Addicted to Incarceration: Corrections Policy and the Politics of Misinformation in the United States
By: Travis C. Pratt (author)Paperback
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This book is selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by "Choice Magazine", January 2010. The broad purposes of this book would be to outline the 'scope of the problem' in terms of incarceration, to highlight the nature of the political discussions surrounding criminal justice policy in general and corrections policy in particular, and to explicitly discuss the role of misinformation on how the U.S. has ended up with its current state of incarceration (i.e., how we got to this state of affairs). Specifically, the primary thesis of the book will be that the U.S. has become 'addicted to incarceration', and that this addiction has been fueled by policies legitimized by faulty information about the crime problem in the U.S., American citizens' opinions about crime and punishment, and the efficacy of incarceration as a means of social control. The book will also contain a detailed discussion regarding the consequences of the U.S.'s addiction to incarceration. It features an analysis of crime policies as they relate to the crime rates and U.S. society's ability to both lower the crime rate and address the role of incarceration in preventing future crime by ex-offenders and future potential offenders.
It gives students a view as to how effective our rush to incarcerate has been in the last decade. Race, ethnicity, and gender issues underlie all discussions and address key aspects of incarceration rates and crime trends. The final chapter contains conclusions and recommendations for future policy makers. It is written for a sophomore level audience in an informal and accessible style. It presents an evidence-based approach - long on facts short on philosophy which makes it more appropriate for a lower division undergraduate student. Each chapter will begin with a case study to motivate the discussions that follow. It gives students a 'human face' to help give perspective on the issues. Chapters will end with questions designed to help focus students on the key points.
Travis C. Pratt, received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science/Criminal Justice at Washington State University (his previous appointment was as an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University- Newark from 2000-2002). Pratt's research focuses on structural theories of crime/delinquency and correctional policy. His recent work on correctional policy in particular has appeared in the Corrections Management Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Journal of Criminal Justice, the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, the Prison Journal, and Justice Quarterly.
Foreword by Michael D. Reisig SECTION ONE: 1. Introduction 2. The Politics of Punishment in the United States SECTION TWO: 3. Misinformation About the Crime Problem 4. Misinformation About Public Opinion 5. Misinformation About Prisons and Crime Control SECTION THREE: 6. The Social Costs of Incarceration 7. Conclusions and Recommendations References
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- ID: 9780761928324
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