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9780807029527

"Prisons Make Us Safer": And 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780807029527

  • ISBN10:

    0807029521

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-04-06
  • Publisher: Beacon Pr

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Summary

An accessible guide for activists, educators, and all who are interested in understanding how the prison system oppresses communities and harms individuals

The United States incarcerates more of its residents than any other nation. Though home to 5% of the global population, the United States has nearly 25% of the world's prisoners - a total of over 2 million people. This number continues to steadily rise - over the past 40 years, the number of people behind bars in the United States has increased by 500%.

Journalist Victoria Law explains how racism was the catalyst for mass incarceration and has continued to be its driving force: from the post-Civil War laws that states passed to imprison former slaves, to the laws passed under the "War Against Drugs" campaign that disproportionately imprison Black people. She breaks down these complicated issues into four main parts:

1. The rise and cause of mass incarceration
2. Myths about prison
3. Misconceptions about incarcerated people
4. How to end mass incarceration

Through carefully conducted research and interviews with incarcerated people, Law identifies the 21 key myths that propel and maintain mass incarceration, including:

    The system is broken and we simply need some reforms to fix it
    Incarceration is necessary to keep our society safe
    Prison is an effective way to get people into drug treatment
    Private prison corporations drive mass incarceration

"Prisons Make Us Safer" is a necessary guide for all who are interested in learning about the cause and rise of mass incarceration and how we can dismantle it.

Author Biography

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist focusing on the intersections of incarceration, gender and resistance. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars and the co-author of Prison By Any Other Name. Law has written about prisons and other forms of confinement for outlets including the New York Times, The Nation, Wired, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She is a co-founder of Books Through Bars--NYC, and long-time editor of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings by Women in Prison. Connect with her at victorialaw.net or on Twitter @LVikkiml.

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