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After overseeing New York City's jail system, the largest in the country, Michael Jacobson knows first-hand the inner workings of the corrections system. In Downsizing Prisons, he convincingly argues that mass incarceration will not, as many have claimed, reduce crime nor create more public safety. Simply put, throwing away the key is not the answer.
Instead, Jacobson argues that our prison system needs a massive overhaul. Moreover, given the dire budget shortfalls facing most states, there really is no choice: we no longer have the revenue to continue prison expansion while simultaneously supporting education, health care, and lower taxes.
Downsizing Prisons examines specific ways that states have begun to transform their prison systems, in particular he focuses on the reforms underway in New York, Louisiana, Connecticut, and California. Jacobson offers practical policy solutions and strategies, such as: changing how parole and probation agencies operate, significantly reducing punitive sentencing and "technical" parole violations, and supporting drug-treatment programs for low-level drug offenders. These policy changes can actually increase public safety as well as save money.
As our prison populations swell to record levels, it is clear that the time to reform our prison system has come. Downsizing Prisons offers a clear and persuasive plan of action.
“There is a better path, and this book shows us how to find that new direction.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Downsizing Prisons offers an innovative approach to reducing the strain on America’s overcrowded prisons: namely, by fixing the dysfunctional parole systems in states around the country. . . . Jacobson’s book comes at exactly the right time.”
“Policy wonks, journalists, elected officials and students of criminal justice will find the arguments and data in this book worth grappling with.”
-New York Newsday
“Should be read by the public and used by policy makers. Essential.”
“Downsizing Prisons explains not only why current incarceration policy is not working, but what we can do about it. Jacobson’s blueprint provides an overview of a pragmatic strategy that can reduce the size of our bloated prison system while improving prospects for public safety.”
-Marc Mauer,author of Race to Incarcerate
|Introduction : bloated prisons||8|
|3||A new reality for prison systems||78|
|4||Why prison growth does not substantially reduce crime||106|
|5||Why parole and probation policies need to change||131|
|6||Success stories and works in progress||173|
Posted December 20, 2010
Author Michael Jacobson's book Downsizing prisons highlights crucial aspects of mass incarceration in the United States prison system. Jacobson states there are no social movements on a national level which would improve penal policy. Jacobson passion of decreasing mass incarceration is shadowed throughout the book. This book provides Pertinent information for anyone in the criminal justice field. This book is a must read on all levels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.