For the first time in four decades, prison populations are declining and politicians have reached the consensus that mass imprisonment is no longer sustainable. At this unique moment in the history of corrections, the opportunity has emerged to discuss in meaningful ways how best to shape efforts to control crime and to intervene effectively with offenders. This breakthrough book brings together established correctional scholars to imagine what this prison future might entail. Each scholar uses his or her expertise to craft—in an accessible way for students to read—a blueprint for how to create a new penology along a particular theme. For example, one contributor writes about how to use existing research expertise to create a prison that is therapeutic and another provides insight on how to create a “feminist” prison. In the final chapter the editors pull together the “lessons learned” in a cohesive, comprehensive essay.

The Safe Prison

The Safe Prison

The safe prison
Benjamin Steiner Benjamin Meade

Editors' Introduction

For a while, “scared straight” programs captured the nation's fancy. It was heartening to see older and now wiser inmates, many serving life terms for crime committed in their misguided youthful days, attempting to divert juvenile delinquents from a life in crime. Using aggressive, if not threatening language, they tried to illuminate the brutal realities of the unsafe prison that the youngsters surely would enter unless they changed their ways. They made it clear that were these kids to end up in the society of captives, they would be extorted, beaten, and perhaps sexually assaulted.

As it turned out, scared straight programs proved to ...

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