs the circumstances that make these uses possible. Gritty and visceral, meditative and searching, it is an essential study of American religion in the age of mass incarceration.
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Death and Other Penalties

Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration

Author: Lisa Guenther,Scott Zeman

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 0823265315

Category: Philosophy

Page: 424

View: 3378

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Mass incarceration is one of the most pressing ethical and political issues of our time. In this volume, philosophers join activists and those incarcerated on death row to grapple with contemporary U.S. punishment practices and draw out critiques around questions of power, identity, justice, and ethical responsibility. This work takes shape against a backdrop of disturbing trends: The United States incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country in the world. A disproportionate number of these prisoners are people of color, and, today, a black man has a greater chance of going to prison than to college. The United States is the only Western democracy to retain the death penalty, even after decades of scholarship, statistics, and even legal decisions have depicted a deeply flawed system structured by racism and class oppression. Motivated by a conviction that mass incarceration and state execution are among the most important ethical and political problems of our time, the contributors to this volume come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to analyze, critique, and envision alternatives to the injustices of the U.S. prison system, with recourse to deconstruction, phenomenology, critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with the hyper-incarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners as workers and as “raw material” for the prison industrial complex, the intensive confinement of prisoners in supermax units, and the complexities of capital punishment in an age of abolition. The resulting collection contributes to a growing intellectual and political resistance to the apparent inevitability of incarceration and state execution as responses to crime and to social inequalities. It addresses both philosophers and activists who seek intellectual resources to contest the injustices of punishment in the United States.
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The Politics of Injustice

Crime and Punishment in America

Author: Katherine Beckett,Theodore Sasson

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9780761929949

Category: Political Science

Page: 263

View: 4472

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The U.S. crime rate has dropped steadily for more than a decade, yet the rate of incarceration continues to skyrocket. Today, more than 2 million Americans are locked in prisons and jails with devastating consequences for poor families and communities, overcrowded institutions and overburdened taxpayers. How did the U.S. become the world's leader in incarceration? Why have the numbers of women, juveniles, and people of color increased especially rapidly among the imprisoned? The Politics of Injustice: Crime and Punishment in America, Second Edition is the first book to make widely accessible the new research on crime as a political and cultural issue. Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson provide readers with a robust analysis of the roles of crime, politics, media imagery and citizen activism in the making of criminal justice policy in the age of mass incarceration. is the first book to make widely accessible the new research on crime as a political and cultural issue. Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson provide readers with a robust analysis of the roles of crime, politics, media imagery and citizen activism in the making of criminal justice policy in the age of mass incarceration.
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Prestige Television and Prison in the Age of Mass Incarceration

A Wall Rise Up

Author: Victoria M. Bryan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315306697

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 8343

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Television shows that we might call ‘prestige television’ represent prison in ways that are sometimes reductive, sometimes powerful, and sometimes exceedingly complex. This book examines various programmes across the genres of drama, comedy and horror that utilize prison or places of incarceration as a central theme or setting to show how they conform to or challenge the standard conversation about the prison industrial complex and the common understanding of prisons as violent spaces where we house the worst among us. Drawing on the work of Angela Davis, Doran Larson, Dylan Rodriguez, Michelle Alexander, and Lisa Guenther, the author presents focused studies of Orange Is the New Black, Rectify, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead (along with briefer discussions of The 100, police procedurals, and popular sitcoms) to explore the responsibility of television to represent prison in as authentic a fashion as possible, the exploitation of the incarcerated in reductive representations of prison, and the shifting nature of the national conversation about prison as it is depicted on screen. As such, the book will appeal to scholars of cultural and media studies, criminology and sociology with interests in incarceration and representations of prison in popular culture.
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