Livin the American Dream

The tradition of “the prison problem”

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This week’s readings from McClennan and Gottschalk give insight into the long history of political crisis, instability, conflict, and anxiety that has contributed to today’s prison-based punitive system. Since its birth, the prison has been an official symbol of security, justice, and political power. McClennan’s writing, The Crisis of Imprisonment, focuses on the ongoing debate […]

Matthew Countryman is a scholar whom I had never heard of before, but by the end of his lecture yesterday evening, I was very impressed with. His studies of African American history revolve around the theme proving that racism was never only a southern phenomenon. Countryman sees black power in its traditional sense as an […]

This week’s readings addressed the issue of prison reform. In her book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, Angela Davis critiques the current prison system and suggests that we find “new terrains of justice” to deal with criminal offenses.[1] Richard A. Wright’s In Defense of Prisons is a good counterpoint to Davis’ argument. While Davis argues that we […]

It is somewhat ironic that while the United States boasts “liberty and justice for all”, over 2 million Americans are currently incarcerated. The number of Americans in prison and jail is six times higher than what it was thirty years ago, for the historically highest rate of 726 inmates per 100,000 people. This is also […]

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