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Becoming Abolitionists by
Purnell details how multi-racial social movements rooted in rebellion, risk-taking, and revolutionary love pushed her and a generation of activists toward abolition. The book travels across geography and time, and offers lessons that activists have learned from Ferguson to South Africa, from Reconstruction to contemporary protests against police shootings. Purnell argues that police can not be reformed and invites readers to envision new systems that work to address the root causes of violence. This book shows that abolition is not solely about getting rid of police, but a commitment to create and support different answers to the problem of harm in society.
Presumed Guilty by
This book reveals how the Supreme Court allows the perpetuation of racist policing by presuming that suspects, especially people of color, are guilty. It presents a troubling history that reveals how the Supreme Court enabled racist policing and sanctioned law enforcement excesses. The fact that police are nine times more likely to kill Black men than other Americans is no accident; it is the result of an elaborate body of doctrines that allow the police and courts to presume that suspects are guilty before being charged. Policing can be transformed only by a robust court system committed to civil rights.
Rise of the Warrior Cop by
Over the last several decades, America's cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other-an enemy. Today's armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Balko shows how politicians' ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier.
Getting Wrecked by
Getting Wrecked provides a rich ethnographic account of women battling addiction as they cycle through jail, prison, and community treatment programs in Massachusetts. Since incarceration has become a predominant American social policy for managing the problem of drug use, including the opioid epidemic, this book examines how prisons and jails have attempted concurrent programs of punishment and treatment to deal with inmates struggling with a diagnosis of substance use disorder. Kimberly Sue powerfully illustrates the impacts of incarceration on women's lives as they seek well-being and better health.
Jesus Saved an Ex-Con by
The use of religion to rehabilitate and redeem formerly incarcerated individuals has been a cultural touchstone. Yet religious outreach to those with criminal records has typically been associated with an emphasis on private spirituality, repentance, conversion, and restorative justice. This book sheds light on how faith-based organizations utilize the public arena, mobilizing to expand the social and political rights of former inmates. Edward Orozco Flores profiles Community Renewal Society and LA Voice, two faith-based organizations which have actively waged community organizing campaigns to expand the rights of people with records.
I Got a Monster by
This is the story of Wayne Jenkins and the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF), a super group of dirty detectives who exploited some of America's greatest problems: guns, drugs, toxic masculinity, and hypersegregation. In the upside-down world of the GTTF, cops were robbers and drug dealers were the perfect victims, because no one believed them. When the federal government finally arrested the GTTF for robbery and racketeering in 2017, the stories of victims began to come out, revealing a vast criminal enterprise operating within the Baltimore Police Department. This is the shocking history of the rise and fall of the most corrupt cops in America.
Prison by Any Other Name by
Electronic monitoring. Locked-down drug treatment centers. House arrest. Mandated psychiatric treatment. Data-driven surveillance. Extended probation. These are some of the key alternatives held up as cost-effective substitutes for jails and prisons. But many of these so-called reforms actually widen the net, weaving in new strands of punishment and control, and bringing new populations, who would not otherwise have been subject to imprisonment, under control by the state. This book reveals the way the kinder, gentler narrative of reform can obscure agendas of social control.
The Feminist War on Crime by
Many feminists grapple with the problem of hyper-incarceration in the United States, and yet commentators on gender crime continue to assert that criminal law is not tough enough. This punitive impulse, legal scholar Aya Gruber argues, is dangerous and counterproductive. In their quest to secure women's protection from domestic violence and rape, American feminists have become soldiers in the war on crime by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting the problem-solving power of incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities.
Halfway Home by
Each year, more than half a million Americans are released from prison and join a population of twenty million people who live with a felony record. Reuben Miller, a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and now a sociologist studying mass incarceration, spent years alongside prisoners, ex-prisoners, their friends, and their families to understand the lifelong burden that even a single arrest can entail. What his work revealed is a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison. The idea that one can serve their debt and return to life as a full-fledged member of society is one of America's most nefarious myths.
Know My Name by
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford's campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral--viewed by almost eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story.