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Addicted to Incarceration
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Addicted to Incarceration
Corrections Policy and the Politics of Misinformation in the United States

Second Edition


November 2018 | 160 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In Addicted to Incarceration, author Travis C. Pratt uses an evidence-based approach to explore the consequences of what he terms America's "addiction to incarceration." Highlighting the scope of the issue, the nature of the political discussions surrounding criminal justice policy in general and corrections policy in particular, and the complex social cost of incarceration, this book takes an incisive look at the approach to corrections in the United States.

 The Second Edition demonstrates that the United States' addiction to incarceration has been fueled by American citizens' opinions about crime and punishment, the use of incarceration as a means of social control, and perhaps most important, by policies legitimized by faulty information. Analyzing crime policies as they relate to crime rates and society's ability to both lower the crime rate and address the role of incarceration in preventing future crime, this book shows students how ineffective the rush to incarcerate has been in the past and offers recommendations and insights to navigate this significant problem going forward. 

 
Preface to the Second Edition
 
New to the Second Edition
 
Acknowledgments
 
PART I: SETTING THE STAGE
 
1. Introduction
The Politics and Consequences of Incarceration

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Key Readings

 
 
2. The Politics of Punishment in the United States
Problem Ownership, Punishment Philosophies, and Changes in Corrections Policy Over Time

 
Political Capital and Getting Tough

 
The Rise of Evidence-Based Correctional Policy

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Key Readings

 
 
PART II: SOURCES AND DIMENSIONS OF MISINFORMATION
 
3. Misinformation About the Crime Problem
Victimization and the Fear of Crime

 
Nonserious Crime as Gateway Offending?

 
Incapacitation and Errors in Prediction

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Notes

 
Key Readings

 
 
4. Misinformation About Public Opinion
Global Versus Specific Attitudes About Punishment

 
Public Support for Alternative Punishment Philosophies

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Notes

 
Key Readings

 
 
5. Misinformation About Prisons and Crime Control
Prisons and Crime Control: The Empirical Evidence

 
Rethinking Offender Decision Making

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Notes

 
Key Readings

 
 
PART III: CONSEQUENCES AND MOVING FORWARD
 
6. The Social Costs of Incarceration
Consequences of Incarceration for Offenders

 
Consequences of Incarceration for Families and Children

 
Consequences of Incarceration for Communities

 
Consequences of Incarceration for Social Institutions

 
The Case of Immigration, Crime, and Punishment

 
Summary

 
Discussion Questions

 
Notes

 
Key Readings

 
 
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
The Persistent Addiction

 
Rethinking Crime Control Policy

 
Rethinking Corrections Policy

 
Reconnecting Evidence With Policy

 
Parting Thoughts: Breaking the Addiction

 
Discussion Questions

 
Key Readings

 
 
References
 
About the Author
 
Index
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • The text has been thoroughly updated to reflect the policy changes implemented by the Trump administration, encouraging timely classroom discussions.
  • Discussion questions and suggested readings have been added to the end of each chapter, keeping students focused on important concepts and better supporting their learning.
  • Coverage of key new topics highlight changes in correctional practices and include the rise of evidence-based crime control and corrections policy and an overview of the revival of the rational/choice deterrence, get-tough philosophy in recent years.
  • Increasing the focus on the social cost of incarceration for vulnerable populations, a discussion of the consequences of incarceration for families and children of incarcerated parents, as well as a new section on immigration, crime, and punishment, has been added.
  • The final chapter has been fully revised and focuses on recommendations for the future, particularly with tips for readers on how to evaluate the validity and reliability of scientific information in a critical way.
  • The statistics, data, and research has been updated to clearly show the state of the correctional system in the United States today.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Real world examples open each chapter and put a human face on the discussed topics.
  • Race, ethnicity, and gender issues underlie all discussions and address key aspects of incarceration rates and crime trends.
  • The social costs of incarceration are explored, including the heightened inmate risk of personal victimization, incarceration's effect as a barrier to successful offender reintegration into society, and its role in exacerbating existing racial inequalities.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: Introduction


For instructors

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