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    1. Are Prisons Obsolete?
    $4.99 list($23.95)
    2. The Floating Brothel : The Extraordinary
    $15.72 $2.98 list($24.95)
    3. Inside Rikers: Stories from the
    $8.96 $1.99 list($9.95)
    4. Who Moved My Soap? : The CEO's
    $10.17 $9.82 list($14.95)
    5. Behind Bars: Surviving Prison
    $29.00 $22.46
    6. Prison Madness : The Mental Health
    $75.60 $20.00
    7. Corrections in the United States
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    8. American Delinquency: Its Meaning
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    9. Corrections in the 21st Century
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    10. Gates of Injustice: The Crisis
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    11. The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten
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    12. Go Directly to Jail : the Criminalization
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    13. Practical Geodesy Using Computers
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    14. The Big House: Life Inside a Supermax
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    15. The History Of The Gulag: From
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    16. Prison Etiquette: The Convict's
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    17. Finding Freedom: Writings from
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    18. American Political Prisoners :
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    19. Marching Powder : A True Story
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    20. NO MATTER HOW LOUD I SHOUT : A

    1. Are Prisons Obsolete?
    by Angela Davis
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1583225811
    Catlog: Book (2003-04)
    Publisher: Open Media Series
    Sales Rank: 47561
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Amid rising public concern about the proliferation and privitization of prisons, and their promise of enormous profits, world-renowned author and activist Angela Y. Davis argues for the abolition of the prison system as the dominant way of responding to America_s social ills._In thinking about the possible obsolescence of the prison,_ Davis writes, _we should ask how it is that so many people could end up in prison without major debates regarding the efficacy of incarceration._ Whereas Reagan-era politicians with _tough on crime_ stances argued that imprisonment and longer sentences would keep communities free of crime, history has shown that the practice of mass incarceration during that period has had little or no effect on official crime rates: in fact, larger prison populations led not to safer communities but to even larger prison populations.As we make our way into the twenty-first century_two hundred years after the invention of the penitentiary _the question of prison abolition has acquired an unprecedented urgency. Backed by growing numbers of prisons and prisoners, Davis analyzes these institutions in the U.S., arguing that the very future of democracy depends on our ability to develop radical theories and practices that make it possible to plan and fight for a world beyond the prison industrial complex. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Economics and Racism combine to create our broken prisons
    Following the over throw of reconstruction, the re-empowered white ruling class in the South needed a large pool of cheap labor. The Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, contained one glaring exception--slavery was still completely legal for those who had been convicted of a crime. Suddenly, new legislation was enacted which criminalized a wide variety of behaviors not previously considered criminal--having no job, vagrancy, no visible means of support, etc.

    Once these "Black Codes" were in place, prisons in the South were rapidly filled with Blacks. Prior to the Civil War, prisoners in the South were overwhelmingly White. After Reconstruction, they were overwhelmingly Black.

    These new prisoners were "leased" to White plantation owners, at a flat fee. With no capital invested in these new slaves, many were simply worked to death. The economic incentive to ensure that the prisons were full was inescapable.

    In this short, but powerful, book, Angela Davis makes the case that this pattern of incarcerating Blacks, set during the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, carries through to the present. Today the economics of incarceration are more subtle. Money is not primarily made through the labor of prisoners (although that still happens). Today, the real money is made by the underwriters who sell the bonds to finance prison construction, the myriad of industries which supply the country's 2 million prisoners with everything from soap to light bulbs, and by rural America, where the last three decades of de-industrialization has left prison as one of the very few decent paying union jobs available to formerly blue collar workers.

    Ms. Davis draws on a plethora of academic studies (several dozen of which are cited in footnotes, which provide anyone interested with a comprehensive study guide for understanding the historical antecedents and current realities of America's love affair with the prison.

    Her bottom line--abandon the whole flawed system. The last chapter, which attempts to answer the immediate question posed to anyone who dares raise this option, is the book's weakest. Too much rhetoric; not enough solid proposals. Nonetheless, the historical breadth, backed by detailed facts, of Ms. Davis' book make it well worth reading.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Wrap your arms around a failed system
    A superb primer on the most pressing crisis most Americans know little about.
    Concise, eloquent, and chock-full of insightful info, "Are Prison's Obsolete" is a book that every concerned citizen should read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Urgent Appeal for Alternatives to Incarceration.
    It is almost too much for the human mind to fully comprehend that there are more than 2 million people--a group larger than the population of many countries-- presently behind bars in America. While serving as an elected official, I was given an extensive "tour" of one of the local prisons. I tried not to show the horror -and sorrow- I felt at the sight of so many human beings locked away in high tech cages, for fear my "tour" would be cut short.

    This thoroughly researched book by Angela Davis articulates everything I instinctively felt when I got a first hand glimpse of prison life. With the patience and restraint of a Saint, Angela Davis challenges thinking people to face the human rights catastrophe in our jails and prisons.

    It is the authors hope that this book will encourage readers to question their own assumptions about prison. It is my hope that this book will be widely read by everyone involved in the field of education and politics. It should be on the recommended reading list of all high schools, colleges and universities.

    Suza Francina, former Mayor, Ojai, California, and author, The New Yoga for People Over 50. ... Read more


    2. The Floating Brothel : The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and its Cargo of Female Convicts
    by Sian Rees
    list price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786867876
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-06)
    Publisher: Theia
    Sales Rank: 86490
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A seafaring story with a twist -- the incredible voyage of a shipload of "disorderly girls" and the men who transported them, fell for them, and sold them.

    This riveting work of rediscovered history tells for the first time the plight of the female convicts aboard the Lady Julian, which set sail from England in 1789 and arrived in Australia's Botany Bay a year later. The women, most of them petty criminals, were destined for New South Wales to provide its hordes of lonely men with sexual favors as well as progeny. But the story of their voyage is even more incredible, and here it is expertly told by a historian with roots in the boatbuilding business and a true love of the sea.

    SiGn Rees delved into court documents and firsthand accounts to extract the stories of these women's experiences on board a ship that both held them prisoner and offered them refuge from their oppressive existence in London. At the heart of the story is the passionate relationship between Sarah Whitelam, a convict, and the ship's steward, John Nicol, whose personal journals provided much of the material for this book. Along the way, Rees brings the vibrant, bawdy world of London -- and the sights, smells, and sounds of an eighteenth-century ship -- vividly to life. In the tradition of Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, this is a winning combination of dramatic high seas adventure and untold history. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating insight
    Sian Rees has written an extremely readable book, which is not in the least 'dry' or 'dusty' although it is history.
    The Floating Brothel of the title is the ship 'The Lady Julian' used to transport 250 female prisoners to Australia in the late 18th century. It is quite horrifying to see how these some of these women could be sentenced to seven years 'in land beyond the seas' for what today would be classed as minor misdemeanours.
    However, the women aboard the Lady Julian were more fortunate than many being aboard a ship with a decent, honest agent and captain to ensure their welfare was taken care of. Many of them became 'wives' to the crew for the duration of the voyage, which of course gave them certain advantages. Nonetheless this book still manages to convey the horror of this punishment and the harsh conditions of the day.
    Sian Rees manages to inject a little humour at times (such as the antics of some of the women in Tenerife) which provides a welcome relief and stops the book becoming too grim. She also adds some nice touches of history by recounting snippets about Captain Cook and Lieutenant Bligh and the Bounty.
    This is a good account of crime, punishment and survival in Georgian England and well worth a read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive research and fascinating story
    In the foreward to this engaging narrative, Ms. Rees informs us that "when the American colonies defeated British soldiers and tax collectors, they also stopped accepting British criminals. By 1783, therefore, Britain had to find somewhere else in the world to transport its criminals." Australia was the place. Just as Jamestown, the early colony in Virginia, needed an infusion of marriageable women to allow it to grow (one of the three events of the red-letter year, 1619, was the arrival of a shipload of unmarried women), so would the penal colony in Sydney Cove.

    Beginning with a description of the "crimes" for which women were sentenced to capital punishment and proceeding through the trials, prison conditions, and alternate punishment of banishment, Ms. Rees traces the voyage of the first group of women convicts to Australia. From the onset, she admits that her primary sources are limited and one, the diary of one of the crew of the Lady Julian, is somewhat doubtful because it was written so long after the fact. Even so, she has pulled together court records, contemporary British accounts of prison conditions, accounts of later voyages and other sources into a very impressive piece of research, and a very readable story.

    In particular, her accounts of ship-board births, the pecking order among the female prisoners, the rights the crew assumed (both for sexual favors and for selling them in the ports of call) are fascinating reading.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Blown off-course
    Sometimes, history is written by but a handful of individuals; that certainly was the case with the first British settlements in Australia. The term "Empire" is to some extent misleading, in that it gives an exaggerated idea of monolitihic power: the totality of the resources that the British Empire had committed to colonizing Australia in 1789 were a few decrepit ships laden with convict women and supplies, and a ragged band of half-starved colonists left on the Australian coast for over a year without any contact with the rest of the world. Sian Rees vividly evokes the vastness of the oceans separating these early settler ships from their homeland and from each other as they traveled the high seas, not encountering a soul for weeks or months at a time, and lets the reader feel the isolation of the early colonists - those on the second ship, wondering if there was even still a settlement in Australia to be reached, and those already on land, wondering if the promised relief from Great Britain would ever arrive, or if the authorities in London had forsaken them.

    Unfortunately, while this book succeeds in giving one a better understanding of the general process surrounding British colonization of Australia, and the many hardships involved, this was not its primary goal and otherwise I found it lacking. It is not precisely, as the cover claims, "the true story" of the ship and its convict women, since none of the women left any written record at all of their experience. It is rather a mixture of the women's names and the crimes they were convicted of (gleaned from London criminal records) braided together with an assortment of facts from contemporary travellers' accounts, sailors' reminiscences, and other source material which gives the flavor of the period but does not directly relate to the story of the ship and its women. Far, far too many times, Sian Rees resorts to phrases including "it is possible that..." or "must have been" or "would have started" or "presumably" or "probably"... Rees does rely heavily on the published memoirs of John Nicol, a sailor on the Lady Julian; her reliance on Nicol makes it all the more jarring that she freely dismisses him whenever his memoirs contradict her assumptions, as when after quoting him dozens of times she dismisses his memory of a particular incident saying "this was in memoirs written when he was an old man, which are inaccurate in other details."

    I really wanted to like this book, and the author is to be commended for trying to rescue the forgotten story of the female convicts. But this is light reading, not rigorous history, and where the documentary sources just aren't there she might have done better to write a historical novel and fictionalize freely rather than build a "non-fiction" book out of a tapestry of conditional statements.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deserves a Pulitizer
    An exquisitely penned and thoughtfully researched account of life in post-Revolutionary War England.

    The horrific means of coping with an over-populated society included shipping women convicts to the Austrailian colonies for "crimes" ranging from hankerchief theft to manslaughter.

    Disregard the title's implications. This book is a gripping account of how more than 200 women and children survived a ghastly voyage and how many emerged as heroines.

    It's one of those books you don't want to end and will contemplate long after the last page is read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
    Sian Rees has drummed up a very readable and very interesting account of the transport ship Lady Julian (strange name!) that set sail from England in 1789 to Sydney Cove, Australia.
    The opening chapters are very dry and are clearly based on set of gaol lists etc. to try and get names onto the ship. Rees settles on the 'history' of nine or ten female convicts who cover as broad a spectrum as you can from the 'criminal' tier of Georgian society plus the usual faces - captain, purser, surgeon, cook.
    In a strange way, once Lady Julian hits the open sea, Rees' narration changes, moves away from a slightly stilted historian to biographical free flowing ease. She even permits herself to 'set the scene' - that biographical method so frowned upon by strict historians.
    This work succeeds all the more for it.
    If you liked 'Further than Any Man' - the story of James Cook - you'll like this.
    The journey down Africa, to Rio, through Cape Horn - all the while taking care to explain the current state of these 18th century places - is so readable, all the time giving updates on the desparate situation at Sydney Cove. In some respects Rees almost glamorizes the journey and is correct to point out that we cannot apply twenty-first century morality to an eighteenth century reality.
    This is immensely readable, extremely interesting and provides a fascinating insight to a small snippet of history that almost defined an antipodean future. Highly recommended. ... Read more


    3. Inside Rikers: Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony
    by Jennifer Wynn
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $15.72
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312261799
    Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 155147
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Rikers Island penal colony is a world unto itself, with its own power plant, schools, hospital, even a tailor. But the 16,000 people forced to live there, unlike free worlders, are "usually known by their single worst deed." So writes Jennifer Wynn, who has spent the last decade getting beyond those deeds and helping inmates turn their untapped talents into new lives. Wynn first entered Rikers Island as a reporter, returned to teach in a rehabilitation program called Fresh Start, and ultimately became the program's director. Though she has left journalism as a career, this powerful debut puts her in the best tradition of activist journalism. Unlike most criminologists, she understands that the best way to make a point is to show rather than tell. By interlacing statistics with moving stories of Rikers' inmates, she makes clear the arguments for prison--and social--reform.

    Though compassionate, Wynn is also a realist who takes a measured approach to the challenges confronted by both inmates and correctional workers. She shares success stories--say, the guy who had been in and out of Rikers for eight years, but finally, with the help of Fresh Start, graduated from the New York Restaurant School--but she is also forthright about the failures. Two questions resound: How can New York City, home to some of the sharpest business minds in the country, spend $860 million a year on inmates and have 75 percent of them return to prison after release? On the flip side, one of her "failures" asks, "I live in the best ... country in the world and I keep asking myself, Why can't I make it?" Wynn is persuasive when she discusses why incarceration increases crime and deepens dependency, how income inequality affects crime, and why--the most bitter irony of all--for many inmates, living on the outside is even harder than jail. This humane examination of America's greatest social problem redefines what it is to be a free worlder and holds a torch to those who make their lives--whether by choice or by law--within its jails. --Lesley Reed ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inside Rikers - A Roller Coaster Ride
    In the book, Inside Rikers, the author combines statistics with insightful stories of inmates she met while inside Rikers Prison. The stories of inmates are highlighted with social commentary and emphasize the need for social and prison reform.

    A compassionate advocate for prison reform Wynn writes from the perspective of her experience while teaching at Rikers Prison and while visiting the homes and neighborhoods of the inmates, whose stories she tells. These stories are well written and come across as genuine.

    The roller coaster ride of those caught up in the drug cycle, poverty, crime, and arrest is oppressive and disturbing. I especially appreciated insight the author provided into the Methadone "Keep Program". This is only one area of great concern and needed investigation Wynn exposed. The success stories of those who were able to rise above the circumstances are both inspirational and encouraging.
    Another insight I received was the tendency for a total lack of conscience experienced by the criminal mind.

    I was sorry to come to end of the book. I was stirred to want to take action. I could only wish the author had given more specific suggestions for steps members of the community can take to accomplish some of the reform needs she advocates. The extensive bibliography at the end of the book may be the starting place for finding this help.

    I recommend this book to be read and reread by everyone in a position of influence that can affect high-risk neighborhoods and communities.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A little too "bleeding heart" for me.....
    Although extremely well written, Ms Wynn simply can't shake that "do good" naivete that permeates the privleged - that there's always a little good in everyone. Sorry Jennifer - Downright evil DOES exist - I've seen it during my own stint in Rikers Island(1979, 81-85 HDM, C-95 Clinic)as a medical professional. The corrections policy is far from perfect but, until we find the right approach, sociopaths MUST be kept from my family and yours.

    4-0 out of 5 stars NYC-specific book about a countrywide dilemma
    Insider Rikers is about the island jail that services NYC, and although much of Wynn's material is NYC-specific and her original evidence is all anecdotal, her stories of inmates trying to get out of the oppressive cycle of poverty, crime and conviction should be of universal concern. Her stories are eye-opening: Convicts consistently trying but often failing because of the temptations of addiction, pulling one over or earning a quick buck in an environment where jobs are scarce and ill-paying. Halfway through this book, it felt like she was preaching to the choir because I was utterly convinced of the problems of US jails. What was refreshing and hopeful about this book is that unlike with most social critics, Wynn's material comes from an author who is out there making a difference. Rather than writing from the lofty towers of academia or the safety of a full-time news writing gig, Wynn's stories are from her own experience in a program that is designed to help inmates reform. Wynn's stories that come from this program are sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes hopeful, but her overall portrait of the current prison system is bleak indeed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A View from the Inside (Inside Rikers)
    I don't know if you've seen the movie, "Traffic", starring Michael Douglas. What's so great about that film is that it gives an outsider an insider's appreciation of the problems of drugs entering America. It's a movie that changes attitudes. "Inside Rikers" is that kind of book. Jennifer Wynn gives the outsider an insider's appreciation of the problems of people in prison. She gives an intimate look at some of these people, enough to give the reader a new appreciation for the challenges that these prisoners face on both sides of the prison door. It's up-close-and-personal, a great read, and you'll be thinking about this one a long time after you finish reading it. At least that's been true for me. Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Inside Rikers Goes Inside the Heart
    There may be criticisms of this book, the main one being that the author is an upper middle class white woman who cannot possibly understand or really appreciate or have anything useful to say that is not self-promoting on the underlying reality of the prison system and the people who populate it. But those who dismiss her and this book on these bases would be doing an injustice to these very people she is writing about.

    Ms. Wynn is writing from a given perspective. And it is true that this perspective is not from that of the lives of the people she is writing about. But that is exactly what makes the book so powerful and so valuable. Until now, the prison population has been viewed as "them" or the "other." Most books describing the "system" have been written by former prisoners. But Ms. Wynn, writing as a "typical white liberal person," brings this foreign world (for most of us) into very sharp and disturbing focus.

    People who read this book will come away understanding so much more about the prison system in the United States than they knew before. They will find that it is indeed a billion dollar industry, that in the short run it is a bureaucratic, shallow solution to a very deep problem. But the most important and profound insight to be gained is not what prison does to people, or how big an industry it has become, but rather how it is that a society that purports to be so advanced and so humanistic can have created such a living hell for so many millions of people who never really had a chance to begin with. Read this book. ... Read more


    4. Who Moved My Soap? : The CEO's Guide to Surviving in Prison
    by Andy Borowitz
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743251423
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-06)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 16606
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Attention, CEOs:
    Finally, a book you don't have to cook!

    If you're a CEO who's just been caught, this is the book you won't want to be caught without. Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to Surviving in Prison is loaded with helpful tips, including:

    • How to go from "bitch" to "boss" in one week or less
    • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Prisoners
    • Complete prison-slang/corporate-speak glossary
    • Prison cell feng shui
    • How to avoid getting back-stabbed -- literally
    • The Zagat guide to fine prison dining ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Beach Read
    I first encountered Andy Borowitz's wicked satirical wit on NPR, and then more recently have been enjoying his brilliant one-liners on CNN. Then I got hooked on his Borowitz Report column after reading a glowing front page story about him in The Wall Street Journal. If you've never read Borowitz, Who Moved My Soap? is the perfect place to start. It's a hysterically funny take on the recent spate of corporate scandals, but it's more than that: it contains Borowitz's totally original, totally side-splitting riffs on pop culture, celebrities, politics, and even the Zagat guide and feng shui. The chapters are punchy and short, so it's the ideal funny book to read in little bits during a day at the beach. And it stays with you -- I read it days ago and I'm still quoting jokes to friends.

    One warning, though. While Who Moved My Soap? is the perfect beach read, if you read it on the beach you're bound to get strange looks from those around you as you find yourself laughing uncontrollably. That's what happened to me on the beach in Rhode Island, and people kept coming over to ask me what was so funny. The next day, I spotted four more people reading Who Moved My Soap? Mark my words, it's the book of the summer.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing Boring about Borowitz
    Borowitz has written a truly funny book, and it's extra special because it's a satire of another concept others have taken so seriously. It's not so funny, though, when you really get "surprised" from behind in prison, if you know what I mean.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SLICK, HILAROUS CORPORATE SATIRE
    Modern corporate world is a sty reeking of corporate scandals. This, despite a whole deluge of corporate "gurus" and biz books dispensing truckloads of advice on how to better run your company, manage your time, manage your employees, etc etc.

    Trust Andy Borowitz to rip the vacuity of almost 90% of such advisory tripe to shreds. He hammers home the drudgery of business cliches in an absolutely hilariously anti-establishment satire. It's an easy to read compilation, you could devour it in a couple of hours if you wish (and you mostly likely will).

    The title itself is a funny play on "Who moved my cheese", a monumentally boring bestseller from a few years ago about change management. As one of the reviews suggests, change is something a lot of disillusioned CEOs like Martha Stewart have to cope with in their newfound abodes.

    Pick up this gem for some pure, unadulterated, and occasionally even laught-out-loud humor. Pronto purchase material!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Someone Give a Copy to Martha!
    This book is just hilarious! Borowitz hits the nail on the head with some of his "tips" for CEOs headed for prison. The funniest chapter was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Prisoners. It just kept me rolling. If you're tired of CEOs' antics, pick this book up, it's totally worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Corporate Crook in Your Life
    My brother is a CEO and this is what I gave him for his birthday! He totally loved it. It is a truly hilarious book. ... Read more


    5. Behind Bars: Surviving Prison
    by Jeffrey Ian Ross, Stephen C. Richards
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0028643518
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
    Publisher: Alpha Books
    Sales Rank: 26807
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prison analysis from the inside
    Make no mistake; Behind Bars is written for cons, and by cons. Because of this, the reader can be certain that the information contained in this text is not glossed-over, heavy-on-the-big-words academic pretense written from inside an office. Drs. Ross and Richards offer this book as both an analysis and a precaution. Step-by-step advice from the moment of arrest to months after release that refuses to ignore the physical and mental/emotional problems modern American correctional facilities provide. There is nothing resembling coddling in prison, and there is nothing within this book that will attempt to coddle the reader. Rather, the fact that fifty percent of federal convicts return to prison in under a year after initial release is constantly beaten into the head of the reader. However, Ross and Richards do present methods of proper social interaction among cons, with guards and other personnel, who to trust and not trust, etc. If, as an individual, you so much as know of any illegal activity, you are liable to serve jail and/or prison time. No one is innocent, and no one should be so smug as to think their life experiences could never include those mentioned in this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The honest, truth
    Behind bars is a quick, easy, useful, and enjoyable read. Though this book is being used as a college text book, don't let that drive you away. This book is useful to everyone, not just criminology students. Richards and Ross give you the truth about our prison system, this book is written from their experiences dealing with the system. No one plans on going to prison, but you never know, it's better to be prepared than to get ...(pardon the pun). Read the book, trust me, you won't be able to put it down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full of helpful advice for the prison newbie
    If you're currently in prison -- or expect to be there in the near future -- you'll want to keep this book handy! Not only is it chock full of useful tips on prison etiquette and hygiene (hint: don't drop the soap!), you can also use it squash mice and insects, or ward off "romantic" advances from your cellmate.

    Take it from me: It'll make those years in the slammer fly by!

    3-0 out of 5 stars BASIC INFORMATION/ **lacks some detail**
    This book is an excellent source of basic information on living in prison including many issues such arrest,living conditions,rules and regulations,gangs,food etc.
    On the legal issues about arrest refer to the #2 Amazon review of this book by criminal defense attorney, Jordan Copeland for a second opinion on some matters.
    The book has a lot of useful basic logistical information on a wide variety of issues, however it lacks some detail on strategies to deal with specific threatening situations and how to interpret behavior. The book could use some interviews with different types of convicts on these issues and address these issues in regard to how different types of people may have to adopt different survival strategies according to factors such as their race, religion, nationality, age,looks, ability to defend themselves,body type,physical limitations,friends and affiliations, willingness or non willingness to fight, verbal defences,relationships with guards etc.
    Also see Nobel candidate and convict Stanley Williams' book, Life in Prison for one man's account.
    It would be interesting to find what a frail, weak person could do to himself to survive.
    An excellent movie from the 70s' on the subject is Glass House, starring Alan Alda. I do not have the experience to say how accurate it is.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Some good prison info but padded with bad legal advice
    The chapters on how to survive prison are decent, but I believe that after the authors finished writing them, they realized that they had only about 100 pages and they needed to plump the book out. Unfortunately, rather than delving deeper into the promised subject matter -- I would have liked to read excepts from interviews with former inmates, and anecdotes about mistakes they made in prison or how they prevailed in bad situations -- the authors added sections decrying the U.S. penal and legal system and the war on drugs and, most egregiously, dispensing often incorrect or misleading legal advice.

    I am a criminal defense attorney. One of the biggest problems I have with the book is the reckless advice that a defendant should generally not plea guilty and rather take the case through trial. There's a good reason that over 90% of defendants plead guilty, whether their lawyers are retained or appointed, and it's not because those lawyers coerced them into doing so. It's because the rise of sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums have made it Russian roulette for many felony defendants to go to trial. At least where I practice, many plea offers can save defendants significant jail time compared with a trial conviction. Look, I love to try cases, and it's great to get a client with a decent case and the willingness to fight it all the way, but taking a loser case to trial is usually a colossal mistake for the defendant, one which can cost them years. The book's broad claim that it's generally better to go to trial is no substitute for a skilled and honest lawyer's individualized assessment of the strength of a case and the risks of a trial verdict.

    There are also preposterous claims in the book about the legal system, such as that if marijuana is found in a car and one of the car's occupants previously pled guilty to a crime while the other occupant was convicted of a crime after trial, then the marijuana will be pinned on the person who pled because the prosecutors feel it'll be an easier conviction since the guy will presumably just roll over again. That's ridiculous -- in fact, both will be charged with the weed. The authors also claim, erroneously, that defense lawyers owe their allegiance to the legal system at the expense of their clients. That is the type of misstatement which breeds a mistrust of defense attorneys, and that can hurt defendants if it causes them to disregard good advice from their attorneys. The authors do better when they stick to what they know -- how life is in prison -- rather than speculating on how the legal system works.

    The authors also try a little too hard to make their case that the criminal justice system is blatantly rigged, and it comes off like propaganda. I am someone whose professional experience has made him wary of the criminal justice system and acutely aware of the disproportionate power of prosecutors and police, but when the authors start claiming that police may be paying informants with narcotics, I become skeptical about whatever the book claims as fact. Look -- there's enough wrong with the laws and the criminal justice system that an author doesn't need to make the system appear to be an overt, sinister compact between judges, prosecutors, cops and defense attorneys to railroad people.

    The book places an undue emphasis on the minority of cases which involve conspiracy convictions, prosecutions for selling fake drugs to undercovers (so rare!), cooperation agreements, and no-knock home raids. Little misleading comments, such that there are people in federal prison for merely failing to repay their student loans, detract from the book's credibility. The authors try too hard to sell the reader on the injustice of it all, but they really don't need to clobber the reader over the head with dubious and paranoid claims. The real problems with the system are inflammatory enough!

    That said, the middle section of the book regarding prison life is instructive, and I assume it's not as misinformed as the earlier section but rather founded on personal experience and solid research. If you're going to jail, this is a useful book, but skip the first few chapters and be skeptical of the information outside of the authors' area of expertise. ... Read more


    6. Prison Madness : The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It
    by TerryKupers
    list price: $29.00
    our price: $29.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0787943614
    Catlog: Book (1999-01-22)
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass
    Sales Rank: 461748
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Disturbing and Shocking Expose-A Passionate Cry for Reform

    Prison Madness exposes the brutality and failure of today's correctional system-for all prisoners-but especially the incredible conditions Andured by those suffering from serious mental disorders.

    "A passionately argued and brilliantly written wake-up call to America about the myriad ways our penal systems brutalize our entire culture. Dr. Kupers not only diagnoses the problem, he also offers a set of solutions. I hope this book will be read by all concerned citizens and voters, for it conveys truths that are vitally important to all of us."-James Gilligan, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and author of Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic

    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The madness is in the writers liberal heart
    This book displays the writers bleeding heart. It hurt mine to finish it. I reccomend reading reality, dealing with mentally ill and behavior problematic offeders is best displayed in the book Dog In Blue: a correctional offices ramblings'

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, Timely, Sadly True, and Achingly Prophetic
    Dr. Kupers writes honestly about where those who were "saved" by deinstitutionalization ended up and they way they are being treated. It is a scathing indictment of the utter failure of community mental health centers and the professionals practicing within them. It clearly shows how persons are forgotten, ignored or dismissed by community supports and the eventual freefall they experience into corrections. He artfully describes the negativistic labeling, i.e., Borderline or Antisocial Personality Disorders, and the damage done by such perjorative terms. Dr. Kupers shows clearly what is occurring in jails and prisons across the country and lets the reader know this is not the end of the story of the emptying of the hospitals, but the next chapter in the abuse/neglect of the most maligned and oppressed population in America. Thank you Dr. Kupers, for your courage, integrity, and honesty.

    4-0 out of 5 stars good read, good place to start real debate
    I was initially excited, because the premise of this book is that the mentally ill are being incarcerated and criminalized because of the failure of comunity mental health, and the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. Most people do not realize that the prisons are rapidly becomming the largest providers of mental health services, as is the case in TX. Kupers goes off track and has his own agenda. This book becomes a polemic for diagnosing all inmates as PTSD, just because they are in prison. His claim that as an outsider he is more than objective. I believe the book reports on many problems in a lot of prisons. I kept waiting for him to address, in a meaningful way, managed care and privatization of services. The issue of the mentally ill in prison is a growing problem. I would hope that those who read the book, will try to open dialog about the problems and possible solutions. I work for the managed care organization that provides mental heath services to TX prisons, and many of Kuper's points hit home. I have already recommended the book to my colleges.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific, a seminal work on mental health and prisoners.
    Dr. Kupers articulates in clear detail the serious problems confronting persons within the prison system. With an unfailing eye, he depicts the ravages extolled on prisoners in the name of justice and... expediency. The problems, most often, manifest in the form of mental health issues that custodial staff are incapable of addressing. Dr. Kupers suggest effective solutions for dealing with the mental health needs of the incarcerated and the needs of society at large. A must read for anyone in Corrections or Forensics. ... Read more


    7. Corrections in the United States : A Contemporary Perspective (4th Edition)
    by Dean John Champion
    list price: $75.60
    our price: $75.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131027360
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-05)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 287954
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    Book Description

    Send to PrinterCorrections in the United States: A Contemporary Perspective, 4/EDean¿John¿Champion, Texas A&M International UniversityISBN: 0131027360Publisher: Prentice HallCopyright: 2005Format: Paper; 768 pagesPublished: 03/05/2004Status: PublishedDescriptionFor introduction to corrections courses. Comprehensive in scope and contemporary in perspective, this introduction to corrections in the U.S. covers the history, functions, types, and issues of jails and prisons. It explains parole and community-based corrections programs, surveys the duties of corrections personnel, and explores the special issues of women and juveniles in the corrections system. Up-to-date material and legal cases affecting correctional law and institutional corrections provide students with broad coverage of both institutional and community corrections.¿ Features* A concise synopsis of the history and organization of corrections in the U.S * Introduces students to the history, philosophy and operations of the corrections system * Complete coverage of prisons and jails * Familiarizes students with the differences between the characteristics, organization, and operation of jails and prisons * Key correctional issues-Jail/prison architecture and design, privatization, new generation jails, overcrowding, the death penalty and health issues (HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis). * Helps students understand the trends and challenges facing the corrections system * Full chapters on Women in Corrections (CH 12) and Juvenile Corrections (CH 13) * Gives instructors and students thorough coverage of diverse populations within the corrections system * Complete coverage of Community Corrections (CH 4) and Parole (CH 10) * Introduces students to the corrections system beyond prisons and jails * NEW - Personality Highlights of inmates and corrections officers and administrators * Gives students first-hand accounts of the experiences of the people that make up the corrections system ¿ New To This Edition* NEW - Personality Highlights of inmates and corrections officers and administrators * Gives students first-hand accounts of the experiences of the people that make up the corrections system* NEW - Expanded learning tools-New chapter objectives, expanded chapter summaries, and expanded and updated Internet links * Assists students in mastering the material presented in the text* NEW - Updated sample forms and reports * Helps students better understand the duties and responsibilities of corrections officers and administrators¿ Table of Contents1. An Introduction to Corrections: Philosophy, Goals, and History. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Corrections Defined. Early Origins of Corrections. The History of Corrections in the United States. Correctional Functions and Goals. Some Correctional Models. Types of Corrections. Correctional Reforms. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 2. Classifying Offenders, Sentencing Systems, and Sentencing Issues. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Types of Offenses. Classifying Offenders. The Sentencing Process. Types of Sentencing Systems. Sentencing Hearings. The Presentence Investigation (PSI) and Report. Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances. Some Sentencing Issues. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. Appendix 2A: Sample State PSI Report. Appendix 2B: Sample Federal PSI Report. 3. Diversion, Standard and Intensive Supervised Probation Programs. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Civil Alternatives: Alternate Dispute Resolution and Diversion. Pretrial Diversion. Probation Defined. The History of Probation in the United States. The Philosophy and Functions of Probation. Types of Probation. A Profile of Probationers. Shock Probation and Split Sentencing. Boot Camps. Landmark Cases in Probation Revocation. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 4. Community Corrections. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Community Corrections Acts and Community Corrections. Community Corrections Programs. Selected Issues in Community Corrections. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 5. Jails: History, Functions, and Types of Inmates. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. The History of Jails in the United States. Jail Inmate Characteristics. Functions of Jails. Types of Jail Inmates. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 6. Jail Administration: Officer Training, Inmate Supervision, and Contemporary Issues. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Jail Administration. Selected Jail Issues. Jail Reforms. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 7. Prisons and Prisoners. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. The History of Prisons in the United States. State and Federal Prison Systems. A Profile of Prisoners in U.S. Prisons. Types of Prisons and Their Functions. Inmate Classification Systems. Risk Assessment and Institutional Placement. Functions of Prisons. Prison Culture: On Jargon and Inmate Pecking Orders. Selected Prison Issues. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 8. Corrections Administration and the Privatization of Prisons. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. The Bureaucratic Model and Legal-Rational Authority. Corrections and Offender Management. The Organization of Corrections. Forms of Correctional Administration. Prison Administrator Selection and Training. Prison Privatization. Selected Issues on Privatization. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 9. Jailhouse Lawyers and Inmate Rights. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. What are Jailhouse Lawyers? The Constitutional Basis for Inmate Rights. The Jailhouse Lawyer and the Nature of Civil Remedies. Prisoner Rights and Selected Litigation Issues. The Death Penalty. Inmate Grievance Procedures. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 10. Parole, Parole Programs, and Parole Revocation. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Parole Defined. The History of Parole in the United States. The Philosophy and Goals of Parole. The Functions of Parole. Parolees in the United States. Pre-Release Programs. Post-Release Parole Programs. Parole Boards: Revoking Probation and Parole. Measuring Parole Effectiveness Through Recidivism. The Parole Revocation Process. The Rights of Parolees. Serving Time Beyond Maximum Sentences. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 11. Correctional Officer Selection and Training. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Corrections Officers and Probation/Parole Officers: A Distinction. The Selection and Training of Correctional Officers. The Recruitment of Women in Correctional Work. The Organization and Operation of Probation and Parole Programs. Selection Requirements for Probation and Parole Officers. PO Caseloads. Volunteers in Community Corrections. Paraprofessionals in Community Corrections Programs. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 12. Women and Corrections. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. The History of Women's Prisons in the United States. Characteristics of Female Offenders. The Classification of Female Offenders. Criticisms of Women's Prisons and Community Programs. The Culture of Women's Prisons. Administering Prisons for Women. Selected Issues Relating to Women's Prisons. Co-Corrections. Female Probationers and Parolees: A Profile. Intermediate Punishments for Women. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. 13. Juvenile Corrections. Chapter Objectives. Introduction. The History of Juvenile Corrections. Types of Juvenile Offenders. Some Characteristics of Delinquent Offenders. The Juvenile Justice System. Constitutional Rights of Juveniles. Waivers, Transfers, and Certifications. Goals of Juvenile Corrections. Juvenile Corrections. Selected Issues in Juvenile Corrections. The Future of Juvenile Corrections. Summary. Questions for Review. Suggested Readings. Internet Connections. Appendix A: Glossary. Appendix B: Bibliography. Case Index. Name Index. Subject Index. ¿ CoursesVJ0601Introduction to Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction to Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction to Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction to Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction To Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction To Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction To Corrections (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0602Correctional Institutions (Criminal Justice)VJ0601Introduction to Corrections (Criminal Justice)¿ Instructor SupplementsInstructor's Manual with Test Item Fileby Dean¿John¿Champion¿ 20050-13-102737-9Paper; 190 pagesStatus: Published 05/06/2004TestGenby Dean¿J¿Champion¿ 20050-13-170176-2SoftwareStatus: Published 08/09/2004¿ ¿ ¿¿ Pearson EducationUpper Saddle River, NJ 07458 ... 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    8. American Delinquency: Its Meaning and Construction
    by LaMar T. Empey, Mark C. Stafford, Carter H. Hay
    list price: $115.95
    our price: $115.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534507077
    Catlog: Book (1999-03-17)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 523320
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    Book Description

    This historically successful and important text is revised to meet modern course demands. Empey and Stafford provide an extensive, comprehensive and balanced look at the theories associated with delinquency. It is aimed at the upper end of the market concerned with theory. This text also focuses on environmental issues, juvenile justice issues, and the juvenile justice system. ... Read more


    9. Corrections in the 21st Century with Making the Grade CD-ROM and PowerWeb
    by FrankSchmalleger, John Ortiz Smykla, Frank Schmalleger, John Smykla
    list price: $93.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072977574
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-19)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
    Sales Rank: 855087
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Corrections in the 21st Century takes a practical approach to introducing students to the ideas and practices characteristic of modern corrections. It equips them with the skills necessary to succeed in the field. Its three-pronged approach to corrections includes a thorough description of correctional ideology, including professionalism, policy issues, and society's avowed goals for the correctional enterprise; a comprehensive overview of correctional practice, including the everyday operations of correctional agencies, prisons, jails, and the procedures of parole and probation; and the development of personal skills that are applicable to the corrections field. A central theme throughout the text is professionalism in corrections.

    The Tutorial with Simulation Applications that accompanies the text is a browser-based version of the textbook on CD-ROM. It includes key words, activities, and review games. Simulations on the CD present real-world situations for students to apply chapter concepts. Student responses receive immediate feedback regarding the appropriateness of their responses.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best textbook on corrections available!
    I'm using this textbook in my community college course on corrections -- and I can't image how any book could be better. The book is built around a theme of professionalism in corrections and makes me want to work as a corrections officer -- and makes me want to improve the field. If you are interested in a career in corrections this book is for you -- whether or not you are currently in school. ... Read more


    10. Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons
    by Alan Elsner
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $15.72
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131427911
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
    Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 41799
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars America's Dark Secret
    Alan Elsner has captured the dark picture of America's secret. He has revealed to all his readers the stark reality of what America's desire for vengance has cost. Get tough on crime makes good political sound byte. Lock them up and throw away the key wins elections. The reality of "out of sight - out of mind" has lead to a picture of America that is more comfortable in a third-world dictatorship. Our prisons become darker and darker places as they devour people of color, women, the mentally ill, the addicted, and the inept.

    I spent the last thirty years working in the prison system, while watching it get bigger and "badder." Now as a professor, I am trying to tell my criminal justice students that America can do a better job finding justice other than locking up everyone that doesn't fit in. Alan Elsner captures the reality of a place that cannot help but be awful. The best of prisons are terrible, dark places. Every American should read this book and ask himself, "Is this the best the 'land of the free' can do?" Good work Alan on writing about a subject that most Americans don't want to think about.

    This book will be mandatory reading for my criminal justice students.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gates of Injustice
    A friend recommended I read this book. At first I didn't want to, but after a few pages I was hooked. I had no idea of some of the horrors that go on in our prisons. Women being forced to give birth chained to beds, guards putting prisoners in restraints for 48 hours, seriously disturbed mentally ill people living lives of misery and making life miserable for all around them.
    I am not soft on crime but I don't support abuse either. And Mr. Elsner has proven to me that our prisons are way too abusive. He has also given a good deal of thought to fixing some of the larger problems. This is a tough-minded book but it is also a sensible and rational one. I recommend it to anyone who cares about our nation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Reading!!
    This book was recommended to me and I opened it with trepidation because I, like many people I know, do not count prisons and those they house and employ among my preferred reading topics. I suppose the information I'd gleaned from articles, movies, stories and the news over my four decades painted a picture of prisons as some sort of dark nether world where "stuff happens", but mostly the bad guys get what they deserve (loss of their freedom) and me and my family are kept safe from them. Well, I was disturbed and angered by some of the information in GATES OF INJUSTICE, and I admit to being grateful for the rude wake up call. For those who believe "the rest of us" are not impacted by what goes on in our prison system, Mr. Elsner paints a vivid portrait of the proliferation of gangs within prison culture and the networks that keep such gangs growing strong within prison walls as well as in our cities, our suburbs, and even our small towns. As a woman and a parent of a neurologically challenged individual, I was especially chagrined to read of the plights of women, many of them mothers, and of the mentally ill inside our nations prisons. The brutality and inhumanity of our prisons, portrayed so well in this book,is counter to any idea of rehabilitation and to human dignity and decency. The author offers some sound beginnings toward prison reform that make overwhelming sense.
    This book is important reading for anyone who cares deeply about the human condition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gates of Injustice
    Before reading this book I had general impressions about prison life based upon thin slices of reality provided by media reporting and political rhetoric. I also relied on the fiction and stereotypes created by movies and television. The author discussed many of the human and economic issues that are not widely known and provided compelling statistics to put the costs to society in perspective.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Timely & Provocative Book
    Alan Elsner is an outstanding reporter with a rare ability to see beyond the obvious. His well-written book captures the horrors of life inside America's penal system without resorting to the trite partisan cliches that politicians have relied on for so many years. It will introduce you to the millions of Americans who live in the gray zone between civilization and barbarism. Kudos to the author on a job well done! ... Read more


    11. The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag
    by Kang Chol-Hwan, Pierre Rigoulot, Yair Reiner
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0465011020
    Catlog: Book (2002-09)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 140594
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The first personal documentation of life in the North Korean labor camps from a survivor and escapee of the communist regime's prisons.

    North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading
    In my opinion this book is on par with Alan Patton's "Cry the Beloved Country." It powerfully conveys the plight of foreign oppression with both empathy and clarity.

    Every US military officer, all federal politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats and personnel stationed in South Korea NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

    The author's family willingly emigrated to North Korea. They had been quite wealthy, but felt ideologically drawn to seek North Korean citizenship. Ultimately they were imprisoned.

    Their experiences as related make it clear that the government of North Korea is by no means a true Marxist state, but has devolved into a cult of personality revolving around the ruling Kim family. No imperial government in history has been more repressive, exploitative or murderous of its people. North Korea's leader is truly evil. Its brainwashed citizens are at once victims and enablers that evil. Their plight is tragic.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

    5-0 out of 5 stars aquariums of pyongyang
    "Aquariums in Pyongyang" is an incredible story of survival and triumph over evil and hardship. Kang chol-Hawn was an upper middle class child of idealistic Koreans living in Japan when his parents returned to the North Korean "Workers Paradise" that was in the making of North Korea of the early 1960's. The reality of course, they soon discovered, was far from the communist propaganda that his mother was so taking in by. By the age of nine Kang was sent to a gulag and in it he endured all that one would expext from a communist gulag, beatings, starvation, hard labor, communist propaganda and brain washing. Not many people survived ten years in a North Korean gulag fewer still managed to later escape to the west or in Kang's case South Korea. None before have written a book about such experiences and that makes "Aquariums in Pyongyang" a unique book. One of the amazing things about this book aside from the story it's self is that Kang manages to not only detail the horror but also display quite a bit of humor albeit largely sacastic humor such as a chapter titled "ten years in the camp: thank you, Kim Il Sung" Another chapter entitled Biweekly Criticism and self-criticism is filled with sacastic humor that can make you laugh out loud even if you feel a little guilty doing so knowing the suffering of the gulags prisonors. Aquariums is a excellent book that will challage your views of North Korea no matter what your political views are. an excellent read definitly reccomended

    5-0 out of 5 stars I agree. Required Reading
    I came across this book after reading Tears of My Soul. I have to say that this book is absolutely captivating. It is a very quick read, but the impact will last forever. With so little information coming out of N.Korea unfiltered, this book and its perspective is invaluable. I recommend this book to everyone, to the point that people must think I am the publisher. Excellent book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars excellent.
    this book was everything I hoped it would be. it was a sad story, but its words were not simlply used up in emotions. as I finished up the book, it really even inspired me to take action regarding north korea. how? that I don't know, but somehow. perhaps I should contact my congressman or find out about some agencies working with north korean refugees.

    the stories about the camp were horrifying at times and well-written about. the flow of the middle chapters was not perfect, but its content, not to mention the rest of the book, totally made up for it. the chapters at the very beginning and the very end were especially good, particularly his description of his "happy childhood in pyongyang" and adjusting to life in south korea. excellent book worth my time. if you have any kind of interest in east asia or north korea in particular, you should definitely read this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An important testimony
    This is a must-read, an important testimony of life under an absolutist regime. It is part of a steady stream of testimonials that are finally appearing about what the self-proclaimed "Communist" regimes are actually like inside. I hope that the American academics will start paying attention to these testimonials, and accept the fact that those communist regimes should not have been idealized as they were (and still are by some!). Only after an honest scrutiny of these so-called communist societies and how they ALL turned into dictatorships, can the left recover its intellectual force. ... Read more


    12. Go Directly to Jail : the Criminalization of Almost Everything
    by Gene Healy
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1930865635
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-25)
    Publisher: Cato Institute
    Sales Rank: 22066
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    Book Description

    The American criminal justice system is becoming ever more centralized and punitive, owing to rampant federalization and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.Go Directly to Jail emxmines these alarming trends and proposes reforms that could rein in a criminal justice apparatus at war with fairness and common sense. a labyrinthine criminal code ... Read more


    13. Practical Geodesy Using Computers
    by Maarten Hooijberg, Marrten Hooijberg
    list price: $119.00
    our price: $119.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 3540618260
    Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
    Publisher: Springer-Verlag Telos
    Sales Rank: 876401
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    Book Description

    Written for geodesists using computers of modest capacity, the book reviews the latest development in geodetic computation techniques. The aim is to take stock of available data (datums, ellipsoids, units etc.), to focus on applications and to illuminate spatial developments. Topics cover datums and reference systems, geodetic arc distances, different projections and coordinate systems. The material has been specially chosen and covers the practical aspect of geodesy, including the demonstration of global examples. Stressing the how-to-do approach, the book is of interest to students in geodesy, GIS consultants, hydrographers and land surveyors. ... Read more


    14. The Big House: Life Inside a Supermax Security Prison (Voyageur American Heritage)
    by James H. Bruton
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0896580393
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
    Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
    Sales Rank: 60758
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The warden tells all! "The Big House" is an engaging page-turner and frightening insider's look at life in a world-famous maximum-security prison, the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights. This account of life on the other side of the razor ribbon is the first to be told from a warden’s perspective.

    The former long-time warden at the prison, Bruton tells numerous stories and chilling and gruesome anecdotes about the convicts, attempts to understand the criminal mind, and explains both how the prison was designed and the cutting-edge philosophy behind its operation.

    In "The Big House", you will walk alongside the warden through the stark corridors and into the maximum-security cell blocks. You will be brought face to face with the realities of life inside one of the most secure prisons in the world. You will experience the world of some of our country’s most dangerous prisoners, while learning how the staff manages high-risk inmates and maintains one of the most safe and secure prison environments in the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, Informative, Insightful
    From John Howard Prin, author of STOLEN HOURS: Breaking Free From Secret Addictions, Syren Books 2004

    Jim Bruton's THE BIG HOUSE gives readers an eyeful about prison behavior in a supermax security facility. It's a treat for anyone who has ever wondered what life must be like inside the walls of a tiny cell, a noisy cellblock, a razor-wired prison yard, or the much-feared "hole."

    Not only does Bruton, a retired warden of 35 years in the field of corrections, portray the kinds of criminal personalities who damage their quarters or harass other inmates (including the daily power struggles and endless game-playing for control), he also tells of humorous incidents and some tender moments that show the humane sides of both offenders and officers alike.

    While dozens of remarkable details sprinkle his stories, along with vivid photos, it's his philosophy of rehabilitation that rises to the fore. Bruton argues that dignified, respectful treatment - even for problematic inmates - creates a safer environment for all. And not only while incarcerated. Because 95 percent of prisoners are eventually released, Bruton's focus emphasizes the importance of preparing prisoners to live a productive lifestyle on the outside. This book informs, intrigues, and instills wise insights. ... Read more


    15. The History Of The Gulag: From Collectivization To The Great Terror (Annals of Communism)
    by Oleg V. Khlevniuk, Vadim A. Staklo, David J. Nordlander, Robert Conquest
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $26.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0300092849
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    Sales Rank: 67296
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    Book Description

    “What a long, extraordinary process digging into the deepest secrets of the Gulag has been. Now, here is its history, fully, factually, and humanly effected for the present day by Oleg Khlevniuk.”—Robert Conquest, from the foreword

    The human cost of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system in which millions of people were imprisoned between 1920 and 1956, was staggering. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others after him have written movingly about the Gulag, yet never has there been a thorough historical study of this unique and tragic episode in Soviet history. This groundbreaking book presents the first comprehensive, historically accurate account of the camp system. Russian historian Oleg Khlevniuk has mined the contents of extensive archives, including long-suppressed state and Communist Party documents, to uncover the secrets of the Gulag and how it became a central component of Soviet ideology and social policy.

    Khlevniuk argues persuasively that the Stalinist penal camps created in the 1930s were essentially different from previous camps. He shows that political motivations and paranoia about potential enemies contributed no more to the expansion of the Gulag than the economic incentive of slave labor did. And he offers powerful evidence that the Great Terror was planned centrally and targeted against particular categories of the population. Khlevniuk makes a signal contribution to Soviet history with this exceptionally informed and balanced view of the Gulag.

    Oleg V. Khlevniuk is senior researcher at the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Moscow.




    ... Read more


    16. Prison Etiquette: The Convict's Compendium of Useful Information
    by Holley R. Cantine, Dachine Rainer, Lowell Naeve, Philip Metres
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
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    Asin: 0809323753
    Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
    Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
    Sales Rank: 213255
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Of the fifty thousand Americans who declared themselves conscientious objectors during World War II, nearly six thousand went to prison, many serving multiyear sentences in federal lockups. Some conscientious objectors, notably Robert Lowell, William Everson, and William Stafford, went on to become important figures in the literary life of their country, while others were participants and teachers in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This long out-of-print book, reprinted from the rare original 1951 edition, collects firsthand accounts by conscientious objectors who were imprisoned for their beliefs.

    "What are, and what should be, the relations between an individual and his society, between majorities and dissenting minorities? How is the age-old conflict of Man versus the State to be resolved? Which things are to be rendered unto Caesar and which unto God? And why does Caesar so constantly get mistaken for God, why do professional God-servers so constantly hanker to be mistaken for Caesar? These are perennial and ubiquitous questions. The philosophers of politics and religion ask and try to answer them in polysyllabic words and comprehensive generalizations. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful
    This helped me during the five years I spent behind bars. I went from the prison b**ch to the stud! I highly recommend it for Martha Stewart or anyone else facing hard time. A must read! ... Read more


    17. Finding Freedom: Writings from Death Row
    by Jarvis Jay Masters, Chagdud Tulku
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $10.20
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    Asin: 188184708X
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
    Publisher: Padma Publishing
    Sales Rank: 131794
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Finding Freedom is a collection of prison stories - sometimes shocking, sometimes sad, often funny, always immediate-told against a background of extreme violence and aggression, written by a prisoner on death row who has become a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars BUDDHA VISITS DEATH ROW
    Faith is known as a powerful force to enable one to overcome emotional and psychological barriers that would deny their humanity. Jarvis Masters shares with us his spiritual transformation in a setting that is life denying. His poignant stories gives one insight on the culture of prison life on death row.

    Of particular interest is Jarvis himself. He is an incarcerated Black man whose embracing of Vyrayana Buddhism has enabled him to move beyond the violence of prison life. Usually American Buddhism is associated with a white intellectual elite group which appears to ignore the sufferings of those incarcerated. Islam has been known as the religion of choice for jailed Black men while Christianity has provided religious solace and comfort to those imprisoned.

    Buddha's visit to death row and Jarvis offers a new view of Buddhism. It has broken through its chains of exclusivisity and has offered those who are incarcerated the hope of finding freedom in the worst of circumstances. Jarvis' sharing of his practice of Buddhism is a testament to the great power of a faith to make a difference in one's life. This is a book to be read by all people interested in the transformative power of religion in today's prisons.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A testimony to human strength and the power of redemption
    Not your everyday prisoner's memoir! Jarvis Masters' stories from the "belly of the beast" are well-observed, written with a lot of flair, and often hilariously funny. He has spent a third of his life on death row, yet somehow finds the strength and spirit to grow beyond those walls with his mind and heart, through his life and the stories he shares with us. A truly inspiring book -- I bought it for several of my friends, and they are telling me that they have been distributing it around their own circle. This is not a political book nor an anti-death penalty manifesto, yet it makes its case quietly and simply through the personality of the writer. I can't see how anyone could read it and still be convinced that this man (who didn't kill anyone) deserves to be put to death by the State of California.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spirituality At Its Best
    I recommend that anyone who is seeking to be spiritual read this book. Jarvis Masters provides a shining example of compassion in action in cirumstances where it is very difficult to be a holy human being.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    Masters' tales are a must-read pass to San Quentin when it was a Level IV (of four criminal/felony levels) prison and the inmates ran the blocks. His book is a word album of people and incidents on the yards, on the tiers and in the cells as races and cultures collide in a setting of despair and boredom. In one of his most powerful chapters, "Sanctuary," Masters enters the upper yard on his first day, facing down the stairs of the established cons as they inspect the "fish"; then the door slams on his 5x9' cell that will be his home for the rest of his life.
    The recidivists, the young parole violators who cycle through San Quentin on 90 day plus terms, generally for drug use, with little hope for treatment, jobs or housing on the outside, are the antagonists in many of his stories. And this brings us to the present. The California prison system and San Quentin are still largely populated by young parole violators, incarcerated for drug convictions or dry outs. These youngsters, unaware, ignorant or plainly apathetic about informal prison rules, seek to achieve the "OG" (Old Gangster) status of long time inmates through predatory violence. Masters writes of his frustrating attempts to cope with them at a time that Level IV inmates all mingled together. San Quentin is now a Level II prison, confining a gentler, generally nonviolent person within its massive perimeter, and Masters now is a practicing Buddhist, a transformation remarkably documented in the book's timeline
    "Three Strikes" laws and the huge campaign contributions of the CCPOA, the California prison guards' union, have lead to unparalleled growth in California's prison population with Lifers (2nd degree murder or kidnapping crimes) eligible for parole and violators routinely jammed together in every facility. California's Level IV violent cons are housed in Pelican Bay and other specially designated Security Housing Units (SHU), yet Masters' Death Row for men remains at San Quentin. And the timelessness of Masters' stories is reflected by the fact that Lifers still have the respect of almost all groups in the prison, while California Governor Gray Davis fosters despair and hopelessness with an anti-parole stance. This book is an electrifying read if you have never been incarcerated. You can share Masters' gradual transformation from a mind-your-own-business, somewhat antisocial individual, to a compassionate prosocial inmate. Amazing book. I could not put it down. Very highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing experience
    This book was one that I was not too sure about when I picked it up. I just started skimming the pages. The next time I looked up at the clock, I was half way through with this book. It places you in the midst of one of the country's toughest places where souls are stomped down and spirits are forgotten about. All the while, these human beings are struggling to find their voices. The writing is amazing as Jarvis brings you into his world of sometimes humorous, often ironic and constantly brutal life in San Quentin. ... Read more


    18. American Political Prisoners : Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts
    by Stephen M. Kohn
    list price: $92.95
    our price: $92.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0275944158
    Catlog: Book (1994-06-30)
    Publisher: Praeger Publishers
    Sales Rank: 874867
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    Book Description

    This book is the first account of the personal lives of the nearly 1,000 long-term political prisoners arrested under various sedition laws for their opposition to World War I, their trade union activities, or their unpopular political or religious beliefs. Based on the author's exclusive access to the uncensored prison files of many of these prisoners, and information obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act, Kohn relays the powerful prison experiences of some of America's most famous and colorful labor, socialist, and peace leaders. With over ten years of research, and access to tens of thousands of pages of never-before released U.S. Department of Justice records, Stephen Kohn has been able to recreate the actual prison experiences of these political prisoners. ... Read more


    19. Marching Powder : A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail
    by Thomas McFadden, Rusty Young
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312330340
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Sales Rank: 53112
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    Book Description

    Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalisted went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time.The result is Marching Powder.

    This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison.Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted.

    Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account ofinfiltration into the South American drug culture.
    ... Read more

    20. NO MATTER HOW LOUD I SHOUT : A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court
    by Edward Humes
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684811952
    Catlog: Book (1997-05-07)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 29523
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This is one powerful book: it will grab you with vivid stories about individual kids, draw you in with honesty and compassion, and amaze you with alarming details about how the juvenile justice system works (or rather, doesn't work) in America. Anyone interested in the problem of crime should read Edward Humes's gripping account of how future criminals are shaped in youth, and how the system misses its chance to help them before they're lost for good. As Richard Bernstein writes in the New York Times, "There are many admirable things about Mr. Humes's book, which, despite its grim subject matter, has a narrative power that keeps you reading right to the end. One of them is that Mr. Humes is a shrewd and perceptive observer of his young subjects ... [and he] allows himself to feel sympathy for the young people whose lives and crimes he describes.... At the same time, Mr. Humes never exonerates bad children for their badness." No Matter How Loud I Shout was a finalist for the 1997 Edgar Award in Fact Crime. ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fine insider narrative, self-defeatingly factless
    Ed Humes provides a superior account of the human (and inhuman) side of the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. Accolades to his reporting are justified, but Humes' advocacy of the juvenile justice system suffers a fatal mistake: he relies on secondary sources for basic facts and presents a completely backwards picture. The startling truth, clearly evident from reviewing crime statistics for Los Angeles from the state Criminal Justice Statistics Center, is that juvenile crime (especially serious crime) has been PLUMMETING DRAMATICALLY for 20 years. Teenage felony rates fell more than 40% from 1975 through 1995 (and dropped even more in 1996 and 1997), with sharp decreases in property and drug crimes and no increase in violent crime. Had Humes consulted original sources instead of relying on the inflammatory secondary commentators on juvenile justice, he would have authored a revolutionary and inspiring treatise on how -- despite the negative odds of growing poverty, more chaotic homes, and deteriorating job and education opportunity for youth of color -- Los Angeles teenagers and the stressed juvenile justice system can boast surprising successes. Instead, Humes resorts to unwarranted, inflammatory denigration of an entire generation and produces a disappointingly standard book that misses the real story.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful, haunting, and illuminating
    I read this book for a history of child welfare class and found it impossible to put down. Humes clearly illustrates the problems with the U.S. Juvenile Justice system in Los Angeles. He follows several teen-agers through their trials, mis-trials, time in the California Youth Authority, and rehabilitation. Even though these children are often convicted, you have a chance to see that they really are just children. This book inspired me to pursue a career in juvenile justice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent view into the world of the juvenile system
    I read this book for my intro to sociology class my freshman year of college. I could not put the book down. Humes does an excellent job of stringing the reader along, from the details of the juvenile court system to following individual teenaged offenders around the city.


    If you ever have to read a book for a Sociology or Criminology class, I highly recommend this book. It is so enchanting that it makes the reading incredibly easy

    5-0 out of 5 stars My heart heard Georges Voice.
    I was lucky enought to meet this "heaven sent" man. When I read the book, I finally realized why I was so drawn to George. He was like me. A child that lived a life of being inprisoned because of the unfair life we were raised to lead. If your a so called "Failure to Society," then this is a book that would relive your soul. You will finally discover that you are not alone. To George, I wanna say thank you for everything, and I love you with all my heart and soul.

    I dont want to see, this hell sent tragity? We are seperated unlawly. How could this be? Like the life I lead, When I love, Someone ends up to leave. I wind up with a broken heart, that will forever greeve!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've read
    I read this book for my sociology class. It was the best I've read. The stories of these kids are so involving and twisted that you wonder if this is book is fiction. This gives such insight to the problems of todays juveniles and how the court system fails them repeatedly and how the kids fail themself. Truly sad and yet reminding us how cold life can be and how fortunate some of us actually are relative to these kids. Although you can read this book in a few hours, it's still worth having on your shelf. This book is part indictment of the system and part spotlight on the troubles ahead for us all if it's not corrected. ... Read more


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