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Challenging the Prison-Industrial Complex

Activism, Arts, and Educational Alternatives

Boldly and eloquently contributing to the argument against the prison system in the United States, these provocative essays offer an ideological and practical framework for empowering prisoners instead of incarcerating them. Experts and activists who have worked within and against the prison system join forces here to call attention to the debilitating effects of a punishment-driven society and offer clear-eyed alternatives, emphasizing working directly with prisoners and their communities. _x000B__x000B_The volume offers rhetorical and political analyses of police culture, the so-called drug war, media coverage of crime stories, and the public-school-to-prison pipeline. The collection also includes case studies of successful prison arts and education programs in Michigan, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that provide creative and intellectual resources typically denied to citizens living behind bars. Writings and artwork created by prisoners in such programs richly enhance the volume._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Buzz Alexander, Rose Braz, Travis L. Dixon, Garrett Albert Duncan, Stephen John Hartnett, Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Daniel Mark Larson, Erica R. Meiners, Janie Paul, Lori Pompa, Jonathan Shailor, Robin Sohnen, and Myesha Williams.

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Chasing Thugs, Nazis, and Reds

Texas Ranger Norman K. Dixon

Kemp Dixon

Texas Ranger Norman Dixon made the front pages of newspapers, but his rigid sense of integrity prevented him from discussing his cases with his wife or his sons, or anyone else, even decades later.

As a Ranger, Dixon broke up the largest oil field theft ring in Texas history, worked to solve the most infamous cold case in Texas history, sought the Phantom Killer, investigated a near-mutiny by cadets and veterans on the campus of Texas A&M, rushed to a rural county to head off a lynching, and kept watch over Texas during World War II. He became the go-to investigator for the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, governors, and the state legislature.

During the final years of his career, which coincided with the McCarthy era in the 1950s, he was the chief of internal security, charged with protecting Texans from the Red Menace.

Using Ranger Dixon’s meticulously-kept diary entries, Kemp Dixon now tells his father’s compelling story.

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The Chinese Heroin Trade

Cross-Border Drug Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Beyond

Ko-lin Chin

In a country long associated with the trade in opiates, the Chinese government has for decades applied extreme measures to curtail the spread of illicit drugs, only to find that the problem has worsened. Burma is blamed as the major producer of illicit drugs and conduit for the entry of drugs into China. Which organizations are behind the heroin trade? What problems and prospects of drug control in the so-called “Golden Triangle” drug-trafficking region are faced by Chinese and Southeast Asian authorities?           
 
In The Chinese Heroin Trade, noted criminologists Ko-Lin Chin and Sheldon Zhangexamine the social organization of the trafficking of heroin from the Golden Triangle to China and the wholesale and retail distribution of the drug in China. Based on face-to-face interviews with hundreds of incarcerated drug traffickers, street-level drug dealers, users, and authorities, paired with extensive fieldwork in the border areas of Burma and China and several major urban centers in China and Southeast Asia, this volume reveals how the drug trade has evolved in the Golden Triangle since the late 1980s. Chin and Zhang also explore the marked characteristics of heroin traffickers; the relationship between drug use and sales in China; and how China compares to other international drug markets. The Chinese Heroin Trade is a fascinating, nuanced account of the world of high-risk drug trafficking in a tightly-controlled society.

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Chokepoints

Global Private Regulation on the Internet

Natasha Tusikov

In January 2012, millions participated in the now-infamous “Internet blackout” against the Stop Online Piracy Act, protesting the power it would have given intellectual property holders over the Internet. However, while SOPA’s withdrawal was heralded as a victory for an open Internet, a small group of corporations, tacitly backed by the US and other governments, have implemented much of SOPA via a series of secret, handshake agreements. Drawing on extensive interviews, Natasha Tusikov details the emergence of a global regime in which large Internet firms act as regulators for powerful intellectual property owners, challenging fundamental notions of democratic accountability. 

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Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice

Franklin E. Zimring

This is a hopeful but complicated era for those with ambitions to reform the juvenile courts and youth-serving public institutions in the United States. As advocates plea for major reforms, many fear the public backlash in making dramatic changes. Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice provides a look at the recent trends in juvenile justice as well as suggestions for reforms and policy changes in the future. Should youth be treated as adults when they break the law? How can youth be deterred from crime? What factors should be considered in how youth are punished?What role should the police have in schools?

This essential volume, edited by two of the leading scholars on juvenile justice, and with contributors who are among the key experts on each issue, the volume focuses on the most pressing issues of the day: the impact of neuroscience on our understanding of brain development and subsequent sentencing, the relationship of schools and the police, the issue of the school-to-prison pipeline, the impact of immigration, the privacy of juvenile records, and the need for national policies—including registration requirements--for juvenile sex offenders. Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice is not only a timely collection, based on the most current research, but also a forward-thinking volume that anticipates the needs for substantive and future changes in juvenile justice.

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City of Disorder

How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics

Alex Vitale

2009 Association of American University Presses Award for Jacket Design

In the 1990s, improving the quality of life became a primary focus and a popular catchphrase of the governments of New York and many other American cities. Faced with high levels of homelessness and other disorders associated with a growing disenfranchised population, then mayor Rudolph Giuliani led New York's zero tolerance campaign against what was perceived to be an increase in disorder that directly threatened social and economic stability. In a traditionally liberal city, the focus had shifted dramatically from improving the lives of the needy to protecting the welfare of the middle and upper classes—a decidedly neoconservative move.

In City of Disorder, Alex S. Vitale analyzes this drive to restore moral order which resulted in an overhaul of the way New York views such social problems as prostitution, graffiti, homelessness, and panhandling. Through several fascinating case studies of New York neighborhoods and an in-depth look at the dynamics of the NYPD and of the city's administration itself, Vitale explains why Republicans have won the last four New York mayoral elections and what the long-term impact Giuliani's zero tolerance method has been on a city historically known for its liberalism.

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City of Inmates

Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965

Kelly Lytle Hernández

Los Angeles incarcerates more people than any other city in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth. This book explains how the City of Angels became the capital city of the world's leading incarcerator. Marshaling more than two centuries of evidence, historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez unmasks how histories of native elimination, immigrant exclusion, and black disappearance drove the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles. In this telling, which spans from the Spanish colonial era to the outbreak of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Hernandez documents the persistent historical bond between the racial fantasies of conquest, namely its settler colonial form, and the eliminatory capacities of incarceration.

But City of Inmates is also a chronicle of resilience and rebellion, documenting how targeted peoples and communities have always fought back. They busted out of jail, forced Supreme Court rulings, advanced revolution across bars and borders, and, as in the summer of 1965, set fire to the belly of the city. With these acts those who fought the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles altered the course of history in the city, the borderlands, and beyond. This book recounts how the dynamics of conquest met deep reservoirs of rebellion as Los Angeles became the City of Inmates, the nation's carceral core. It is a story that is far from over.

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Clean Streets

Controlling Crime, Maintaining Order, and Building Community Activism

Patrick Carr

With the close proximity of gangs and the easy access to drugs, keeping urban neighborhoods safe from crime has long been a central concern for residents. In Clean Streets, Patrick Carr draws on five years of research in a white, working-class community on Chicago’s South side to see how they tried to keep their streets safe. Carr details the singular event for this community and the resulting rise of community activism: the shootings of two local teenage girls outside of an elementary school by area gang members. As in many communities struck by similar violence, the shootings led to profound changes in the community's relationship to crime prevention. Notably, their civic activism has proved successful and, years after the shooting, community involvement remains strong.

Carr mines this story of an awakened neighborhood for unique insights, contributing a new perspective to the national debate on community policing, civic activism, and the nature of social control. Clean Streets offers an important story of one community's struggle to confront crime and to keep their homes safe. Their actions can be seen as a model for how other communities can face up to similarly difficult problems.

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Clergy Sexual Abuse

Social Science Perspectives

Claire M. Renzetti

This book brings together experts primarily from the fields of criminology, criminal justice, law, and social work, but also cultural anthropology and psychology, to analyze clergy sexual abuse from the perspective of their individual disciplines. Contributors examine the latest data and analyses on the scope and impact of clergy sexual abuse, frame the problem in terms of sociological and criminological theories of crime and deviance, explore the social and legal issues the problem raises for the personal and communal life of faith communities, and discuss possibilities for reform, reconciliation, and healing. Covering sexual abuse of both minors and adults, chapters not only focus on the Catholic Church, but also examine Christian faith traditions more generally. The editors' introductory chapter identifies points of agreement and divergence among the essays, develops a coherent overview of the problem, and presents viable solutions to it.

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College in Prison

Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration

Daniel Karpowitz

Over the years, American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative is different.

College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country access to a high-quality liberal arts education. Earning degrees in subjects ranging from Mandarin to advanced mathematics, graduates have, upon release, gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how the liberal arts can alter the landscape of some of our most important public institutions giving people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities.

Drawing on fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI’s development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts dramatic scenes from in and around college-in-prison classrooms pinpointing the contested meanings that emerge in moments of highly-charged reading, writing, and public speaking. Through examining the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions—the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary—College in Prison makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States.

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