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By Robert A. Ferguson

America's felony justice process is damaged. the USA punishes at the next in keeping with capita fee than the other state on the planet. within the final two decades, incarceration premiums have risen 500 percentage. Sentences are harsh, prisons are overcrowded, lifestyles within is risky, and rehabilitation courses are useless. Police and prosecutors function at midnight shadows of the felony process--sometimes resigning themselves to the established order, occasionally turning a take advantage of it. The courts outline punishment as "time served," yet that barely starts off to give an explanation for the anguish of prisoners.

Looking not just to court docket files yet to works of philosophy, heritage, and literature for illumination, Robert Ferguson, a exclusive legislations professor, diagnoses all elements of a now monstrous, out-of-control punishment regime. He unearths the veiled excitement in the back of the impulse to punish (which confuses our pondering the aim of punishment), explains why through the years all punishment regimes impose better degrees of punishment than initially meant, and strains a anxious hole among our skill to quantify discomfort and the precision with which consequences are passed down.

Ferguson turns the highlight from the controversy over criminal matters to the genuine plight of prisoners, addressing now not legislations pros however the American humans. will we wish our prisons to be this manner? Or are we unaware, or pressured, or detached, or misinformed approximately what's taking place? Acknowledging the soreness of prisoners and figuring out what punishers do once they punish are the 1st steps towards a greater, extra simply system.

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