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 Restorative Prison

The Restorative Prison

The restorative prison
Lois Presser

Editors' Introduction

Prisons cause harm. Restorative justice is concerned with making amends for harm. On its face then, and as Presser notes in the following chapter, it does not appear that prisons can be restorative. Yet given the reduction or prevention of harm that might come from restorative justice programming in prisons and the fact that the use of prisons, particularly in the United States, is not going to decrease markedly any time soon, it appears prudent to explore how a prison focused on restorative justice might operate.

But what justice is, either in or outside of prison, has not always been clear. If we were to “imagine justice,” we might see it ...

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