Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons (Financial Times Prentice Hall Books Series)

Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons (Financial Times Prentice Hall Books Series)

by Alan Elsner
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Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Powerful. Well-written, meticulously researched, unbiased, insightful. Elsner shows us a broken system that affects us all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very fine work on a serious subject which impacts us all. The author judiciously combines hard facts and statistics with 'human stories' to present a compelling argument as to why the 'crisis in America's prisons' needs to be heeded by everyone. The real strength of the book is that it doesn't matter what end of the political spectrum you come from or what your views on punishment vs. rehabilitation are. In the final analysis, basic rational self-interest dictates that the central problems identified in this book - massively rising costs, the creation of a permanent criminal underclass who are 'recycled' back into society, catastrophic mistreatment of the mentally ill and the spread of infectious diseases - need to be addressed by society as a whole because none of us are insulated from their effects. Of course it hardly needs to be said that many of the stories, particularly those about the mal-treatment of highly vulnerable inmates - the physically weak, the mentally ill and the young - are heartbreaking and I don't want to downplay this aspect of the book as it's one of its great strengths. However for the many who chose to paint their world view on a black and white 'good guys vs. bad guys' canvas (and, I'd suggest that it's this way of thinking, at least in part, that has contributed to the current problems), this book should be equally persuasive. In the words of the Reagan-appointed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is quoted in the final chapter of the book: '...Our resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long'. I'd like to finish this review with a question inspired by this book: at a time when America has invested so much in spreading it's message of civilization and democracy abroad, how is this aided by many of its own States still requiring that incarcerated pregnant women deliver their offspring in shackles ?
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you only read one book about the U.S. prison system, this should be the one. It covers the entire spectrum. Some of the stories should make our hair stand on end. All Americans need to know what is going on in our prisons and jails and this book tells it like it is.