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Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America

Jonathan Simon
Format
Book
Published
New York : The New Press, [2014]
Language
English
ISBN
9781595587695, 1595587691, 9781595587923 (ebk.), 1595587926 (ebk.)
Summary
"For nearly forty years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading- relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order. Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions- culminating in Brown v. Plata, decided in May 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court- that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of "tough on crime" politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and, ultimately, lead to the demise of mass incarceration. Simon argues that much like the school segregation cases of the last century, these new cases represent a major breakthrough in jurisprudence- moving us from a hollowed-out vision of civil rights to the threshold of human rights and giving court backing for the argument that, because the conditions it creates are fundamentally cruel and unusual, mass incarceration is inherently unconstitutional." --
Contents
  • Introduction: Inhuman punishment
  • Total incapacitation : the 1970s and the birth of an extreme penology
  • House of fear : dignity and risk in Madrid v. Gomez
  • Engines of madness : Coleman v. Wilson
  • Torture on the installment plan : prisons without medicine in Plata v. Davis
  • Places of extreme peril : Coleman-Plata v. Schwarzenegger and California's prisons in the era of chronic hyper-overcrowding
  • Dignity cascade : Brown v. Plata and mass incarceration as a human rights problem
  • New common sense of high-crime societies.
Description
ix, 209 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 173-197) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Mass incarceration on trial : b| a remarkable court decision and the future of prisons in America / c| Jonathan Simon.
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    a| "For nearly forty years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading- relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order. Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions- culminating in Brown v. Plata, decided in May 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court- that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of "tough on crime" politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and, ultimately, lead to the demise of mass incarceration. Simon argues that much like the school segregation cases of the last century, these new cases represent a major breakthrough in jurisprudence- moving us from a hollowed-out vision of civil rights to the threshold of human rights and giving court backing for the argument that, because the conditions it creates are fundamentally cruel and unusual, mass incarceration is inherently unconstitutional." -- c| Provided by publisher.
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    a| Includes bibliographical references (pages 173-197) and index.
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    g| Introduction: t| Inhuman punishment -- t| Total incapacitation : the 1970s and the birth of an extreme penology -- t| House of fear : dignity and risk in Madrid v. Gomez -- t| Engines of madness : Coleman v. Wilson -- t| Torture on the installment plan : prisons without medicine in Plata v. Davis -- t| Places of extreme peril : Coleman-Plata v. Schwarzenegger and California's prisons in the era of chronic hyper-overcrowding -- t| Dignity cascade : Brown v. Plata and mass incarceration as a human rights problem -- t| New common sense of high-crime societies.
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    a| Prisons x| Law and legislation z| United States.
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    a| Correctional law z| United States.
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    a| Criminal justice, Administration of z| United States.
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