American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment

Sasha Abramsky

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In this dramatic exposé of U.S. penitentiaries and the communities around them, Sasha Abramsky finds that prisons have dumped their age-old goal of rehabilitation, often for political reasons. The new “ideal,” unknown to most Americans, is a punitive mandate marked by a drive toward vengeance.

Surveying this state of affairs—life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling conditions, the growth of private prisons, the treatment of juveniles—Abramsky asks: Does the vengeful impulse ennoble our culture or demean it? What can become of people who are quarantined for years in a violent subculture? California’s Three Strikes law typifies the politics that exploit the grief of victims’ families and our fears of violent crime. Brilliantly researched and compellingly told, American Furies shows that the ethos of “lock ’em up and throw away the key” has enormous social costs.
240 Pages
PDF Format
1.67 MB Size