In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.
Most people think they know what ails the American criminal justice system because the experts keep telling us: Too many people go to prison—even nonviolent offenders who’ve committed low-level infractions. They’re locked up in an overcrowded system, and they are not rehabilitated. Instead, they’re reenergized to do more damage to society.
Ed Barajas, who retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons after twenty-seven years, argues that we’ve gotten the narrative wrong. He challenges the notion that prisons are a necessary evil at best and a shameful institution at worst. More importantly, he suggests practical and lasting solutions to solve the real problems. He also points out that the first step to fixing those problems begins with those who work for the criminal justice system remembering who they serve—the taxpayers that pay their salaries.
Barajas examines how everyday citizens are partnering with the criminal justice system to reduce crime on the local level. Many of these communities are safer and more secure than ever, but they’ve largely gone unnoticed. While “experts” ask the wrong questions and make misguided assumptions, citizens, victims, and criminal justice professionals are transforming the system through a quiet revolution beyond the traditional calls for reform.
Ed offers an insightful and comprehensive policy analysis about the state of the American criminal justice system and provokes thinking beyond traditional policy models. Moreover, he offers solutions that have been proven successful which currently are overlooked or ignored by national policymakers.
—Selma Sierra, Policy Director Bingham Research Center, Utah State University
I worked with Ed at the National Institute of Corrections for over a decade. His ability to see through the maze we call “corrections” was not only edifying but refreshing. He gives a clear picture, as well as solutions, to so many practices that are not working.
—Rick Faulkner, President, The Faulkner Group, LLC
On September 21, 2011, the controversial execution of Georgia inmate Troy Davis, who spent twenty years on death row for a crime he most likely did not commit, revealed the complexity of death penalty trials, the flaws in America's justice system, and the rift between those who are for and against the death penalty. Davis's execution reignited a long-standing debate about whether the death penalty is an appropriate form of justice.
In Grave Injustice Richard A. Stack seeks to advance the anti–death penalty argument by examining the cases of individuals who, like Davis, have been executed but are likely innocent. By telling the stories of Jesse Tafero, Ruben Cantu, Carlos DeLuna, Cameron Todd Willingham, Larry Griffin, and others, Stack puts a human face on the ultimate and irrevocable tragedy of capital punishment.
Although polls indicate Americans favor death sentences approximately three to one, many respondents change their position when presented with the facts about capital punishment.
Stack's compelling descriptions of nineteen wrongful executions illustrate the flaws of the death penalty, which, he argues, is ineffective in deterring crime and costs more than sentences of life without parole. He demonstrates that racial disparities in implementation, procedural errors, incompetent defense attorneys, and mistaken eyewitness identifications lead to an alarming number of wrongful convictions. But influencing public opinion is only part of the battle to end state-sanctioned killing. Stack profiles six anti–death penalty warriors, demonstrating the range of what can be done, and what remains to be done, to move toward a more compassionate society.
Does an offender have the right to be punished? "The right to be punished" may sound like an oxymoron, but it is not necessarily so. With the emergence of modern criminal law, the offender gained the right to be punished by rational criminal law rather than being lynched by an angry mob. The present-day offender may have the right to be punished by doctrinal sentencing rather than being subjected to verdicts based on vague, unclear, and uncertain principles. In modern criminal law, the imposition of criminal liability follows accurate and strict rules, whereas there are no similar rules for the imposition of punishment. The process of sentencing is vague and obscure, as are the considerations used for the imposition of punishments. The objective of the present book is to propose a comprehensive, general, and legally sophisticated theory of modern doctrinal sentencing. The challenges of such a legal theory are plenty and complex. In addition to increasing clarity and certainty, modern doctrinal sentencing must deal with modern types of delinquency (e.g. organized crime, recidivism, corporate offenders, high-tech offenses, etc.) and modern principles of criminal law. Modern doctrinal sentencing must serve to ensure optimal sentencing.
This collection brings together leading international scholars and practitioners to provide a critical guide to penal systems across Europe. Each chapter forms a case study outlining the main contours of each national penal system, identifying and interpreting the combination of forces driving penal practice in that country.
Through its exploration of twelve different Western and Eastern European countries, this collection identifies the national particularities, but also the commonalities and cross talk between penal systems, such as the overuse of imprisonment and the harsher sanctions against the poor when breaking the law. The book challenges this bias with a call for a more critical, public criminology, raising fundamental questions about how we justify and deliver punishment in Europe.
Includes contributions from Iñaki Rivera Beiras, Emma Bell, Miranda Boone, Bernd Dollinger, Patrizio Gonnella, Philip Gounev, Hanns von Hofer, Vassilis Karydis, Nikolaos K. Koulouris, Andrea Kretschmann, Mónica Aranda Ocaña, Laura Piacentini, Monika Płatek, Philippe Robert, Mary Rogan, René van Swaaningen and Enrik Tham.