Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System

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Fortress Press - Social Science - 204 pages
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This strong indictment of the current prison system, undertaken by two respected experts on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee, traces the history and features of our penal system, offers strong ethical and moral assessments of it, and lays out a whole new paradigm of criminal justice based on restorative justice and reconciliation. The book puts forward a 12-point plan for immediate changes. Beyond Prisons opens a long-needed national dialogue on our responsibilities as citizens and as a nation to provide remediation rather than mere retributive incarceration, answerable to the common good and the justice of God.

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Contents

A NEW MORALITY
i
Confession and Healing Justice
iii
More than Mere Words
6
Outline of the Book
17
HISTORY OF A FAILED SYSTEM
18
The Penitentiary SystemReligious Roots
22
The Penitentiary SystemPhilosophical Roots
24
The Development of the Penitentiary System
26
Political Prisoners
106
Immigrants in the Criminal Justice System
108
Sexism
113
Women
115
Sexual Relations and Prison Rape
117
Transgender Prisoners
119
Prison and Disability
120
The Mentally Ill
122

THE DYNAMICS OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN AMERICA
30
The Intersection of Race and Class
33
Class
37
IN OUR BACKYARDS THE PENAL SYSTEM AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
43
Policing
44
The US Adversarial Legal System
48
The Pretrial Process
53
County Jails
54
Probation and Community Corrections
57
Taking Local Communities Seriously
59
SENTENCING THE COLD HEART OF THE PENAL SYSTEM
62
The California Example
63
Federal Sentencing Policy
65
Carrying Out the Drug War
66
Three Strikes
67
The Death Penalty
69
Life without Mercy
76
The Terminating Program in the Rehabilitative Model
77
Extra Punishment for Sex Offenders
81
The Permanent Punishment
84
CAGES STATE AND FEDERAL PRISONS TODAY
88
Private Prisons and Accountability
94
Prison Guards
95
The Supermax and Other Forms of Torture
97
Manufacturing Madness
100
A Threat to Our Security
102
Health Care
127
Impact of Prisons on Families
128
Prison Ministry
132
YOUTH POVERTY AND DELINQUENCY
137
History of the Juvenile Justice System
139
The Language of Demonization
140
Criminalization of Youth
142
Creating Gangs
143
Zero Tolerance
144
AN ALTERNATIVE VISION OF JUSTICE
148
Punishment
150
Forgiveness
154
Breaking the Cycle
155
SEARCHING FOR A NEW JUSTICE PARADIGM
159
From Prison Abolition to a New Paradigm
161
Reform vs Abolition
162
Alternatives
163
RestorativePeacebuilding Justice
164
Problems with Restorative Justice
166
Examples of Peacebuilding Justice
168
AFSCs Twelvepoint Plan
173
Conclusion
186
NOTES
189
BIBLIOGRAPHY
193
INDEX
202
Copyright

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Page 12 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Page 97 - torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent...
Page 177 - I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body ; and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh, — because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear, — therefore I the more denounce it as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay. I hesitated once, debating with myself, whether,...
Page 186 - I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Page 36 - Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, as such...
Page 97 - Declaration, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons.
Page 182 - States have pledged themselves to take joint and separate action, in co-operation with the Organization, for the achievement of one of the purposes of the United Nations which is to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion...
Page 70 - I have struggled — along with a majority of this court, to develop procedural and substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor. Rather than continue to coddle the...

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