Not only throwing crucial light on matters involving race and social class, this book also identifies and examines the key social forces shaping penal practice in the US - politics, economics, morality, and technology. By attending closely to historical and theoretical development, the narrative takes into account both instrumental (goal-oriented) and expressive (cultural) explanations to sharpen our understanding of punishment and the growing reliance on incarceration.
Covering five main areas of inquiry - penal context, penal populations, penal violence, penal process, and penal state - this book is essential reading for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in undertaking a critical analysis of penology.
Michael Welch is a Professor in the Criminal Justice program at Rutgers University, US. His research interests include punishment, human rights, and social control, and his articles have appeared in journals such as Punishment and Society, Social Justice and Critical Criminology. He has also authored numerous books, including Crimes of Power & States of Impunity: The U.S. Response to Terror (Rutgers University Press, 2009), Ironies of Imprisonment (Sage, 2005), and Punishment in America (Sage, 1999).