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Short Synopsis
An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

Full Synopsis
Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations—the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons—tell us much less than we think.

Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes—and why some people are violent in the first place.

"In the extremely important book, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, John F. Pfaff analyzes why America incarcerates more people than ever even as crime rates continue to fall . . . [he] also makes a compelling case that incarceration disrupts the lives of the incarcerated and their families long after they have served their time." ---Wall Street Journal

"Timely and authoritative, Pfaff's discussion of mass incarceration provides a valuable and accessible addition to the prison reform narrative and an excellent analysis of the U.S. criminal justice system." ---Library Journal

"A thorough and demanding examination of a problem that has no easy solutions and a challenge to policymakers to discard prior notions about the nature of the problem and the needed reforms." ---Kirkus

Locked In

The True Causes of Mass Incarceration—and How to Achieve Real Reform

Author John F. Pfaff

Narrated by Graham Halstead

Publication date Aug 8, 2017

Running time 9 hrs 10 min

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