The Punishment Imperative
The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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In the academic world, much goes into the order of authorship, particularly for important works such as books. Although we have published this book with the authors listed alphabetically by last name, we emphasize here that we contributed equally to this book from conception through completion. ...
1. The Beginning of the End of the Punishment Imperative
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In the early 1970s, the United States embarked on a subtle change in the way it punished people for crimes. The prison population, stable for half a century, shifted upward. At first, this was little noticed, so much so that even as the number of people behind bars was inching upward, prominent criminologists were hypothesizing that there was an underlying stability ...
2. The Contours of Mass Incarceration
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As the United States’ prison and jail population approached, and then, in midyear 2002, exceeded the two million mark for the first time,1 commentators— both expert and otherwise—no longer found it sufficient to refer to incarceration in the United States as simply incarceration: incarceration became mass incarceration. ...
3. The Punishment Imperative as a Grand Social Experiment
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In the previous chapter we reviewed some of the major trends in prison population growth over the past several decades and introduced some of the most influential explanations for that growth. We showed that the growth of punishment—especially imprisonment—over the last forty years has been unprecedented in U.S. history and outstrips other nations’ experiences. ...
4. The Policies of the Punishment Imperative
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When the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (hereafter 1967 Crime Commission) convened by President Lyndon B. Johnson released its report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, in 1967, the influence of the Great Society ideas and ideals was still very evident. ...
5. Two Views on the Objectives of the Punishment Imperative
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We have argued that the Punishment Imperative should be thought of as a “grand social experiment,” and we are not alone in using this term. Increasingly, scholars make reference to a “policy experiment” or an “experiment in mass incarceration.”1 Without being as explicit, these scholars recognize what we have said in chapter 4, ...
6. Assessing the Punishment Imperative
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Now that we are close to forty years into the grand social experiment in punishment, and especially if (as we believe) it is coming to an end, we should be able to draw some conclusions and extract some lessons learned from it. In the previous chapter, we argued that there were both manifest and latent objectives for the Punishment Imperative— ...
7. Dismantling the Punishment Imperative
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In our opening chapter, we argued that the Punishment Imperative, dominant for more than a generation, has now run its course. If we are right, then we are still in the very earliest days of this change. Yet if we are right, it will be because an uncoordinated set of forces distributed around the country has reached an unofficial conclusion ...
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About the Authors
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Todd R. Clear is Dean of the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany, State University of New York. ...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013