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Caught
Cover of Caught
Caught
The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics
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The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders, yet reforms to reduce the numbers of those incarcerated have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, an ever-widening carceral state has...
The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders, yet reforms to reduce the numbers of those incarcerated have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, an ever-widening carceral state has...
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  • The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few defenders, yet reforms to reduce the numbers of those incarcerated have been remarkably modest. Meanwhile, an ever-widening carceral state has sprouted in the shadows, extending its reach far beyond the prison gate. It sunders families and communities and reworks conceptions of democracy, rights, and citizenship—posing a formidable political and social challenge. In Caught, Marie Gottschalk examines why the carceral state remains so tenacious in the United States. She analyzes the shortcomings of the two dominant penal reform strategies—one focused on addressing racial disparities, the other on seeking bipartisan, race-neutral solutions centered on reentry, justice reinvestment, and reducing recidivism.

    With a new preface evaluating the effectiveness of recent proposals to reform mass incarceration, Caught offers a bracing appraisal of the politics of penal reform.

About the Author-

  • Marie Gottschalk is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. A former journalist and editor, she was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration. She is the author of, among other works, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America and The Shadow Welfare State: Labor, Business, and the Politics of Health Care in the United States.

Table of Contents-

  • List of Figures xi
    List of Abbreviations xiii
    Preface to the Paperback Edition xv
    Chapter 1 Introduction
    The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics 1
    Part I The Political Economy of Penal Reform 23
    Chapter 2 Show Me the Money, The Great Recession and the Great Confinement 25
    Chapter 3 Squaring the Political Circle, The New Political Economy of the Carceral State 48
    Chapter 4 What Second Chance?, Reentry and Penal Reform 79
    Chapter 5 Caught Again, Justice Reinvestment and Recidivism 98
    Part II The Politics of Race and Penal Reform 117
    Chapter 6 Is Mass Incarceration the "New Jim Crow"? Racial Disparities and the Carceral State 119
    Chapter 7 What's Race Got to Do with It?, Bolstering and Challenging the Carceral State 139
    Part III The Metastasizing Carceral State 163
    Chapter 8 Split Verdict, The Non, Non, Nons and the "Worst of the Worst" 165
    Chapter 9 The New Untouchables, The War on Sex Offenders 196
    Chapter 10 Catch and Keep, The Criminalization of Immigrants 215
    Chapter 11 The Prison beyond the Prison, The Carceral State and Growing Political and Economic Inequalities in the United States 241
    Chapter 12 Bring It On, The Future of Penal Reform, the Carceral State, and American Politics 258
    Acknowledgments 283
    Notes 285
    Select Bibliography 411
    Index 439

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2014
    Of "punitive sentiments and punitive policies"-a searching study of the explosion of American prisons, seemingly one of the nation's only growth industry.The notion of the "carceral state" has been current for half a century, thanks in good part to Michel Foucault, but only recently have the statistics caught up to the theory. Gottschalk (Political Science/Univ. of Pennsylvania; The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America, 2006, etc.) describes a kind of American gulag that has "sprouted in the shadows of mass imprisonment and has been extending its reach far beyond the prison gate." On one hand are three-strikes laws and politicians enriching themselves at the trough of private prisons; on the other hand are powerful corrections-workers unions that resist reforms. All demand to be fed, and they are fed with prisoners in a rigged system that no one wants to fix. Gottschalk's densely documented study-nearly a third of the book is notes and sources-is academic but accessible, and it has an urgency to it. As she observes, much reformist political energy has gone into the three Rs of "recidivism, reentry, and justice reinvestment" and entirely too little into investigating the social causes of crime, among them a vast racial imbalance brought on by such things as "the push to build up human capital rather than address the disappearance of good jobs." Meanwhile, the carceral state grows at immense cost, both social and financial, unchecked legislatively or even at the level of the Supreme Court, which, Gottschalk argues, seems interested only in capital-level crimes while failing to make any contributions to determining "proportionality" in the punishment of crime. Even as the carceral state grows, Gottschalk concludes, crime persists-less so in affluent communities, but ragingly in minority areas, A needed cry for justice, though perhaps unlikely to be heeded in this noisy second Gilded Age.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • -Angelia Wilson, Times Higher Education "This is a brilliantly framed, intellectually courageous analysis of a pivotal and problematic period in American criminal justice history. Gottschalk offers unique and penetrating insights into the complex forces that led to the creation of our nation's massive carceral state. Her research is meticulous, the scope of her vision is sweeping, and her criticism is unflinching. Absolutely essential reading for understanding this profound transformation of American society."

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