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Punishment in America
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Punishment in America
Social Control and the Ironies of Imprisonment

  • Michael Welch - Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, Rutgers University, USA

August 1999 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Michael Welch's book is an invitation to think. It is an invitation to grow intellectually and critically, as a consumer of crime policy and an observer of the American scene. Written by a scholar who has dedicated his work to uncovering the hidden ironies of formal crime policy, this is a collection of essays of depth and significance. Those who read it will be challenged, and those who engage with the challenges contained within these pages will have their views of the realities of penal policy changed: deepened, and made more honest, more complete. More true."

--from the Foreword by Todd R. Clear, Florida State University

Punishment in America offers readers a critical examination of the so-called back end of the criminal justice system, namely, incarceration. The book integrates various levels of analysis ranging from the macrosociological aspects of punishment to the meso (organizational) and micro (individual) dimensions of imprisonment. The overarching themes of Punishment in America are social control and the ironic effects of incarceration. In an effort to reduce crime, the criminal justice system ironically produces various self-defeating measures. Moreover, these pitfalls in current correctional policy and practice which neglect fundamental social inequality merely compound the problem of crime.

Todd R Clear
Foreword
 
Discovery of the Penitentiary and Emergence of Social Control
 
Critical Criminology, Social Justice and an Alternative View of Incarceration
 
The Contours of Race, Social Class and Punishment
Exploring Institutional Biases in Corrections  
 
The War on Drugs and Correctional Warehousing
Alternative Strategies for the Drug Crisis  
 
Regulating the Reproduction and Morality of Women
The Social Control of Body and Soul  
 
Jail Overcrowding
Social Sanitation and the Warehousing of the Urban Underclass  
 
A Critical Interpretation of Correctional Bootcamps as Normalizing Institutions
Discipline, Punishment and the Military Model  
 
The Brutal Truth
The Reproduction of Prison Violence and the Ironies of Social Control  
 
The Machinery of Death
Capital Punishment and the Ironies of Social Control  
 
The Poverty of Interest in Huamn Rights Violations in US Prisons
 
Prisoners with HIV/AIDS
Discrimination, Fringe Punishments and the Production of Suffering  
 
The Immigration Crisis
Detention as an Emerging Mechanism of Social Control  
 
The Corrections Industry
Economic Forces and the Prison Enterprise  

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