Library Journal | 03/01/2013

Mauer (executive director, The Sentencing Project) penned two reference-heavy text editions of Race To Incarcerate. The work has become a classic for understanding the disparities and toxic effects of U.S. imprisonment practices since the 1970s. The authors explain that the number of prisoners and sentence lengths has greatly increased, yet imprisonment may be an unjust and ineffective remedy in many cases. Moreover, Mauer and Jones (Isadora Duncan; contributor to The Real Cost of Prisons and Studs Terkel’s Working) continue, an "us vs. them" vision has contributed to racial inequalities throughout the law enforcement and correctional systems and current trends suggest a promising shift towards better sentencing plus increased programs in crime prevention and reentry counseling. This adaptation is designed for younger people and cuts to the main points, updating developments since 2006. VERDICT Its political and cultural immediacy makes this an excellent title for adults interested in social issues as well as for college students, teens, and tweens. It also serves as a bridge to Mauer’s original, since skillful black-and-white visuals from Jones add clarity and vividness to complex issues. Back matter includes resources for donating books to prisoners and connecting with prisoner penpals.

 

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