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The growth of incarceration in the United States : exploring causes and consequences / Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration, Jeremy Travis, Bruce Western, and Steve Redburn, editors, Committee on Law and Justice, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. National Research Council of the National Academies.

Contributor(s): Travis, Jeremy | Western, Bruce, 1964- | National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Law and Justice.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Washington, D.C. : The National Academies Press, [2014]Description: xx, 444 pages : illustrations, some color ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780309298018 (pbk.); 0309298016 (pbk.).Subject(s): Imprisonment -- United States | Prisoners -- United States -- Social conditions | Criminal justice, Administration of -- United StatesDDC classification: 365/.973 Online resources: National Academies Press
Contents:
Rising incarceration rates -- Policies and practices contributing to high rates of incarceration -- The underlying causes of rising incarceration : crime, politics, and social change -- The crime prevention effects of incarceration -- The experience of imprisonment -- Consequences for health and mental health -- Consequences for employment and earnings -- Consequences for families and children -- Consequences for communities -- Wider consequences for U.S. society -- The prison in society : values and principles --
Summary: After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world. Just under one-quarter of the world's prisoners are held in American prisons. The U.S. rate of incarceration, with nearly 1 out of every 100 adults in prison or jail, is 5 to 10 times higher than the rates in Western Europe and other democracies. The U.S. prison population is largely drawn from the most disadvantaged part of the nation's population: mostly men under age 40, disproportionately minority, and poorly educated. Prisoners often carry additional deficits of drug and alcohol addictions, mental and physical illnesses, and lack of work preparation or experience. The growth of incarceration in the United States during four decades has prompted numerous critiques and a growing body of scientific knowledge about what prompted the rise and what its consequences have been for the people imprisoned, their families and communities, and for U.S. society. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States examines research and analysis of the dramatic rise of incarceration rates and its affects. This study makes the case that the United States has gone far past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits and has reached a level where these high rates of incarceration themselves constitute a source of injustice and social harm. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States recommends changes in sentencing policy, prison policy, and social policy to reduce the nation's reliance on incarceration. The report also identifies important research questions that must be answered to provide a firmer basis for policy. The study assesses the evidence and its implications for public policy to inform an extensive and thoughtful public debate about and reconsideration of policies.-- Publisher description.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HV9471 .G76 2014 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002072981

Includes bibliographical references (pages 358-417).

Introduction -- Rising incarceration rates -- Policies and practices contributing to high rates of incarceration -- The underlying causes of rising incarceration : crime, politics, and social change -- The crime prevention effects of incarceration -- The experience of imprisonment -- Consequences for health and mental health -- Consequences for employment and earnings -- Consequences for families and children -- Consequences for communities -- Wider consequences for U.S. society -- The prison in society : values and principles -- Findings, conclusions, and implications.

After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world. Just under one-quarter of the world's prisoners are held in American prisons. The U.S. rate of incarceration, with nearly 1 out of every 100 adults in prison or jail, is 5 to 10 times higher than the rates in Western Europe and other democracies. The U.S. prison population is largely drawn from the most disadvantaged part of the nation's population: mostly men under age 40, disproportionately minority, and poorly educated. Prisoners often carry additional deficits of drug and alcohol addictions, mental and physical illnesses, and lack of work preparation or experience. The growth of incarceration in the United States during four decades has prompted numerous critiques and a growing body of scientific knowledge about what prompted the rise and what its consequences have been for the people imprisoned, their families and communities, and for U.S. society. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States examines research and analysis of the dramatic rise of incarceration rates and its affects. This study makes the case that the United States has gone far past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits and has reached a level where these high rates of incarceration themselves constitute a source of injustice and social harm. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States recommends changes in sentencing policy, prison policy, and social policy to reduce the nation's reliance on incarceration. The report also identifies important research questions that must be answered to provide a firmer basis for policy. The study assesses the evidence and its implications for public policy to inform an extensive and thoughtful public debate about and reconsideration of policies.-- Publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Produced under the auspices of the National Research Council, this book is a very valuable repository of information regarding the exceptionally high levels of incarceration in the US. The authors do a great service in gathering an immense amount of research on the subject. Their conclusions are essentially that the number of prisoners is not justified in terms of social benefits; rather, the opposite, as incarceration is a significant source of continuing injustice. Consequently, they advise reducing numbers of prisoners and promoting diversionary programs. However, their conventional conclusion that more research needs to be done is questionable. Criminologists have been identifying, explaining, and bemoaning these trends for decades. The criminal justice system already knows as much as it needs to. On the one hand, intellectuals (and certainly the "great and the good" who produced this work) could be more interested in publicizing evidence and arguments in order to engage directly in the democratic process. Alternatively, of course, legislators and criminal justice administrators should consider the functions high incarceration rates continue to play, regardless of the social consequences, in a fundamentally unequal society. Summing Up: Recommended. All public and academic libraries. --Chris Powell, University of Southern Maine

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