Are We There Yet? The Promise, Perils and Politics of Penal Reform
"Fifteen years ago, mass imprisonment was largely an invisible issue in
the United States. Since then, criticism of the country’s extraordinary
incarceration rate has become widespread across the political spectrum.
The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few ardent
defenders today. But reforms to reduce the number of people in jail and
prison have been remarkably modest so far.
Meanwhile, a tenacious carceral state has sprouted in the shadows of
mass imprisonment and has been extending its reach far beyond the prison
gate. It includes not only the country’s vast archipelago of jails and
prisons but also the far-reaching and growing range of penal punishments
and controls that lie in the never-never land between the gate of the
prison and full citizenship. As it sunders families and communities and
radically reworks conceptions of democracy, rights and citizenship, the
carceral state poses a formidable political and social challenge."