For the last eighteen years, Jens Soering has experienced the inside of many different prison environments, from a youth remand center in London to America's notorious Supermax prisons, to medium-security institutions. What he has seen and experienced has convinced him that not only do prisons not rehabilitate prisoners who may be useful for society once their sentence has ended, but prisons turn petty criminals into hardened convicts--all at enormous expense to society. Meanwhile, other nations control their crime rates at a fraction of the cost of the United States correctional system.
Soering does not argue that prisons should not exist or dispute that there are people who need to be locked away. His book is not an indictment of the legal system that lands many people in prison. Instead, An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse offers a mainly monetary analysis of why it is absurd fiscal policy to lock people up so often and for so long.
Private prisons are not a new concept in the United States. They have existed in several forms since the eighteenth century. The opening chapters evaluate historical cases of prisons for profit, examining the concerns of labor, abuses of inmates, and the source and resolution of disputes between private and public sectors. These chapters argue that the experience gained through privatization does not justify current opposition from civil libertarians or labor unions.
Chapters dealing with the modern contracting out of complete management and limited services document the growing trend toward privatization and instances of public/private partnership in prison industries.
The assembled evidence indicates clearly that privately run prisons have shown significant cost savings and good quality of provision for prisoners while still being profitable. However, the authors caution that these promising results must be reinforced by public safeguards in the contracting stage and monitoring to assure good service and security. With the American prison system in disarray, the public interest demands that government look beyond the public or private identity of those who wish to provide correctional services and focus instead on who can provide the best services at a given cost. It is essential to state that correctional services should attain several objectives and not merely cost minimization. The analysis and recommendations presented here will aid in the task. "Privatizing Correctional Institutions "will be of interest to law-enforcement officials, public policy analysts, penologists, and criminologists.
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty–nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty–seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty–four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.
With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty–year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.