"Backed up by the best science, Todd Clear and Natasha Frost make a compelling case for why the nation's forty-year embrace of the punitive spirit has been morally bankrupt and endangered public safety. But this is far more than an expose of correctional failure. Recognizing that a policy turning point is at hand, Clear and Frost provide a practical blueprint for choosing a different correctional future - counsel that is wise and should be widely followed."-Francis Cullen, Distinguished Research Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati "Criminologists Clear (Imprisoning Communities) and Frost (The Punitive State) offer an accessible study of mass incarceration in the U.S. that is theoretically sophisticated and rich in statistical data...A meticulously organized concluding chapter lays out their proposals with an eye toward reducing sentences and making them more humane for nonviolent offenders. The book merits serious consideration beyond an academic audience. "--Publishers Weekly "Full of lists and charts, with a well-documented text, this study does not obscure the authors' sympathy for those who, locked up or on the outside, have suffered during the war on crime and drugs in ways that too few politicians have sought to assuage or alleviate [...] This short, efficiently conveyed study cannot delve into all of the ramifications of how to integrate those returning to society, however, The Punishment Imperative attests to the need for a better way to manage the millions that our nation have, for too long, relegated to simply lock up, forever." - John L. Murphy, Pop MattersReseña del editor:
Over the last 40 years, the US penal system has grown at an unprecedented rate—five times larger than in the past and grossly out of scale with the rest of the world. In The Punishment Imperative, eminent criminologists Todd R. Clear and Natasha A. Frost argue that America’s move to mass incarceration from the 1960s to the early 2000s was more than just a response to crime or a collection of policies adopted in isolation; it was a grand social experiment. Tracing a wide array of trends related to the criminal justice system, this book charts the rise of penal severity in America and speculates that a variety of forces—fiscal, political, and evidentiary—have finally come together to bring this great social experiment to an end. The authors stress that while the doubling of the crime rate in the late 1960s represented one of the most pressing social problems at the time, it was instead the way crime posed a political problem—and thereby offered a political opportunity—that became the basis for the great rise in punishment. Clear and Frost contend that the public’s growing realization that the severe policies themselves, not growing crime rates, were the main cause of increased incarceration eventually led to a surge of interest in taking a more rehabilitative, pragmatic, and cooperative approach to dealing with criminal offenders that still continues to this day. Part historical study, part forward-looking policy analysis, The Punishment Imperative is a compelling study of a generation of crime and punishment in America.
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