American Prison

American Prison
Author: Shane Bauer
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2018-09-18
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9780735223592

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An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —NPR.org New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018 * Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism * Winner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism Award * A New York Times Notable Book A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history. In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still. The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

Prison and Slavery A Surprising Comparison

Prison and Slavery   A Surprising Comparison
Author: John Dewar Gleissner
Publsiher: John Dewar Gleissner
Total Pages: 460
Release: 2010-11-17
Genre: African American prisoners
ISBN: 9781432753832

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* The U.S. has 5% of the worlds population and 25% of its prisoners.* In 1840, the U.S. had 2,487,455 slaves.* In 2009, the U.S. had 2,424,279 prisoners of all races.* Today, African-Americans in the correctional population, including those on probation and parole, outnumber all U.S. slaves in 1850.* The modern American prisoner is 20 times more likely to commit suicide than the antebellum slave. A surprising comparison using thorough research proves that modern mass incarceration is an unrealized social and financial disaster of mammoth proportions while antebellum slavery for most U.S. slaves was not as inhumane as many believe. This historically accurate book contrasts the modern American prison system with antebellum slavery. You will hear from hundreds of ex-slaves in their own words and learn the gruesome facts about our modern correctional population of 7.3 million Americans. In the Old South, outlaws were generally white people, while slaves were considered safe and never incarcerated race and crime are not truly related. The author proposes racially neutral reforms to reduce and improve incarceration through discipline and hard work, substantially helping taxpayers, victims of crime, our new age slaves in prison and the American economy. This book contains the only practical market-oriented, faith-based solutions to what the NAACPs president now regards as the greatest major crisis in our democracy, mass incarceration. Forget stereotypes. The facts will surprise you.

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name
Author: Douglas A. Blackmon
Publsiher: Icon Books
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2012-10-04
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781848314139

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the mistreatment of black Americans. In this 'precise and eloquent work' - as described in its Pulitzer Prize citation - Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an 'Age of Neoslavery' that thrived in the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude thereafter. By turns moving, sobering and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals these stories, the companies that profited the most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow
Author: Michelle Alexander
Publsiher: The New Press
Total Pages: 434
Release: 2020-01-07
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9781620971949

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Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly‚ Slate‚ Chronicle of Higher Eduction‚ Literary Hub, Book Riot‚ and Zora A tenth-anniversary edition of the iconic bestseller—“one of the most influential books of the past 20 years,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education—with a new preface by the author “It is in no small part thanks to Alexander’s account that civil rights organizations such as Black Lives Matter have focused so much of their energy on the criminal justice system.” —Adam Shatz, London Review of Books Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is “undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.” Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.

Are Prisons Obsolete

Are Prisons Obsolete
Author: Angela Y. Davis
Publsiher: Seven Stories Press
Total Pages: 128
Release: 2011-01-04
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9781609801045

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With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable. In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.

Prison Slavery

Prison Slavery
Author: Barbara Esposito,Lee Wood
Publsiher: Abolish Prison Slavery
Total Pages: 225
Release: 1982
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780910007009

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The Law Is a White Dog How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons

The Law Is a White Dog   How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons
Author: Colin Dayan
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 343
Release: 2013-03-03
Genre: Law
ISBN: 9780691157870

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Abused dogs, prisoners tortured in Guantánamo and supermax facilities, or slaves killed by the state--all are deprived of personhood through legal acts. Such deprivations have recurred throughout history, and the law sustains these terrors and banishments even as it upholds the civil order. Examining such troubling cases, The Law Is a White Dog tackles key societal questions: How does the law construct our identities? How do its rules and sanctions make or unmake persons? And how do the supposedly rational claims of the law define marginal entities, both natural and supernatural, including ghosts, dogs, slaves, terrorist suspects, and felons? Reading the language, allusions, and symbols of legal discourse, and bridging distinctions between the human and nonhuman, Colin Dayan looks at how the law disfigures individuals and animals, and how slavery, punishment, and torture create unforeseen effects in our daily lives. Moving seamlessly across genres and disciplines, Dayan considers legal practices and spiritual beliefs from medieval England, the North American colonies, and the Caribbean that have survived in our legal discourse, and she explores the civil deaths of felons and slaves through lawful repression. Tracing the legacy of slavery in the United States in the structures of the contemporary American prison system and in the administrative detention of ghostly supermax facilities, she also demonstrates how contemporary jurisprudence regarding cruel and unusual punishment prepared the way for abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo. Using conventional historical and legal sources to answer unconventional questions, The Law Is a White Dog illuminates stark truths about civil society's ability to marginalize, exclude, and dehumanize.

Prison Labour Salvation or Slavery

Prison Labour  Salvation or Slavery
Author: Dirk van Zyl Smit,Frieder Dünkel
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2018-12-20
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9780429762284

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First published in 1999, this collection of articles responds to the controversial debate on whether prison labour constitutes betterment or slave labour. The volume is a stock-taking exercise designed to elicit basic information as a foundation for reconsidering fixed assumptions about prison labour. This controversial issue has had sometimes diametrically opposed claims about it over the years. Contributors examine the issue within the context of a range of countries, alongside broader perspectives on international elements and reflections.

Slaves of the State

Slaves of the State
Author: Dennis Childs
Publsiher: U of Minnesota Press
Total Pages: 280
Release: 2015-02-27
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781452943640

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The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed in 1865, has long been viewed as a definitive break with the nation’s past by abolishing slavery and ushering in an inexorable march toward black freedom. Slaves of the State presents a stunning counterhistory to this linear narrative of racial, social, and legal progress in America. Dennis Childs argues that the incarceration of black people and other historically repressed groups in chain gangs, peon camps, prison plantations, and penitentiaries represents a ghostly perpetuation of chattel slavery. He exposes how the Thirteenth Amendment’s exception clause—allowing for enslavement as “punishment for a crime”—has inaugurated forms of racial capitalist misogynist incarceration that serve as haunting returns of conditions Africans endured in the barracoons and slave ship holds of the Middle Passage, on plantations, and in chattel slavery. Childs seeks out the historically muted voices of those entombed within terrorizing spaces such as the chain gang rolling cage and the modern solitary confinement cell, engaging the writings of Toni Morrison and Chester Himes as well as a broad range of archival materials, including landmark court cases, prison songs, and testimonies, reaching back to the birth of modern slave plantations such as Louisiana’s “Angola” penitentiary. Slaves of the State paves the way for a new understanding of chattel slavery as a continuing social reality of U.S. empire—one resting at the very foundation of today’s prison industrial complex that now holds more than 2.3 million people within the country’s jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers.

The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict

The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict
Author: Austin Reed
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2016-01-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780812997101

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The earliest known prison memoir by an African American writer—recently discovered and authenticated by a team of Yale scholars—sheds light on the longstanding connection between race and incarceration in America. “[A] harrowing [portrait] of life behind bars . . . part confession, part jeremiad, part lamentation, part picaresque novel (reminiscent, at times, of Dickens and Defoe).”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE In 2009, scholars at Yale University came across a startling manuscript: the memoir of Austin Reed, a free black man born in the 1820s who spent most of his early life ricocheting between forced labor in prison and forced labor as an indentured servant. Lost for more than one hundred and fifty years, the handwritten document is the first known prison memoir written by an African American. Corroborated by prison records and other documentary sources, Reed’s text gives a gripping first-person account of an antebellum Northern life lived outside slavery that nonetheless bore, in its day-to-day details, unsettling resemblances to that very institution. Now, for the first time, we can hear Austin Reed’s story as he meant to tell it. He was born to a middle-class black family in the boomtown of Rochester, New York, but when his father died, his mother struggled to make ends meet. Still a child, Reed was placed as an indentured servant to a nearby family of white farmers near Rochester. He was caught attempting to set fire to a building and sentenced to ten years at Manhattan’s brutal House of Refuge, an early juvenile reformatory that would soon become known for beatings and forced labor. Seven years later, Reed found himself at New York’s infamous Auburn State Prison. It was there that he finished writing this memoir, which explores America’s first reformatory and first industrial prison from an inmate’s point of view, recalling the great cruelties and kindnesses he experienced in those places and excavating patterns of racial segregation, exploitation, and bondage that extended beyond the boundaries of the slaveholding South, into free New York. Accompanied by fascinating historical documents (including a series of poignant letters written by Reed near the end of his life), The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict is a work of uncommon beauty that tells a story of nineteenth-century racism, violence, labor, and captivity in a proud, defiant voice. Reed’s memoir illuminates his own life and times—as well as ours today. Praise for The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict “One of the most fascinating and important memoirs ever produced in the United States.”—Annette Gordon-Reed, The Washington Post “Remarkable . . . triumphantly defiant . . . The book’s greatest value lies in the gap it fills.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Reed displays virtuosic gifts for narrative that, a century and a half later, earn and hold the reader’s ear.”—Thomas Chatterton Williams, San Francisco Chronicle “[The book’s] urgency and relevance remain undiminished. . . . This exemplary edition recovers history without permanently trapping it in one interpretation.”—The Guardian “A sensational, novelistic telling of an eventful life.”—The Paris Review “Vivid and painful.”—NPR “Lyrical and graceful in one sentence, burning with fury and hellfire in the next.”—Columbus Free Press

From Slavery to Prison

From Slavery to Prison
Author: Bahir Kamil
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 133
Release: 1997
Genre: Forced labor
ISBN: 0971720207

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Wake

Wake
Author: Rebecca Hall
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 208
Release: 2021-06-01
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781982115203

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Part graphic novel, part memoir, Wake is an imaginative tour-de-force that tells the story of women-led slave revolts and chronicles scholar Rebecca Hall’s efforts to uncover the truth about these women warriors who, until now, have been left out of the historical record. Women warriors planned and led slave revolts on slave ships during the Middle Passage. They fought their enslavers throughout the Americas. And then they were erased from history. Wake tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts has always told her that enslaved women took a back seat. But Rebecca decides to look deeper, and her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan. She finds women warriors everywhere. Using in-depth archival research and a measured use of historical imagination, Rebecca constructs the likely pasts of Adono and Alele, women rebels who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage, as well as the stories of women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York. We also follow Rebecca’s own story as the legacy of slavery shapes life, both during her time as a successful attorney and later as a historian seeking the past that haunts her. Illustrated beautifully in black and white, Wake will take its place alongside classics of the graphic novel genre, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. The story of both a personal and national legacy, it is a powerful reminder that while the past is gone, we still live in its wake.

We Are Not Slaves

We Are Not Slaves
Author: Robert T. Chase
Publsiher: UNC Press Books
Total Pages: 544
Release: 2019-11-21
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781469653587

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In the early twentieth century, the brutality of southern prisons became a national scandal. Prisoners toiled in grueling, violent conditions while housed in crude dormitories on what were effectively slave plantations. This system persisted until the 1940s when, led by Texas, southern states adopted northern prison design reforms. Texas presented the reforms to the public as modern, efficient, and disciplined. Inside prisons, however, the transition to penitentiary cells only made the endemic violence more secretive, intensifying the labor division that privileged some prisoners with the power to accelerate state-orchestrated brutality and the internal sex trade. Reformers' efforts had only made things worse--now it was up to the prisoners to fight for change. Drawing from three decades of legal documents compiled by prisoners, Robert T. Chase narrates the struggle to change prison from within. Prisoners forged an alliance with the NAACP to contest the constitutionality of Texas prisons. Behind bars, a prisoner coalition of Chicano Movement and Black Power organizations publicized their deplorable conditions as "slaves of the state" and initiated a prison-made civil rights revolution and labor protest movement. These insurgents won epochal legal victories that declared conditions in many southern prisons to be cruel and unusual--but their movement was overwhelmed by the increasing militarization of the prison system and empowerment of white supremacist gangs that, together, declared war on prison organizers. Told from the vantage point of the prisoners themselves, this book weaves together untold but devastatingly important truths from the histories of labor, civil rights, and politics in the United States as it narrates the transition from prison plantations of the past to the mass incarceration of today.

Celia a Slave

Celia  a Slave
Author: Melton A. McLaurin
Publsiher: University of Georgia Press
Total Pages: 160
Release: 2011-03-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0820341592

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Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging widower and one of the most prosperous and respected citizens of Callaway County, Missouri. The pattern of sexual abuse that would mark their entire relationship began almost immediately. After purchasing Celia in a neighboring county, Newsom raped her on the journey back to his farm. He then established her in a small cabin near his house and visited her regularly (most likely with the knowledge of the son and two daughters who lived with him). Over the next five years, Celia bore Newsom two children; meanwhile, she became involved with a slave named George and resolved at his insistence to end the relationship with her master. When Newsom refused, Celia one night struck him fatally with a club and disposed of his body in her fireplace. Her act quickly discovered, Celia was brought to trial. She received a surprisingly vigorous defense from her court-appointed attorneys, who built their case on a state law allowing women the use of deadly force to defend their honor. Nevertheless, the court upheld the tenets of a white social order that wielded almost total control over the lives of slaves. Celia was found guilty and hanged. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society. Celia's case demonstrates how one master's abuse of power over a single slave forced whites to make moral decisions about the nature of slavery. McLaurin focuses sharply on the role of gender, exploring the degree to which female slaves were sexually exploited, the conditions that often prevented white women from stopping such abuse, and the inability of male slaves to defend slave women. Setting the case in the context of the 1850s slavery debates, he also probes the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. By granting slaves certain statutory rights (which were usually rendered meaningless by the customary prerogatives of masters), southerners could argue that they observed moral restraint in the operations of their peculiar institution. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, A Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.

Sentenced To Slavery

Sentenced To Slavery
Author: Peter King
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 190
Release: 2019-10-02
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1786952173

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She was a farm girl trying to escape an uncomfortable situation at home by running away to the big city. But eighteen year old Denise quickly finds that she is not equipped for it and quickly runs afoul of the law. In her country slavery has been legalized and she is offered the choice of prison or being sold into servitude to a private citizen. In fear of prison she opts for slavery, and soon finds it was nothing she could have ever imagined. As a young and beautiful woman she is earmarked for a very specific vocation, and the couple that set their sights on her are determined to acquire her. Once they do, Denise learns that what she left home to avoid was nothing compared to what she would have to surrender now. But in the process, she also learns that their was a side to her nature that she had denied, and she no longer could.