This book provides a comprehensive, critical introduction to the main debates and dilemmas associated with prisons and imprisonment, bringing together a selection of key readings on the subject. The readings are organised into five sections, each of which is accompanied by commentaries by the editors. The editors also provide an introduction and conclusion to the book which contextualize current debates about imprisonment against the backdrop of nineteenth- and twentieth-century developments, and prison populations elsewhere in the world. Key questions addressed are: how 'new' is the 'new punitiveness' we are said to be witnessing within the 21st-century penal system? Why do some countries seem to have developed such a deep cultural attachment to the prison? Where do people get their ideas about prison from, and what role do the media play in shaping public opinion about imprisonment? Together, the editorial commentaries provide an essential context for the readings and a guide to the key issues and debates.
Prison Readings introduces students to the history and development of prisons, contemporary theories and issues relating to prison populations, to sociological and psychological literature on the 'effects' of imprisonment, and to debates about the management and privatisation of the prison estate and emerging trends. The main sections of this book address:
* the emergence of the modern prison
* theoretical approaches and emerging trends
* prison populations
* the prison community
* current controversies
Prison Readings will be essential reading for students studying prisons and penology as part of courses in criminology, sociology, law, psychology and other disciplines, and for practitioners working in this field.