Strategies of Control

Classics of Law & Society

Book 28
Quid Pro Books
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This groundbreaking study of transitions and control in the California prison system has been extensively read, cited, and quoted in unpublished form—and is finally easily available worldwide. Already a compelling part of the canon of studies in penology, criminology, sociology, and organizational theory, this new edition of STRATEGIES OF CONTROL adds a 2016 foreword by Howard S. Becker and afterword by Jonathan Simon, both contributing substantive and meaningful views of this important work. Considered influential to two generations of scholars worldwide, Messinger's thesis examining prison systems' organization and reform—or in some ways, regression—is said to anticipate Erving Goffman's and Michel Foucault's writings on "total institutions" by many years, and raised themes that only years later would become influential in criminology and sociology. Its new digital edition features quality formatting, active Contents, linked notes and cross-references, and all of the tables and charts of the original study. 

Writing in the new foreword, Becker notes that this book is a "a masterful analysis of a systematically connected group of organizations, seeing them not as separate entities, but as a system whose organizational routines and peculiarities we couldn't understand if we didn't know their external connections as well as their internal workings." Its research methodology was painstaking: "The officials of the new system's components, especially the wardens of the individual prisons, had [many] questions on their minds. You couldn’t answer those questions by observing one of those prisons for a year or two." Not so in the author's decade of research leading up to this work. Indeed, Becker concludes, "Messinger's study provides the blueprint for more accurate and persuasive analyses of large organizations of every kind." 

Simon writes in the new afterword that this book remains "an important contribution to understanding the nature of imprisonment and more broadly to the study of punishment in modern society," providing "a crucial background for rethinking the recent history of prisons and particularly the rise of mass incarceration, which has seen the proliferation of multi-prison systems, extensions of bureaucratic management within prisons, and the abandonment of rehabilitation as a central justification for punishment." Simon adds: "Creating a sociological analysis for such a complex extended network required a break with traditional sociological thinking," and going further in "suggesting another analytic shift from studying the 'prison system' to studying the broad array of agencies and authorities that made up 'the correctional establishment.'" 

Policymakers, practitioners, and scholars who are interested in a better understanding of the relationship between correctional systems, their comprising organizational components, and practices will learn much from this study. It provides a truly original contribution to our sociological understanding of how formal organizations comprising a correctional system evolve and operate through a series of relationships ultimately producing control of the system itself, its prisons, and its inmates. Given the current focus on evidence-based justice, Messinger's documentation and unique interpretation of the organizational dynamics, interconnections, and dependencies within correctional systems are clearly relevant and crucial to the successful implementation of such “translational criminology” reforms.
— Thomas G. Blomberg
Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Florida State University
Author, Advancing Criminology 

Part of the Classics of Law & Society Series from Quid Pro Books, this foundational book is at last available to a general audience, researchers, and students in eBook form. Also available in new paperback and hardcover editions (2016). 

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About the author

Sheldon L. Messinger (1925-2003) taught generations of students in law, criminology, and sociology on the faculty of the University of California-Berkeley. He was a professor in the Boalt Hall School of Law and the Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program, and previously was professor and dean of the School of Criminology. Later he was named the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law. Messinger's research primarily focused on deviance and social control. 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Quid Pro Books
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Published on
May 27, 2016
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781610273589
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / Juvenile Offenders
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
Social Science / Penology
Social Science / Research
Social Science / Sociology / Social Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This work attempts to explain changes in the legal conception of adolescence as a stage of life and as a transition to adulthood. The intended audience includes lawyers and others—such as parents, professionals, and kids—puzzled by trends labeled "children's liberation" and "the revolution in juvenile justice." Much cited and long recognized as an authority, it is considered a classic of law & society.

Changes in legal conceptions of youth are interesting in their own right. They are also a useful way of examining important social, political, and economic changes. It is said that legal studies, "properly pursued, lead to a fuller understanding of the larger world of which the law and its institutions are a part." That is no less true when looking at "children" and "juveniles" through a legal lens.

The law often compartmentalizes underage persons with bright lines and legal fictions such as "parens patriae" to allow leeway for them that would not be tolerable for adults. The law creates huge divides based on status and age. The standards against which to judge the exit from adolescence are concrete and measurable: a single chronological age. And an adult is anyone the state legislature says is adult.

But life is not that simple, and the price we pay for sustaining such illusions is considerable. Adolescence is both a period in itself and a transition. This book takes seriously that status and the idea of transition, and attempts to explain the legal responses and concepts relevant to this important stage of life.

The 2014 digital edition includes a new preface by the author and such quality formatting features as active Contents, linked chapter notes, original tables from the print edition, and a fully-linked and paginated Index, to allow continuity with the print edition, citation and referencing, and the convenience of readers. 

The tale of two American teenagers recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and the Mexican-American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unstoppable. “A hell of a story…undeniably gripping.” (The New York Times)

In this astonishing story, journalist Dan Slater recounts the unforgettable odyssey of Gabriel Cardona. At first glance, Gabriel is the poster-boy American teenager: athletic, bright, handsome, and charismatic. But the ghettos of Laredo, Texas—his border town—are full of smugglers and gangsters and patrolled by one of the largest law-enforcement complexes in the world. It isn’t long before Gabriel abandons his promising future for the allure of juvenile crime, which leads him across the river to Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel: Los Zetas. Friends from his childhood join him and eventually they catch the eye of the cartel’s leadership.

As the cartel wars spill over the border, Gabriel and his crew are sent to the States to work. But in Texas, the teen hit men encounter a Mexican-born homicide detective determined to keep cartel violence out of his adopted country. Detective Robert Garcia’s pursuit of the boys puts him face-to-face with the urgent consequences and new security threats of a drug war he sees as unwinnable.

In Wolf Boys, Slater takes readers on a harrowing, often brutal journey into the heart of the Mexican drug trade. Ultimately though, Wolf Boys is the intimate story of the lobos: teens turned into pawns for the cartels. A nonfiction thriller, it reads with the emotional clarity of a great novel, yet offers its revelations through extraordinary reporting.
A powerful, bracing and deeply spiritual look at intensely, troubled youth, Last Chance in Texas gives a stirring account of the way one remarkable prison rehabilitates its inmates.

While reporting on the juvenile court system, journalist John Hubner kept hearing about a facility in Texas that ran the most aggressive–and one of the most successful–treatment programs for violent young offenders in America. How was it possible, he wondered, that a state like Texas, famed for its hardcore attitude toward crime and punishment, could be leading the way in the rehabilitation of violent and troubled youth?

Now Hubner shares the surprising answers he found over months of unprecedented access to the Giddings State School, home to “the worst of the worst”: four hundred teenage lawbreakers convicted of crimes ranging from aggravated assault to murder. Hubner follows two of these youths–a boy and a girl–through harrowing group therapy sessions in which they, along with their fellow inmates, recount their crimes and the abuse they suffered as children. The key moment comes when the young offenders reenact these soul-shattering moments with other group members in cathartic outpourings of suffering and anger that lead, incredibly, to genuine remorse and the beginnings of true empathy . . . the first steps on the long road to redemption.

Cutting through the political platitudes surrounding the controversial issue of juvenile justice, Hubner lays bare the complex ties between abuse and violence. By turns wrenching and uplifting, Last Chance in Texas tells a profoundly moving story about the children who grow up to inflict on others the violence that they themselves have suffered. It is a story of horror and heartbreak, yet ultimately full of hope.

Sixteen-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddard agreed to house sit for relatives on the weekend of September 22, 2006. It was something the teenager had done before…but this time something went terribly wrong. When the family returned home at the end of the weekend they found Cassie lying on their living room floor brutally stabbed to death.


Detectives focused on two of Cassie’s classmates who had briefly visited her on the night that she was murdered: Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper. Initially both boys denied any knowledge of the crime, but after two separate interrogations, Brian Draper told detectives a chilling story of murder straight out of a horror movie. The two boys were immediately arrested, and a shocking videotape was discovered that seemed to depict the two teens not only planning the cold-blooded murder, but celebrating it.


Community outrage was strong and immediate. The public demanded justice. But was the video actually what it appeared to be: a cold-blooded documentary that detailed the plotting of Cassie’s murder; or something else entirely? Could anyone uncover the truth in time and convince a jury that sometimes things aren't always what they appear to be?


The Guilty Innocent is narrated by Shannon Adamcik, mother of Torey, one of the accused boys. It takes readers behind the scenes of a trial where prosecutors cared more about public opinion than truth, defense attorneys, who had never argued a murder case, were in over their heads, and a young boy’s life hung in the balance.



The United States is the only country in the world that will charge a juvenile as an adult and sentence them to life without parole. As the mother of one such child, I know exactly what happens when a juvenile is placed in adult court where they cannot defend themselves. They are immediately cut off from all human contact, locked in isolation, and railroaded through a justice system they simply cannot comprehend. Consequently, many of these juveniles are sentenced too much longer and harsher terms than their adult counterparts. I've personally lived through this, and I was compelled to write about it.


I began for the simple reason that I had lived through this horrendous ordeal and I ached for someone to confide in. But reliving the most painful part of my life was extraordinarily difficult. Ultimately the only reason that I was able to persevere was my deep belief that the story was important and needed to be told. That is still true.


This is a true story and no one can tell it better than the people who lived it. A crime reporter can look at the details of a case, but they cannot tell you how it feels to live through it. I can and I did. I used the pre-trial and trial transcripts, copies of the police reports, the autopsy and DNA reports, and DVD recordings of all of the evidence in the case. I've done copious research. But more importantly, I take readers step-by-step through what it feels like when your 16-year-old son is accused of first-degree murder; all the odds are stacked against him; and his defense is in the hands of attorneys you can’t fully trust to come through for you. 

Schizophrenic Women is a fascinating report on the lives of seventeen families that suffered the experiences associated with the hospitalization of the wife and mother for mental illness. A description and analysis of representative experiences is presented here in an attempt to investigate various key issues--the patterns of family living preceding the crisis leading to medical hospitalization; how the patterns fell apart; how personal and family crises became psychiatric emergencies; how the hospital experiences modified both the immediate crises and the earlier patterns of living--and how durable those changes were once the patients had returned home. The book goes beyond the immediate lives of the women and their families--the authors direct attention to patterns of psychiatric care and to the ways in which such crises as those experienced by these women and their families come to professional attention and are managed. The authors explore how help is found and used and some of the functions hospitalization serves for patients and their families. They point out some of the ways that traditional patterns of psychiatric care limit the power to observe, understand, and effectively influence a pathological course of events. In her new introduction to Schizophrenic Women, Rita J. Simon notes that, "Although the study was conducted in the 1950s, readers will recognize its current relevance and importance for scholars and the lay public interested in the problem of mental illness and intrafamily relationships." Harold Sampson is president and co-founder of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group. He is a member of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute as well as being on the Institute faculty. He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, and is in private practice in San Francisco. Sheldon L. Messinger was professor emeritus, and vice-chair of the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the Law School, University of California, Berkeley. He died in 2003. Robert D. Towne was a psychiatrist and member of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society. Rita J. Simon is University Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the Washington College of Law at American University. She is the editor of the journal Gender Issues, published by the Transaction Periodicals Consortium.
Schizophrenic Women is a fascinating report on the lives of seventeen families that suffered the experiences associated with the hospitalization of the wife and mother for mental illness. A description and analysis of representative experiences is presented here in an attempt to investigate various key issues--the patterns of family living preceding the crisis leading to medical hospitalization; how the patterns fell apart; how personal and family crises became psychiatric emergencies; how the hospital experiences modified both the immediate crises and the earlier patterns of living--and how durable those changes were once the patients had returned home. The book goes beyond the immediate lives of the women and their families--the authors direct attention to patterns of psychiatric care and to the ways in which such crises as those experienced by these women and their families come to professional attention and are managed. The authors explore how help is found and used and some of the functions hospitalization serves for patients and their families. They point out some of the ways that traditional patterns of psychiatric care limit the power to observe, understand, and effectively influence a pathological course of events. In her new introduction to Schizophrenic Women, Rita J. Simon notes that, "Although the study was conducted in the 1950s, readers will recognize its current relevance and importance for scholars and the lay public interested in the problem of mental illness and intrafamily relationships."
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