Prisons Inside the New America
From Vernooykill Creek to Abu Ghraib
By David Matlin
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781556435492, 143pp.)
Publication Date: April 2005
List Price: $14.95*
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This powerful exposè reveals how America's ailing prison system undermines the public trust. For ten years, David Matlin taught at a maximum-security prison, where he confronted daily the nature of society, crime, and violence. Based on his experiences, this book examines the history of prisons in the United States and shows the terrible price a lethal combination of degradation, abuse, and corruption inflicts on inmates and society as a whole. Matlin argues that privatization of the prison industry has led to irreversible tragedy both at home and abroad, weakening our national identity and shattering public trust in the American justice system. Engulfing and enraging, the book challenges readers to take a long look at the culture of crime and punishment.
"It's a really impressive piece of work, which captures with wrenching vividness the torture we inflict on others, and ultimately on ourselves."
"David Matlin's Prisons is an eloquent and powerful rumination on his experience teaching in prison. It goes beyond his personal story to put into sharp and disturbing perspective the larger problem, so cruelly handled in our society, of crime and punishment."