Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarcerationby Michael Jacobson
Pub. Date: 02/01/2005
Publisher: New York University Press
Over Two Million People are incarcerated in America's prisons and jails, eight times as many since 1975. The U.S. now locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. At current incarceration rates, almost one in three black males born in the U.S. today will spend some time in prison. Mandatory minimum sentencing, parole agencies… See more details below
Over Two Million People are incarcerated in America's prisons and jails, eight times as many since 1975. The U.S. now locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. At current incarceration rates, almost one in three black males born in the U.S. today will spend some time in prison. Mandatory minimum sentencing, parole agencies intent on sending people back to prison, three-strike laws, for-profit prisons, and other changes in the legal system have contributed to this spectacular rise in the nation's prison population. A rise that seems to have no end in sight.
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.
- New York University Press
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Bloated Prisons
1 Mass Incarceration
2 Unintended Consequences
3 ANew Reality for Prison Systems
4 Why Prison Growth Does Not Substantially Reduce Crime
5 Why Parole and Probation Policies Need to Change
6 Success Stories and Works in Progress
7 Downsizing Prisons
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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.