Policing the Poor: From Slave Plantation to Public Housing

Policing the Poor: From Slave Plantation to Public Housing

by Neil Websdale
     
 

ISBN-10: 1555534961

ISBN-13: 9781555534967

Pub. Date: 09/13/2001

Publisher: Northeastern University Press

While many applaud the apparent successes of community and saturation policing, Neil Websdale contends instead that such law enforcement initiatives oppress rather than protect the poor, particularly African Americans in large urban centers. Based on a groundbreaking ethnographic study of public housing projects in Nashville, Tennessee, he argues persuasively that…  See more details below

Overview

While many applaud the apparent successes of community and saturation policing, Neil Websdale contends instead that such law enforcement initiatives oppress rather than protect the poor, particularly African Americans in large urban centers. Based on a groundbreaking ethnographic study of public housing projects in Nashville, Tennessee, he argues persuasively that community policing is a critical component of a criminal justice juggernaut designed to manage or regulate stigmatized populations, much like slave patrols served as agents for social control on Southern plantations.

In a work that is sure to stir controversy and heated debate, Websdale draws on extensive field research, documentary sources, and interviews to illuminate how a criminal justice system deeply rooted in racism and slavery destroys the black family, creates a form of selective breeding, and undermines the civil rights gains of the 1960s. Unlike previous studies of community policing, which analyze programs through the lens of law enforcement, this book focuses on the history, experiences, and perspectives of the people whose lives are most affected by today's policing strategies.

Skillfully blending the voices of project residents with a rich synthesis of historical, sociological, and criminological analysis, Websdale describes the situational, cultural, and economic circumstances of Nashville's poor; examines the policing of social upheaval by detailing events in the 1997 looting and burning of the Dollar General Store; considers African American kinship systems and the special circumstances of battered women; and discusses why the vice trades -- prostitution and selling drugs -- thrive in public housing projects.

Policing the Poor is a much-needed balance to prevailing optimistic views on the effectiveness of this new method of law enforcement.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555534967
Publisher:
Northeastern University Press
Publication date:
09/13/2001
Series:
Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
289
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Map of Nashville
Introduction3
1Policing, Society, and History14
2The Nashville Poor36
3Policing Social Upheaval79
4Black Kin and Intimate Violence113
5Crack and the Cracks in Neoliberal Democracies150
6From Elmina to Edgehill: Policing the Black Underclass191
Notes223
References255
Index267

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >