Prison and the Gallows The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America

ISBN-10: 0521682916
ISBN-13: 9780521682916
Edition: 2006
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Description: Over the last three decades the United States has built a carceral state that is unprecedented among Western countries and in US history. Nearly one in 50 people, excluding children and the elderly, is incarcerated today, a rate unsurpassed anywhere  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.99
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 6/19/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 468
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Over the last three decades the United States has built a carceral state that is unprecedented among Western countries and in US history. Nearly one in 50 people, excluding children and the elderly, is incarcerated today, a rate unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. What are some of the main political forces that explain this unprecedented reliance on mass imprisonment? Throughout American history, crime and punishment have been central features of American political development. This book examines the development of four key movements that mediated the construction of the carceral state in important ways: the victims' movement, the women's movement, the prisoners' rights movement, and opponents of the death penalty. This book argues that punitive penal policies were forged by particular social movements and interest groups within the constraints of larger institutional structures and historical developments that distinguish the United States from other Western countries.

Marie Gottschalk is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. A former editor and journalist, she was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration.

List of Figures and Table
Preface and Acknowledgments
The Prison and the Gallows: The Construction of the Carceral State in America
Law, Order, and Alternative Explanations
Unlocking the Past: The Nationalization and Politicization of Law and Order
The Carceral State and the Welfare State: The Comparative Politics of Victims
Not the Usual Suspects: Feminists, Women's Groups, and the Anti-Rape Movement
The Battered-Women's Movement and the Development of Penal Policy
From Rights to Revolution: Prison Activism and the Carceral State
Capital Punishment, the Courts, and the Early Origins of the Carceral State, 1920s-1960s
The Power to Punish and Execute: The Political Development of Capital Punishment, 1972 to Today
Conclusion: Whither the Carceral State?
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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