All posts in tag: incarceration

Jonathan Simon Abandoning a failed penal experiment: New York’s historic advantage

The State of New York has made it share of bad penal policy choices. Remember the “Rockefeller Drug Laws” — mandatory life sentences for persons arrested with large quantities of dangerous drugs, which helped set the nation on the path toward indiscriminate use of incarceration?

But the Empire State has also … More >

Jonathan Simon The NY Times’ flawed series on New Jersey’s halfway houses

I’ve finished reading New York Times reporter Sam Dolnick’s important investigative report on New Jersey’s burgeoning system of half way houses, Unlocked — and I’m still more impressed with the power of traditional media ways of representing crime and criminal justice than I am with the power of its investigating … More >

Jonathan Simon The iron cage: Why it’s so hard to escape mass incarceration

For more than three decades state and local officials, egged on by the mass media and interested public employee unions, stoked the growth of prison systems in almost every state by greatly expanding the range of people considered eligible to go to prison.

Plenty of local ne’er do wells that county … More >

Jonathan Simon The paradoxical status of ‘life without parole’

The New York Times earlier this week published a strong editorial criticizing America’s increasing use and abuse of life without parole (LWOP) sentences (read it here). The use of such sentences was largely unknown in the past and remains rare outside the US. Even … More >

Jonathan Simon Attica, forty years on

On the editorial pages of the NYTimes, historian Heather Thompson reminds us all of how profoundly the Attica prison uprising and its violent suppression, 40 years ago, shaped our penal imagination and prepared the grounds for what we now call “mass incarceration.”(read it here) The … More >

Jonathan Simon Back on prisoner voting and dignity

I’m still pondering the prisoner voting controversy over here (see my last post). At first I thought it was a rather trivial issue, at least to one who is primarily concerned with mass incarceration and the deplorable conditions in many prisons in the US. After all … More >

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