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 Accountable Prison

The Accountable Prison

The accountable prison
Francis T. Cullen Cheryl Lero Jonson John E. Eck

Editors' Introduction

To borrow a phrase from Jeffrey Reiman, it appears that prisons are “designed to fail.” Admittedly, they perform one function well: They keep offenders off the street, allowing few to escape during their prescribed time behind bars. But otherwise, any claim to being a successful American social institution would be difficult to sustain. Nearly all inmates return to society, most within two to three years. Yet upon reentering their communities, there is no evidence that they have been made less criminal; in fact, some likely have had their risk of recidivating increased. Many will be rearrested, ...

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