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Short Synopsis
Why mass incarceration endures in the face of reforms, and how to truly change America's vast criminal justice system.

Full Synopsis
In this book, Katherine Beckett explains how and why mass incarceration persists despite growing recognition of its many failures, plummeting crime rates, and widespread efforts by state legislators and others to reduce prison populations. Beckett identifies three primary forces sustaining incarceration rates in this country: political dynamics around violence, resistance to criminal legal system reform in suburban and rural counties, and the failure of popular drug policy reforms to reduce the reach of the criminal legal system.

Beckett then turns to the question of how we can meaningfully decrease the size of the criminal justice system when so many reforms have failed. Drawing on extensive research, she argues for political and policy shifts that would significantly reduce the scale of punishment while also addressing the underlying social problems to which those extreme penalties are a misguided response. We need to reimagine our view of public safety and understand that locking up millions of our citizens does not make us safer.

Rather than focusing on one key change as a cure for our criminal justice system, Ending Mass Incarceration provides a cogent analysis of the dynamics working to sustain mass incarceration, the reforms that have been attempted to date, and the reforms we need to bring about truly transformative change.

Ending Mass Incarceration

Why it Persists and How to Achieve Meaningful Reform

Author Katherine Beckett

Narrated by Wendy Tremont King

Publication date Jul 12, 2022

Running time 10 hrs 25 min

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