Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto: News, Research, Opinion
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Is Prison Worse for Women?
In case you missed it, the Jan. 30 issue of The New Yorker contained a powerful essay by Adam Gopnik on the staggering number of people (disproportionally of color) we have imprisoned—often, with sentences absurdly out of whack with the severity of their crimes—in this country. Here’s a brief taste:
Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.
Gopnik goes on to trace the intellectual history of our contemporary zeal for lengthy, impersonal, probably ineffective confinements, concluding that what’s needed is not a revolutionary throwing-over of the prison system, but instead a concerted, multifaceted effort to starve the beast though small measures: for example, the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
While this is all very compelling, one thing is missing from Gopnik’s harrowing portrait of “Lockuptown”—he doesn’t really acknowledge that city’s female residents.
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This blog will bring you news, research, opinion and comment in the world of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The librarians of the Centre of Criminology Library, Tom and Andrea, will regularly post items that they glean from anywhere and everywhere, the Internet, newspapers, academic journals, popular culture and government reports. We hope you come to view this blog as a first stop in your daily effort to stay informed. Please address any comments to Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea at email@example.com. Or leave an anonymous comment on the Blog.
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