Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis

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Verso, 2000 - Social Science - 290 pages
4 Reviews
Lockdown America documents the horrors and absurdities of militarized policing, prisons, a fortified border, and the war on drugs. Its accessible and vivid prose makes clear the links between crime and politics in a period of gathering economic crisis.
 

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Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis

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In this important book, Parenti surveys the rise of the prison industrial complex from the Nixon through Reagan eras and into the present. Why does the United States currently have one of the highest ... Read full review

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Christian Parenti is an idiot. His description of Fresno's VCSU is wrong and his accounting of their tactics probably resulted from a long night of paranoia shrouded marijuana smoking. He'd do better to write fantasy fiction than this nonsense. He attempts to depict all Fresno VCSU officers as out of control monsters out to bring the black man down. Where was this moron when VCSU officers were risking their lives to bring Fresno gang violence under control ? We're there some out of control cops in that unit? Yes, but the majority were hardworking, conscientious officers out there to serve and protect. Even his account of Myrna Loran's shooting incident is completely wrong. The incident occurred late at night on a street with no lighting. The shots were fired at her vehicle from behind a 6' shrubbery hedge as she drove by. She didn't "flee without returning fire", she drove out of the area after reporting the direction the shots were coming from. No suspect was identified because the suspect was a coward hiding behind shrubbery under cover of darkness. If Myrna Loran was an officer fitting Parenti's description of Fresno cops she would have given out a suspect description of "black male adult" without ever having seen one, even though the area was predominantly African American at the time. It was later determined that the shooter was in fact an African American adult male. She didn't return fire because to do so without having a suspect in sight would have been criminal, possibly endangering innocent people sleeping in their homes. Don't read this trash, it's an insult to intelligent people everywhere. 

Contents

Nixons Splendid Little War Social Crisis and Containment
3
From Crisis to Rollback
29
A War for All Seasons The Return of Law and Order
45
POLICE
67
Discipline in Playland Part I Zero Tolerance The Science of Kicking Ass
69
Disciple in Playland Part II Policing the Themepark City
90
Carrying the Big Stick SWAT Teams and Paramilitary Policing
111
Repatriating la Migras War The Militarized Border Comes Home
139
PRISON
161
The Rise of Big House Nation From Reform to Revenge
163
Prison as Abbattoir Official Terror
170
Balkans in a Box Rape Race War and Other Forms of Management
182
Big Bucks from the Big House The Prison Industrial and Beyond
211
NOTES
245
INDEX
282
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About the author (2000)

Christian Parenti is the author of The Soft Cage and The Freedom, and is currently writing a book on Afghanistan. He is a visiting fellow at the CUNY Graduate School's Center for Place, Culture and Politics, and his articles appear regularly in The Nation. He lives in New York City.

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