Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America

Overview


For nearly forty years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading—relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order.

Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions—culminating in Brown v. ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.75
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$26.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $14.07   
  • New (11) from $15.66   
  • Used (2) from $14.07   
Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$26.95 List Price

Overview


For nearly forty years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading—relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order.

Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions—culminating in Brown v. Plata, decided in May 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court—that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of “tough on crime” politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and, ultimately, lead to the demise of mass incarceration. Simon argues that much like the school segregation cases of the last century, these new cases represent a major breakthrough in jurisprudence—moving us from a hollowed-out vision of civil rights to the threshold of human rights and giving court backing for the argument that, because the conditions it creates are fundamentally cruel and unusual, mass incarceration is inherently unconstitutional.

Since the publication of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, states around the country have begun to question the fundamental fairness of our criminal justice system. This book offers a provocative and brilliant reading to the end of mass incarceration.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 06/16/2014
UC Berkeley criminologist Simon (Governing Through Crime) offers an eloquent critique of the American prison system and uses several Supreme Court cases to examine the development of new jurisprudence that might end mass incarceration. His sketch of the history of mass incarceration attends to interlocking issues, such as racial politics, the upheavals of the 1960s, and media influence on public opinion. In his case studies, he focuses on the way decisions have addressed human rights violations arising from the prison system, from overcrowding, to the failure to reduce crime, to the torture of being incarcerated with a terminal illness. Simon’s most striking contribution comes in the discussion of “dignity” as a concept in human rights law. He argues that making prisons more humane and effective requires a “dignity cascade,” which will enshrine a basic notion of bodily integrity and decency in the edifice of law. Though the Eighth Amendment is often narrowly interpreted to prohibit only the most intentional torture, interpreting it to protect dignity would allow us to understand mass incarceration as inherently “cruel and unusual” because of the conditions it fosters. Simon’s accessible and powerful book deserves widespread attention. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Mass Incarceration on Trial:
"Highly readable, stunning stuff. California is at the epicenter of a new American debate about prison policy and Simon’s remarkable book places the state's travails in national and historical context. I recommend it to anyone interested in the problem of prisons in America."
—Todd Clear, author of The Punishment Imperative

"A masterful job of assessing the qualitative shift in the court's analysis on human rights concerns as they apply to our notorious prison system, the book points the way to a legal strategy premised on human dignity as a means of challenging mass incarceration."
—Marc Mauer, executive director, The Sentencing Project, and author of Race to Incarcerate

"A powerful critique of California's use of mass incarceration combined with an inspiring vision of a hopeful future created by landmark court decisions."
—Jules Lobel, president, Center for Constitutional Rights

Praise for Jonathan Simon:
"[Jonathan Simon is] one of the outstanding criminologists of his generation."
—Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics

Praise for Governing Through Crime:
"Ambitious and carefully reasoned."
—Boston Review

"Every thoughtful citizen should confront the arguments that are so lucidly presented in this book. Highly recommended."
Choice

"In Governing through Crime, Jonathan Simon powerfully and persuasively argues that America's obsession with crime has touched, indeed distorted, the fundamental building blocks of our democratic society … This disturbing and provocative treatise should command the attention of scholars, opinion leaders, and policymakers who aspire to create a more tolerant and open future for this country."
—Jeremy Travis, president, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

"For historians, this book will one day be a valuable primary source."
Law and History Review

"An invaluable addition to the literature in critical criminology, this is a volume that ought to be read by anyone who seeks to understand the present and future of governance in the USA—and elsewhere."
—John Comaroff, Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

"This is an impressive work. The book's great strength is its integration of a wide range of research on political science, law, and sociology, with journalistic accounts of current and recent politics … I know of no other work that so effectively uncovers ways that these issues are connected to a changing relationship between citizens and their government."
–The Law and Politics Book Review

"His book stands out as the most important and most readable treatment to date on the overreach of crime and our emergence, in part, as a society gripped by the language of crime and the technologies of criminal justice."
Political Science Quarterly

From the Publisher

Praise for Jonathan Simon:
"[Jonathan Simon is] one of the outstanding criminologists of his generation."
—Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics

Praise for Governing Through Crime:
"Ambitious and carefully reasoned."
—Boston Review

"Every thoughtful citizen should confront the arguments that are so lucidly presented in this book. Highly recommended."
Choice

"In Governing through Crime, Jonathan Simon powerfully and persuasively argues that America's obsession with crime has touched, indeed distorted, the fundamental building blocks of our democratic society … This disturbing and provocative treatise should command the attention of scholars, opinion leaders, and policymakers who aspire to create a more tolerant and open future for this country."
—Jeremy Travis, president, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

"For historians, this book will one day be a valuable primary source."
Law and History Review

"An invaluable addition to the literature in critical criminology, this is a volume that ought to be read by anyone who seeks to understand the present and future of governance in the USA—and elsewhere."
—John Comaroff, Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

"This is an impressive work. The book's great strength is its integration of a wide range of research on political science, law, and sociology, with journalistic accounts of current and recent politics … I know of no other work that so effectively uncovers ways that these issues are connected to a changing relationship between citizens and their government."
–The Law and Politics Book Review

"His book stands out as the most important and most readable treatment to date on the overreach of crime and our emergence, in part, as a society gripped by the language of crime and the technologies of criminal justice."
Political Science Quarterly

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-17
A scholarly treatise on the case for American penal reform.Simon (Law/Univ. of California;Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear, 2008) offers an update on the American prison industry and applauds its more recent progression from the inhumanely overpopulated confinement of past decades to what he terms as an “ebbing” evolution toward more dignified treatment of incarcerated individuals. He chronicles prison history back to the 1970s and ’80s—decades of “extreme penology”—and looks at how California, amassing over 150 victims of serial killings throughout that era, became the epicenter of monstrous criminal activity with the only foreseeable solution being extreme incarceration. Simon astutely documents the sea change in prison reform simmering throughout the mid-1990s once community activists and prison specialists began rallying against the “unhinged and unchecked” “supermax” prisons fraught with overcrowding and largely dismissed chronic disease and mental illness issues. Significant litigation then sprung up, citing prisoners’ human rights violations against the state of California, supported with disturbing photographs of barbaric conditions. These cases all culminated in the pivotal 2009 case ofColeman-Plata v. Schwarzeneggerand the Supreme Court decision inBrown v. Plata, which set population limits on prisons to preserve inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights. With mass incarceration’s attempt at “twentieth-century correctional modernism” and crime deterrence deemed a failure with marked human rights infringements, California was ordered to drastically reduce prison populations with reframed parole programs and, optimally, improved crime-prevention strategies. Simon makes an impassioned plea for prison reform grounded in human dignity, and he leans toward more broad-brush restructuring into smaller and more specialized correctional facilities.A sound, sobering report that’s more educative than eye-opening.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595587695
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 318,633
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan Simon is the Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book, Governing through Crime, won the American Sociology Association’s 2008 Sociology of Law Distinguished Book Award and the 2010 Hindelang Prize of the American Society of Criminology. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)