What We Know: Solutions from Our Experiences in the Justice System

New Pr. Jun. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781620975299. $26.99. LAW
The United States continues to have an ever-expanding prison population. This collection, edited by Nixon (executive director, Coll. and Community Fellowship) and Atkinson (codirector, Forward Justice), brings together the stories of nearly two dozen incarcerated people in order to tell their stories of imprisonment and offer suggestions on how to deal with the prison industrial complex. Nixon and Atkinson also share their experiences, having both been incarcerated, offering realistic hope to others. Brief, well-written chapters collectively offer insights into the development of the prison industrial complex, and what suggestions could be made both locally and federally for reform. Rather than referring to it as a “criminal justice system,” Nixon and Atkinson consider a “criminal legal system,” since law and social justice overlap and are intertwined. A chapter on the reform both Germany and Norway made to their prison systems offers a model for transformation and change.
VERDICT This volume features a variety of perspectives and should appeal to advocates of U.S. social reform and those interested in the nation’s complex prison history.
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