A definitive history of the penitentiary years. Michael Esslinger
provides a very readable narrative that blends a journalistic balance
along with a skilled historian's ability to bring a rich depth into this
(Ocean View Publishing, 2003).
The American Indian In the White Man's Prisons: A collective statement
of Native American prisoners, former prisoners, and spiritual leaders,
edited by Little Rock Reed. (Reed, Uncompromising Books [P.O. Box 1760,
Taos, New Mexico, 87571], 1993.)
Behind the Razor Wire: A Portrait of a Contemporary Prison. (Michael
Jacobson-Hardy: New York University Press, 1999).
Punishment: Prison Privitization and Human Rights. (Neufield,
Campbell, and Coyle (editors), Clarity Press, 2003.)
of America: Daniel Burton-Rose, Daniel Pens, and Paul Wright have
collected reports from America's prisons, many of which ran in Prison
and Punish: The birth of a prison. Michael Foucault examines the
history of punishment in France and Britain, and role of prisons in society.
(Foucalt, Vintage Books, 1995 ed.)
Up the River: Pulitizer Prize winner Joseph Hallinan delivers
a clear-eyed, sleekly written and deeply disturbing tour of the privatized
prison landscape of America.
Time Blues: How politics built a prison nation. Journalist Sasha
Abramsky believes America's exploding prison population is a fatal threat
to civil society. (Abramsky, Dunne Books, 2002.)
Journalism: The Fouth Estate behind bars. A history of prison
journalism from the beginnings of the 18th century to the ground-breaking
work of Louisiana's Angloite.
in Prison: Stanley "Tookie" Williams is a founder of
Crips and a prisoner on California's death row. This book is a harsh,
realistic look at prison life, written for children up to fourth grade.
(Hazeldon Books, 1999.)
America: Police and prisons in the age of crisis. Christian Parenti's
study of the prison buildup of the last 15 years. Parenti makes clear
that prisons are about everything but individual reform. See the review
from The Nation. (Verso Press, 1999.)
The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising (Staughton Lynd: Temple
University Press, 2004).
Guarding Sing Sing. Journalist Ted Conover became a corectional
officer in order to write the inside story.(Random House, 2000.)
History of the Prison: A scholarly and thorough work about the
practice of punishment in Western society. (Norval
Morris and David Rothman, eds., Oxford University Press, 1995)
Nation: The warehousing of America's poor. Written by prisoners,
social critics, and luminaries of investigative reporting, this book examines
the state of prison conditions and prisoners' political concerns. (Paul
Wright and Tara Herivel (editors), Routledge, 2003.)
Madness: The plight of mentally ill prisoners told by a psychiatrist
with extensive experience in large class-action suits challenging mental
health care inside prison systems. (Terry Kupers, Jossey-Bass Press, 1999)
to Incarcerate: Marc Mauer charts the explosive growth of prisons
and the trend toward lengthening sentences. ( New Press, 1999.)
Justice: Alternatives to Prison. David Anderson explores creative
solutions some states and cities nationwide have devised to tackle the
prison problem, and confronts many of the myths that have been believed
about alternative sentencing. (New Press, 1998.)
Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security Prison.
(Lorna A. Rhodes: University of California Press, 2004).
in Prison: A Reference Handbook. Cyndi Banks investigates women's
incarceration, from the first women-only prison to modern state-of-the-art
facilities. (ABC-CLIO, 2003.)
The Death Penalty
Things Censored: Mumia Abu-Jama from Pennsylvania's death row.
This book and CD Rom presents a collection of his writings, including
essays that were banned from National Public Radio. (Seven Stories Press,
Beyond Repair?: America's Death Penalty. An indispensable guide
to legal system's inability to administer the death penalty fairly. (Stephen
Garvey (editor). Duke University Press, 2003.)
Man Walking: Helen Prejean's eyewitness account of the death penalty.
A powerful book that describes her experiences in meeting people on death
row. (Vintage Books, 1997.)
Blossoms: Reflections of a Prisoner of Conscience. Writings by
Mumia Abu-Jamal from Pennsylvania's death row. (Plough Publishing House,
Penalty Cases: Leading U.S. Supreme Court cases on capital punishment
(through 2002), edited and analyzed by Barry Latzer. (Latzer, Butterworth-Heinemann,
2002 (2d Ed.).)
Executioner's Song: Norman Mailer's classic work on Gary Gilmore,
who was the first person executed after the death penalty resumed in the
United States. A powerful, evocative book. (Vintage Books, 1998.)
In the Family:
One son's journey. Robert Meeropol was six years old when his
parents Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiracy to commit
espionage in 1953. ( St. Martins Press, 2003.)
Denied: Examines the clemency process, the final hope for death
row prisoners. Cathleen Burnett probes the decision-making process and
uncovers a trail of injustice. (Burnett, Northeastern Univ. Press, June
Time: Investigative journalist Dave Lindorf takes on the case
of Mumia Abu Jamal. Regardless of where one stands on the controversial
case, Lindorf offers compelling information that will challenge the reader.
(Common Courage Press, 2002)
The Promise of Justice: An eighteen-year fight to save four innocent
men in Illinois, which culminated with ther release after a journalism
professor and his students uncovering evidence of their innocence. (Protess,
Warden, and Warden, Hyperion Press, 1998.)
The Wrong Men: America's Epidemic of Wrongful Death-Row Convictions.
Stanley Cohen examines some 100 instances where people sentenced to death
were later exonerated, most of them ultimately proven innocent of the
crimes for which they were condemned. (Cohen, Carroll & Graf, 2003.)