The Toughest Beat: Politics, Punishment, and the Prison Officers Union in California

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Oxford University Press, Mar 16, 2011 - Political Science - 312 pages
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In America today, one in every hundred adults is behind bars. As our prison population has exploded, 'law and order' interest groups have also grown -- in numbers and political clout. In The Toughest Beat, Joshua Page argues in crisp, vivid prose that the Golden State's prison boom fueled the rise of one of the most politically potent and feared interest groups in the nation: the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). As it made great strides for its members, the prison officers' union also fundamentally altered the composition and orientation of the penal field. The Toughest Beat is essential reading for anyone concerned with contemporary crime and punishment, interest group politics, and public sector labor unions.
 

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Contents

1 Welcome to the Toughest Beat
3
2 The Birth of the Correctional Officer and His Union
15
3 A Politically Realistic Union
44
Th e Strategic Alliance Between Prison Officers and Crime Victims
81
5 Three Strikes and the Anchor of Punitive Segregation
111
The Fight Against Prison Privatization
137
7 Who Rules the Beat? The Battle Over Managerial Rights
160
A New Direction for the CCPOA and California?
194
Methodological Appendix
221
CCPOA Committees
227
Political Action Committees
229
Notes
231
Selected Bibliography
269
Index
277
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About the author (2011)

Joshua Page was born and raised in Southern California. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara and master's and doctorate degrees from the University of California-Berkeley. Page is currently a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Letta Wren and two dogs.

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