Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Punishment Imperative by Todd R. Clear and Natasha A. Frost
As someone with a growing interesting in the state of prisons and jails in the United States I was happy to get a chance to read through 'The Punishment Imperative.' Unfortunately, as someone accustomed to reading historical monographs, a study written by criminal justice professionals just did not read as well or as coherently as I hoped. The majority of the book was repetitive and while based on a high volume of sources it did not follow any real chronology or set of themes but rather intertwined subjects and ideas on a regular basis, which at times could be and was confusing to the layman (as I consider myself within this subject matter). For those with a passing interest, I cannot say I'd recommend this monograph on 'The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America' since I did not find a clear, comprehensive study on such a rise or failure. The reader will have to have a foundation in the laws, policies, personalities, ideas, and events that the authors discuss and go over for the arguments made to resonate, unfortunately I am just not at that level of intimacy with the subject at present.