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Final Paper - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Crime is devastating since it upsets the two basic fundamental assumptions on which we base our lives: our belief that the world is an orderly, and our belief in personal autonomy (Zehr, 1996). The United States of America has a long history of criminal punishment. America has…
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Download file to see previous pages... Per 100,000 people, 743 adults were incarcerated at in 2008 (Liptak, 2008). There were just slightly more than 11,000 incarcerated females in 1977. The number of had risen by 757 % to more than 111,000 by 2004 (Zaitow and Thomas, 2011).
Statistics have shown that the US has incarcerated a huge number of victimless and non-violent offenders; West and Sabol (2010) argues that where half of the people imprisoned under the state jurisdiction are usually for the non-violent offenses. The prison system is has not enjoyed the extensive moral and political legitimacy it has today.
Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776-1941 was authored by Rebecca McLennan. She brings into sharp focus a remarkable story of the controversial system of penal servitude. McLennan outlines how it came into existence, the way in which it worked, how populist campaigns were conducted leading to its abolition, and how it has actually shaped and continued to haunt the United States’ penal system.
Rebecca McLennan depicts periods of deep instability, political crisis and popular protest that was characteristic of the early American prisons. She provides comprehensive debates that surround the prison reform by incorporating the significance of un-free labor, the limits of the government’s authority, and the just deserts of wrongdoers, as well as the impact of market forces in this groundbreaking reinterpretation of penal history.
McLennan stages her story in these four major themes: the benefits accrued by private entities and private enterprise from prison labour; the power workings within and around the prison; the reinvention of punishment as a ‘distinctive species of involuntary servitude’ (McLennan, 2008, p. 8) after 1830; finally, the creation of the modern penal state from the 1890s.
The convict leasing was a penal labor system that was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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