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

Jonathan Simon (Author)
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Description

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.

Product Details

Price
$26.95  $24.26
Publisher
New Press
Publish Date
August 05, 2014
Pages
209
Dimensions
5.6 X 0.9 X 8.3 inches | 0.8 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781595587695
BISAC Categories:

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About 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.

Reviews

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"
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"

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 USAand 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
"
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