Inside Private Prisons:
An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration
with an introduction by CAROL S. STEIKER
This event includes a book signing
November 10, 2017
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Harvard Criminal Justice Policy Program welcome senior counsel in the Brennan Center's Justice Program LAUREN-BROOKE EISEN for a discussion of her book, Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration. She will be introduced by Harvard Law School professor CAROL S. STEIKER.
About Inside Private Prisons
When the tough-on-crime politics of the 1980s overcrowded state prisons, private companies saw potential profit in building and operating correctional facilities. Today more than a hundred thousand of the 1.5 million incarcerated Americans are held in private prisons in twenty-nine states and federal corrections. Private prisons are criticized for making money off mass incarceration―to the tune of $5 billion in annual revenue. Based on Lauren-Brooke Eisen’s work as a prosecutor, journalist, and attorney at policy think tanks, Inside Private Prisons blends investigative reportage and quantitative and historical research to analyze privatized corrections in America.
From divestment campaigns to boardrooms to private immigration-detention centers across the Southwest, Eisen examines private prisons through the eyes of inmates, their families, correctional staff, policymakers, activists, Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, undocumented immigrants, and the executives of America’s largest private prison corporations. Private prisons have become ground zero in the anti-mass-incarceration movement. Universities have divested from these companies, political candidates hesitate to accept their campaign donations, and the Department of Justice tried to phase out its contracts with them. On the other side, impoverished rural towns often try to lure the for-profit prison industry to build facilities and create new jobs. Neither an endorsement or a demonization, Inside Private Prisons details the complicated and perverse incentives rooted in the industry, from mandatory bed occupancy to vested interests in mass incarceration. If private prisons are here to stay, how can we fix them? This book is a blueprint for policymakers to reform practices and for concerned citizens to understand our changing carceral landscape.
"Inside Private Prisons is a careful, discerning assessment of our transformation of human incarceration into product and profit. Lauren-Brooke Eisen has compiled a definitive history of the phenomenon and has done so with more precision and equanimity than many of us can manage. If you want to intelligently argue about the modern prison-industrial complex, begin your studies here." —David Simon, creator of The Wire
"Lauren-Brooke Eisen’s study of private prisons is long awaited, powerful, and a critically important read for all citizens who seek to understand the relationship between profit and incarceration, and who hope to protect those who find themselves locked up in private facilities across the nation. From Colorado to South Texas to Wisconsin, and from CCA/CiviCore to GEO Group, Eisen takes us inside a world that many of us revile, but know virtually nothing about. She not only explodes many a myth about private prisons as well as detention centers but ultimately offers an invaluable blueprint for humanizing them. Like it or not, she points out, they are real places where real people, at least for the foreseeable future, will be contained." —Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water
"Lauren-Brooke Eisen illuminates the history of private prisons and their place in the current environment and the future of mass incarceration in America―which we are trying to minimize. She incorporates individual interviews with a collation of quantitative data to strike a balance between fine detail and the big picture of the complex and still-evolving discourse of private corrections; a vital discussion for the future of our criminal justice and immigration policies." —Ernest Drucker, author of A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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Harvard Book Store's Friday Forum series takes place on Friday afternoons during the academic year as a way to highlight scholarly books in a wide range of fields, with a particular focus on local scholars. Friday Forums take place at 3pm in Harvard Book Store.
Harvard Criminal Justice Policy Program: http://cjpp.law.harvard.edu/
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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