Explaining U.S. Imprisonment examines women in prison, minorities, the historical path to the modern prison, a wide range of contemporary issues, and social influences on prison reform. While focusing on prisons, this one-of-a-kind book is written within the context of the sociology of punishment and covers cutting-edge topics such as detaining immigrants, the War on Terror, and prison in the 21st century.


  • Uses a historical and social framework to place U.S. corrections and imprisonment policies in context
  • Includes first-hand accounts from inmates, as well as primary source documents written by early prison reformers
  • Integrates research on women, men, and minorities throughout, rather than separating each topic into a stand-alone chapter
  • Begins chapters with thought-provoking quotes to set the stage for the content that follows

Explaining U.S. Imprisonment is ideal for use as a supplementary text in undergraduate and graduate courses on corrections, imprisonment, and theories of punishment. It is also appropriate for use in courses on criminal justice, incarceration, minority issues in law, sociology of law, and the study of the modern prison system.

The New Detention: Securing the Border

The new detention: Securing the border

Securing our border is essential to securing the homeland.

—George W. Bush, November 28, 2005

Humans have human rights simply because they are humans. Hence even terrorists have rights that they cannot be denied. A liberal society is committed to respect the rights of those who have shown no respect for rights at all, to show mercy to those who are merciless, to treat as human those who have behaved inhumanly. This commitment to observe obligations even when they are not reciprocated is a defining characteristic of any society under the rule of law. Why else do we believe that even the most odious criminal is entitled to a fair trial and proof of guilt beyond ...

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