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The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration

edited by Deborah E. McDowell, Claudrena N. Harold, and Juan Battle
Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, [2013]
Carter G. Woodson Institute series
9780813935201, 0813935202, 9780813935218
This collection of essays grew out of a three-day symposium held at the University of Virginia in 2009. In addition, practitioners and activists from the Sentencing Project, the Virginia Organizing Project, and the Restorative Community Foundation discuss the topics.
"The Punitive Turn explores the historical, political, economic, and sociocultural roots of mass incarceration, as well as its collateral costs and consequences. Giving significant attention to the exacting toll that incarceration takes on inmates, their families, their communities, and society at large, the volume's contributors investigate the causes of the unbridled expansion of incarceration in the United States. Experts from multiple scholarly disciplines offer fresh research on race and inequality in the criminal justice system and the effects of mass incarceration on minority groups' economic situation and political inclusion. In addition, practitioners and activists from the Sentencing Project, the Virginia Organizing Project, and the Restorative Community Foundation, among others, discuss race and imprisonment from the perspective of those working directly in the field. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, the essays included in the volume provide an unprecedented range of perspectives on the growth and racial dimensions of incarceration in the United States and generate critical questions not simply about the penal system but also about the inner workings, failings, and future of American democracy."--Publisher's description.
  • 1. Punishment in historical perspective
  • "Please hear our cries": the hidden history of black prisoners in America / Mary Ellen Curtin
  • From researching the past to reimagining the future: locating carceral crisis and the key to its end, in the long twentieth century / Heather Ann Thompson
  • "Bright and good looking colored girl": black women's sexuality and "harmful intimacy" in early-twentieth-century New York / Cheryl D. Hicks
  • Abject correction and penal medical photography in the early twentieth century / Ethan Blue
  • Mass incarceration, prisoner rights, and the legacy of the radical prison movement / Anoop Mirpuri
  • 2. Social and economic consequences of punishment
  • Economic and relational penalties of incarceration / Charles E. Lewis Jr.
  • Implications of mass imprisonment for inequality among American children / Christopher Wildeman, Anna R. Haskins, and Christopher Muller
  • The "hard back" of mass incarceration: fear, structural racism, and the overpunishment of violent crime / Jonathan Simon
  • 3. Race, prison and the aesthetic imagination
  • Rage against the machine: African American music and the evolution of the penitentiary blues, 1961-2000 / Claudrena N. Harold
  • Law and dis/order: the banefully alluring arts of the carceral imaginary / Marlon B. Ross
  • 4. Life after prison: Interviews
  • Jim Shea, interviewed by Jared Brown
  • Harold Folley, interviewed by Tshepo Morongwa Chéry
  • Eddie Harris, interviewed by Tshepo Morongwa Chéry
  • Debbie Walker, interviewed by Tshepo Morongwa Chéry.
xiii, 335 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Local Notes
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: Original black cloth; dust jacket. Gift of the University of Virginia Press, November 2013.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
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