front cover of After Prison
After Prison
Navigating Adulthood in the Shadow of the Justice System
David J. Harding
Russell Sage Foundation, 2020
The incarceration rate in the United States is the highest of any developed nation, with a prison population of approximately 2.3 million in 2016. Over 700,000 prisoners are released each year, and most face significant educational, economic, and social disadvantages. In After Prison, sociologist David Harding and criminologist Heather Harris provide a comprehensive account of young men’s experiences of reentry and reintegration in the era of mass incarceration. They focus on the unique challenges faced by 1,300 black and white youth aged 18 to 25 who were released from Michigan prisons in 2003, investigating the lives of those who achieved some measure of success after leaving prison as well as those who struggled with the challenges of creating new lives for themselves.

The transition to young adulthood typically includes school completion, full-time employment, leaving the childhood home, marriage, and childbearing, events that are disrupted by incarceration. While one quarter of the young men who participated in the study successfully transitioned into adulthood—achieving employment and residential independence and avoiding arrest and incarceration—the same number of young men remained deeply involved with the criminal justice system, spending on average four out of the seven years after their initial release re-incarcerated. Not surprisingly, whites are more likely to experience success after prison. The authors attribute this racial disparity to the increased stigma of criminal records for blacks, racial discrimination, and differing levels of social network support that connect whites to higher quality jobs. Black men earn less than white men, are more concentrated in industries characterized by low wages and job insecurity, and are less likely to remain employed once they have a job.

   The authors demonstrate that families, social networks, neighborhoods, and labor market, educational, and criminal justice institutions can have a profound impact on young people’s lives. Their research indicates that residential stability is key to the transition to adulthood. Harding and Harris make the case for helping families, municipalities, and non-profit organizations provide formerly incarcerated young people access to long-term supportive housing and public housing. A remarkably large number of men in this study eventually enrolled in college, reflecting the growing recognition of college as a gateway to living wage work. But the young men in the study spent only brief spells in college, and the majority failed to earn degrees. They were most likely to enroll in community colleges, trade schools, and for-profit institutions, suggesting that interventions focused on these kinds of schools are more likely to be effective. The authors suggest that, in addition to helping students find employment, educational institutions can aid reentry efforts for the formerly incarcerated by providing supports like childcare and paid apprenticeships.

            After Prison offers a set of targeted policy interventions to improve these young people’s chances: lifting restrictions on federal financial aid for education, encouraging criminal record sealing and expungement, and reducing the use of incarceration in response to technical parole violations. This book will be an important contribution to the fields of scholarly work on the criminal justice system and disconnected youth.
 
 
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Arkansas Godfather
The Story of Owney Madden and How He Hijacked Middle America
Graham Nown
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
Owney Madden lived a seemingly quiet life for decades in the resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, while he was actually helping some of America's most notorious gangsters rule a vast criminal empire. In 1987, Graham Nown first told Madden's story in his book The English Godfather, in which he traced Madden's boyhood in England, his immigration to New York City, and his rise to mob boss. Nown also uncovered a love story involving Madden and the daughter of the Hot Springs postmaster. Before his arrival in Hot Springs, Madden was one of the most powerful gangsters in New York City and former owner of the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. The story of his life shows us a world where people can break the law without ever getting caught, and where criminality is so entwined in government and society that one might wonder what is legality and what isn't.
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Ask the Parrot
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2017
In Ask the Parrot, Parker’s back on the run, dodging dogs, cops, and even a helicopter. His escape brings him to rural Massachusetts, where he meets a small-town recluse who Forced to work with a small-town recluse nursing a grudge against the racetrack that fired him. Even on the run, Parker manages to get up to no good. It'll be a deadly day at the races.
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Backflash
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2011

Parker's got a couple of rules that have helped keep him alive throughout his long career. One of those is never to work on a boat. But with a gambling boat cruising down the Hudson, stuffed to the gunwales with cash, Parker’s got a plan, a team, and a new rule: a shot at a big enough score makes any rule worth breaking. Parker and his crew hit the boat, hard, but as always, there are a lot of complications—and a lot of bodies—before this one's in the bag.

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Barriers to Reentry?
The Labor Market for Released Prisoners in Post-Industrial America
Shawn D. Bushway
Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
With the introduction of more aggressive policing, prosecution, and sentencing since the late 1970s, the number of Americans in prison has increased dramatically. While many have credited these "get tough" policies with lowering violent crime rates, we are only just beginning to understand the broader costs of mass incarceration. In Barriers to Reentry? experts on labor markets and the criminal justice system investigate how imprisonment affects ex-offenders' employment prospects, and how the challenge of finding work after prison affects the likelihood that they will break the law again and return to prison. The authors examine the intersection of imprisonment and employment from many vantage points, including employer surveys, interviews with former prisoners, and state data on prison employment programs and post-incarceration employment rates. Ex-prisoners face many obstacles to re-entering the job market—from employers' fears of negligent hiring lawsuits to the lost opportunities for acquiring work experience while incarcerated. In a study of former prisoners, Becky Pettit and Christopher Lyons find that employment among this group was actually higher immediately after their release than before they were incarcerated, but that over time their employment rate dropped to their pre-imprisonment levels. Exploring the demand side of the equation, Harry Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael Stoll report on their survey of employers in Los Angeles about the hiring of former criminals, in which they find strong evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against ex-prisoners. Devah Pager finds similar evidence of employer discrimination in an experiment in which Milwaukee employers were presented with applications for otherwise comparable jobseekers, some of whom had criminal records and some of whom did not. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of research by Steven Raphael and David Weiman which shows that ex-criminals are more likely to violate parole if they are unemployed. In a concluding chapter, Bruce Western warns that prison is becoming the norm for too many inner-city minority males; by preventing access to the labor market, mass incarceration is exacerbating inequality. Western argues that, ultimately, the most successful policies are those that keep young men out of prison in the first place. Promoting social justice and reducing recidivism both demand greater efforts to reintegrate former prisoners into the workforce. Barriers to Reentry? cogently underscores one of the major social costs of incarceration, and builds a compelling case for rethinking the way our country rehabilitates criminals.
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Beggars and Thieves
Lives of Urban Street Criminals
Mark S. Fleisher
University of Wisconsin Press, 1995

As the incidence of violent crime rises in the United States, so does the public demand for a solution. But what will work?
    Mark S. Fleisher has spent years among inmates in jails and prisons and on the streets with thieves, gang members, addicts, and life-long criminals in Seattle and other cities across the country. In Beggars and Thieves, he writes about how and why they become and remain offenders, and about the actual role of jails and prisons in efforts to deter crime and rehabilitate criminals. Fleisher shows, with wrenching firsthand accounts, that parents who are addicts, abusers, and criminals beget irreversibly damaged children who become addicts, abusers, and criminals. Further, Fleisher contends that many well-intentioned educational and vocational training programs are wasted because they are offered too late to help. And, he provides sobering evidence that many youthful and adult offenders find themselves better off in prison—with work to do, medical care, a clean place to sleep, regular meals, and stable social ties—than they are in America’s cities.
    Fleisher calls for anti-crime policies that are bold, practical, and absolutely imperative. He prescribes life terms for violent offenders, but in prisons structured as work communities, where privileges are earned through work in expanded, productive industries that reduce the financial burden of incarceration on the public. But most important, he argues that the only way to prevent street crime, cut prison growth, and reduce the waste of money and human lives is to permanently remove brutalized children from criminal, addicted, and violent parents.

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Beyond Desert Walls
Essays from Prison
Ken Lamberton
University of Arizona Press, 2005
“From the upper bunk where I write, a narrow window allows me a southern exposure of the desert beyond this prison. Saguaro cacti, residents here long before this rude concrete pueblo, fill the upper part of my frame. If I could open the window and reach out across the razed ground, sand traps, and shining perimeter fence, I might touch their fluted sides, their glaucous and waxen skins.”
 
For some people, even prison cannot shut out the natural world.

A teacher and family man incarcerated in Arizona State Prison—the result of a transgression that would cost him a dozen years of his life—Ken Lamberton can see beyond his desert walls. In essays that focus on the natural history of the region and on his own personal experiences with desert places, the author of the Burroughs Medal-winning book Wilderness and Razor Wire takes readers along as he revisits the Southwest he knew when he was free, and as he makes an inner journey toward self-awareness. Whether considering the seemingly eternal cacti or the desolate beauty of the Pinacate, he draws on sharp powers of observation to re-create what lies beyond his six-by-eight cell and to contemplate the thoughts that haunt his mind as tenaciously as the kissing bugs that haunt his sleep.

Ranging from prehistoric ruins on the Colorado Plateau to the shores of the Sea of Cortez, these writings were begun before Wilderness and Razor Wire and serve as a prequel to it. They seamlessly interweave natural and personal history as Lamberton explores caves, canyons, and dry ponds, evoking the mysteries and rhythms of desert life that elude even the most careful observers. He offers new ways of thinking about how we relate to the natural world, and about the links between those relationships and the ones we forge with other people. With the assurance of a gifted writer, he seeks to make sense of his own place in life, crafting words to come to terms with an insanity of his own making, to look inside himself and understand his passions and flaws.

Whether considering rattlesnakes of the hellish summer desert or the fellow inmates of his own personal hell, Lamberton finds meaningful connections—to his crime and his place, to the people who remained in his life and those who didn’t. But what he reveals in Beyond Desert Walls ultimately arises from language itself: a deep, and perhaps even frightening, understanding of a singular human nature.
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Big Prisons, Big Dreams
Crime and the Failure of America's Penal System
Michael J. Lynch
Rutgers University Press, 2007

The American prison system has grown tenfold since the 1970s, but crime rates in the United States have not decreased. This doesn't surprise Michael J. Lynch, a critical criminologist, who argues that our oversized prison system is a product of our consumer culture, the public's inaccurate beliefs about controlling crime, and the government's criminalizing of the poor.

While deterrence and incapacitation theories suggest that imprisoning more criminals and punishing them leads to a reduction in crime, case studies, such as one focusing on the New York City jail system between 1993 and 2003, show that a reduction in crime is unrelated to the size of jail populations. Although we are locking away more people, Lynch explains that we are not targeting the worst offenders. Prison populations are comprised of the poor, and many are incarcerated for relatively minor robberies and violence. America's prison expansion focused on this group to the exclusion of corporate and white collar offenders who create hazardous workplace and environmental conditions that lead to deaths and injuries, and enormous economic crimes. If America truly wants to reduce crime, Lynch urges readers to rethink cultural values that equate bigger with better.

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The Black Ice Score
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2010
A corrupt African colonel has converted half his country’s wealth into diamonds and smuggled them to a Manhattan safe house. Four upstanding citizens plan to rescue their new nation by stealing the diamonds back—with the help of a “specialist”: Parker. Will Parker break his rule against working with amateurs and help them because his woman would be disappointed if he doesn’t? Or because three hired morons have threatened to kill him and his woman if he does? They thought they were buying an advantage, but what they get is a predated death certificate.
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Butcher's Moon
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2011

The sixteenth Parker novel, Butcher’s Moon is more than twice as long as most of the master heister’s adventures, and absolutely jammed with the action, violence, and nerve-jangling tension readers have come to expect. Back in the corrupt town where he lost his money, and nearly his life, in Slayground, Parker assembles a stunning cast of characters from throughout his career for one gigantic, blowout job: starting—and finishing—a gang war. It feels like the Parker novel to end all Parker novels, and for nearly twenty-five years that’s what it was. After its publication in 1974, Donald Westlake said, “Richard Stark proved to me that he had a life of his own by simply disappearing. He was gone.”
 
Featuring a new introduction by Westlake’s close friend and writing partner, Lawrence Block, this classic Parker adventure deserves a place of honor on any crime fan’s bookshelf. More than thirty-five years later, Butcher’s Moon still packs a punch: keep your calendar clear when you pick it up, because once you open it you won’t want to do anything but read until the last shot is fired.

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Chicago Heights
Little Joe College, the Outfit, and the Fall of Sam Giancana
Charles Hager with David T. Miller, Foreword by Louis Corsino, Afterword by Ashleigh D'Andrea
Southern Illinois University Press, 2018
Winner, ISHS Best of Illinois History Award, 2019

In this riveting true story of coming of age in the Chicago Mob, Charles “Charley” Hager is plucked from his rural West Virginia home by an uncle in the 1960s and thrown into an underworld of money, cars, crime, and murder on the streets of Chicago Heights.
 
Street-smart and good with his hands, Hager is accepted into the working life of a chauffeur and “street tax” collector, earning the moniker “Little Joe College” by notorious mob boss Albert Tocco. But when his childhood friend is gunned down by a hit man, Hager finds himself a bit player in the events surrounding the mysterious, and yet unsolved, murder of mafia chief Sam Giancana.
 
Chicago Heights is part rags-to-riches story, part murder mystery, and part redemption tale. Hager, with author David T. Miller, juxtaposes his early years in West Virginia with his life in crime, intricately weaving his own experiences into the fabric of mob life, its many characters, and the murder of Giancana.
 
Fueled by vivid recollections of turf wars and chop shops, of fix-ridden harness racing and the turbulent politics of the 1960s, Chicago Heights reveals similarities between high-level organized crime in the city and the corrupt lawlessness of Appalachia. Hager candidly reveals how he got caught up in a criminal life, what it cost him, and how he rebuilt his life back in West Virginia with a prison record.
 
Based on interviews with Hager and supplemented by additional interviews and extensive research by Miller, the book also adds Hager’s unique voice to the volumes of speculation about Giancana’s murder, offering a plausible theory of what happened on that June night in 1975. 
 
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City of Suspects
Crime in Mexico City, 1900–1931
Pablo Piccato
Duke University Press, 2001
In City of Suspects Pablo Piccato explores the multiple dimensions of crime in early-twentieth-century Mexico City. Basing his research on previously untapped judicial sources, prisoners’ letters, criminological studies, quantitative data, newspapers, and political archives, Piccato examines the paradoxes of repressive policies toward crime, the impact of social rebellion on patterns of common crime, and the role of urban communities in dealing with transgression on the margins of the judical system.
By investigating postrevolutionary examples of corruption and organized crime, Piccato shines light on the historical foundations of a social problem that remains the main concern of Mexico City today. Emphasizing the social construction of crime and the way it was interpreted within the moral economy of the urban poor, he describes the capital city during the early twentieth century as a contested territory in which a growing population of urban poor had to negotiate the use of public spaces with more powerful citizens and the police. Probing official discourse on deviance, Piccato reveals how the nineteenth-century rise of positivist criminology—which asserted that criminals could be readily distinguished from the normal population based on psychological and physical traits—was used to lend scientific legitimacy to class stratifications and to criminalize working-class culture. Furthermore, he argues, the authorities’ emphasis on punishment, isolation, and stigmatization effectively created cadres of professional criminals, reshaping crime into a more dangerous problem for all inhabitants of the capital.
This unique investigation into crime in Mexico City will interest Latin Americanists, sociologists, and historians of twentieth-century Mexican history.
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Classifying Criminal Offenders with the MMPI-2
The Megargee System
Edwin I. Megargee
University of Minnesota Press, 2001
An essential resource for employing this widely used personality assessment test in correctional settings. Originally developed in the 1970s and now revised for the MMPI-2, the Megargee System provides a method for classifying criminal offenders into groups based on their MMPI-2 profiles. This empirically derived system has been investigated in a wide variety of criminal justice settings including corrections, probation, and parole. It has been tested in minimum, medium, and maximum federal, state, and military correctional institutions, in local jails, in halfway houses, and in forensic mental health units. Its use has been extended to female offenders, older men, and juvenile delinquents. Integrating thirty years of research, this new resource fully evaluates the reliability, validity, sources, and uses of the Megargee system. Classifying Criminal Offenders with the MMPI-2 describes how the system was originally derived and validated and gives instructions on how to classify the original MMPI and MMPI-2 profiles of male and female criminal offenders. It integrates the findings of more than one hundred independent studies with previously unpublished original research investigating the characteristics of each of the system's empirically derived male and female types. On the basis of these data, the authors recommend the optimal settings, change agents, and treatment programs for each type of offender. As the basic reference work on the MMPI-2 Megargee system, this volume will be an essential resource for criminal justice practitioners, psychologists interested in the MMPI-2, and researchers in criminal classification and personality assessment. Edwin I. Megargee is professor of psychology at Florida State University and recognized as the foremost expert on the use of the MMPI instruments in correctional settings. Joyce L. Carbonell is professor of psychology at Florida State University. Martin J. Bohn Jr. is chief psychologist at Florida State Hospital. Greta L. Sliger is a clinical psychologist in Tallahassee, Florida.
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Comeback
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2011

After the bloodbath of Butcher’s Moon, the action-filled blowout Parker adventure, Donald Westlake said, "Richard Stark proved to me that he had a life of his own by simply disappearing. He was gone." And for nearly twenty-five years, he stayed away, while readers waited.
 
But nothing bad is truly gone forever, and Parker’s as bad as they come. According to Westlake, one day in 1997, “suddenly, he came back from the dead, with a chalky prison pallor”—and the resulting novel, Comeback, showed that neither Stark nor Parker had lost a single step. Knocking over a highly lucrative religious revival show, Parker reminds us that not all criminals don ski masks—some prefer to hide behind the wings of fallen angels.

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Contraband
Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground
Michael Kwass
Harvard University Press, 2014

Louis Mandrin led a gang of bandits who brazenly smuggled contraband into eighteenth-century France. Michael Kwass brings new life to the legend of this Gallic Robin Hood and the thriving underworld he helped to create. Decades before the storming of the Bastille, surging world trade excited a revolution in consumption that transformed the French kingdom. Contraband exposes the dark side of this early phase of globalization, revealing hidden connections between illicit commerce, criminality, and popular revolt.

France's economic system was tailor-made for an enterprising outlaw like Mandrin. As French subjects began to crave colonial products, Louis XIV lined the royal coffers by imposing a state monopoly on tobacco from America and an embargo on brilliantly colored calico cloth from India. Vigorous black markets arose through which traffickers fed these exotic goods to eager French consumers. Flouting the law with unparalleled panache, Mandrin captured widespread public attention to become a symbol of a defiant underground.

This furtive economy generated violent clashes between gangs of smugglers and customs agents in the borderlands. Eventually, Mandrin was captured by French troops and put to death in a brutal public execution intended to demonstrate the king's absolute authority. But the spectacle only cemented Mandrin's status as a rebel folk hero in an age of mounting discontent. Amid cycles of underground rebellion and agonizing penal repression, the memory of Mandrin inspired ordinary subjects and Enlightenment philosophers alike to challenge royal power and forge a movement for radical political change.

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The Cornett-Whitley Gang
Violence Unleashed in Texas
David Johnson
University of North Texas Press, 2019

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The Corrigible and the Incorrigible
Science, Medicine, and the Convict in Twentieth-Century Germany
Greg Eghigian
University of Michigan Press, 2015
The Corrigible and the Incorrigible explores the surprising history of efforts aimed at rehabilitating convicts in 20th-century Germany, efforts founded not out of an unbridled optimism about the capacity of people to change, but arising from a chronic anxiety about the potential threats posed by others. Since the 1970s, criminal justice systems on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly emphasized security, surveillance, and atonement, an approach that contrasts with earlier efforts aimed at scientifically understanding, therapeutically correcting, and socially reintegrating convicts. And while a distinction is often drawn between American and European ways of punishment, the contrast reinforces the longstanding impression that modern punishment has played out as a choice between punitive retribution and correctional rehabilitation. Focusing on developments in Nazi, East, and West Germany, The Corrigible and the Incorrigible shows that rehabilitation was considered an extension of, rather than a counterweight to, the hardline emphasis on punishment and security by providing the means to divide those incarcerated into those capable of reform and the irredeemable.

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Crime in the Making
Pathways and Turning Points through Life
Robert J. Sampson and John H. Laub
Harvard University Press, 1993
This new explanation of crime over the life course provides an important foundation for rethinking contemporary theory and criminal justice policy. It is based on the reanalysis of a classic set of data: Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency, Sheldon and Eleanor Gluecks’ mid-twentieth-century study of 500 delinquents and 500 nondelinquents from childhood to adulthood. Several years ago, Robert Sampson and John Laub dusted off sixty cartons of the Gleucks’ data that had been stored in the basement of the Harvard Law School. After a lengthy process of recoding and reanalyzing these data, they developed and tested a theory of informal social control that acknowledges the importance of childhood behavior but rejects the implication that adult social factors have little relevance.
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Criminal Man
Cesare Lombroso
Duke University Press, 2006
Cesare Lombroso is widely considered the founder of criminology. His theory of the “born” criminal dominated European and American thinking about the causes of criminal behavior during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. This volume offers English-language readers the first critical, scholarly translation of Lombroso’s Criminal Man, one of the most famous criminological treatises ever written. The text laid the groundwork for subsequent biological theories of crime, including contemporary genetic explanations.

Originally published in 1876, Criminal Man went through five editions during Lombroso’s lifetime. In each edition Lombroso expanded on his ideas about innate criminality and refined his method for categorizing criminal behavior. In this new translation, Mary Gibson and Nicole Hahn Rafter bring together for the first time excerpts from all five editions in order to represent the development of Lombroso’s thought and his positivistic approach to understanding criminal behavior.

In Criminal Man, Lombroso used modern Darwinian evolutionary theories to “prove” the inferiority of criminals to “honest” people, of women to men, and of blacks to whites, thereby reinforcing the prevailing politics of sexual and racial hierarchy. He was particularly interested in the physical attributes of criminals—the size of their skulls, the shape of their noses—but he also studied the criminals’ various forms of self-expression, such as letters, graffiti, drawings, and tattoos. This volume includes more than forty of Lombroso’s illustrations of the criminal body along with several photographs of his personal collection. Designed to be useful for scholars and to introduce students to Lombroso’s thought, the volume also includes an extensive introduction, notes, appendices, a glossary, and an index.

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Criminals and Enemies
Austin Sarat
University of Massachusetts Press, 2018
Key binaries like public/private and speech/conduct are mainstays of the liberal legal system. However, the pairing of criminal/enemy has received little scholarly attention by comparison. Bringing together a group of distinguished and disciplinarily diverse scholars, Criminals and Enemies, the most recent volume in the Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, addresses this gap in the literature. Drawing on political philosophy, legal analysis, and historical research, this essential volume reveals just how central the criminal/enemy distinction is to the structure and practice of contemporary law.

The editors' introduction situates criminals and enemies in a theoretical context, focusing on the work of Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt, while other essays consider topics ranging from Germany's denazification project to South Africa's pre- and post-apartheid legal regime to the complicating factors introduced by the war on terror. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Stephen Clingman, Jennifer Daskal, Sara Kendall, Devin Pendas, and Annette Weinke.
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The Criminals of Lima and Their Worlds
The Prison Experience, 1850-1935
Carlos Aguirre
Duke University Press, 2005
The Criminals of Lima and Their Worlds is the first major historical study of the creation and development of the prison system in Peru. Carlos Aguirre examines the evolution of prisons for male criminals in Lima from the conception—in the early 1850s—of the initial plans to build penitentiaries through the early-twentieth-century prison reforms undertaken as part of President Augusto Leguia’s attempts to modernize and expand the Peruvian state. Aguirre reconstructs the social, cultural, and doctrinal influences that determined how lawbreakers were treated, how programs of prison reform fared, and how inmates experienced incarceration. He argues that the Peruvian prisons were primarily used not to combat crime or to rehabilitate allegedly deviant individuals, but rather to help reproduce and maintain an essentially unjust social order. In this sense, he finds that the prison system embodied the contradictory and exclusionary nature of modernization in Peru.

Drawing on a large collection of prison and administrative records archived at Peru’s Ministry of Justice, Aguirre offers a detailed account of the daily lives of men incarcerated in Lima’s jails. In showing the extent to which the prisoners actively sought to influence prison life, he reveals the dynamic between prisoners and guards as a process of negotiation, accommodation, and resistance. He describes how police and the Peruvian state defined criminality and how their efforts to base a prison system on the latest scientific theories—imported from Europe and the United States—foundered on the shoals of financial constraints, administrative incompetence, corruption, and widespread public indifference. Locating his findings within the political and social mores of Lima society, Aguirre reflects on the connections between punishment, modernization, and authoritarian traditions in Peru.

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Deadly Edge
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Deadly Edge bids a brutal adieu to the 1960s as Parker robs a rock concert, and the heist goes south. Soon Parker finds himself—and his woman, Claire—menaced by a pair of sadistic, strung-out killers who want anything but a Summer of Love. Parker has a score to settle while Claire’s armed with her first rifle—and they’re both ready to usher in the end of the Age of Aquarius.

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The Earps Invade Southern California
Bootlegging Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the Old Soldiers' Home
Don Chaput
University of North Texas Press, 2020

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End of Its Rope
How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice
Brandon L. Garrett
Harvard University Press, 2017

It isn’t enough to celebrate the death penalty’s demise. We must learn from it.

When Henry McCollum was condemned to death in 1984 in rural North Carolina, death sentences were commonplace. In 2014, DNA tests set McCollum free. By then, death sentences were as rare as lethal lightning strikes. To most observers this national trend came as a surprise. What changed? Brandon Garrett hand-collected and analyzed national data, looking for causes and implications of this turnaround. End of Its Rope explains what he found, and why the story of who killed the death penalty, and how, can be the catalyst for criminal justice reform.

No single factor put the death penalty on the road to extinction, Garrett concludes. Death row exonerations fostered rising awareness of errors in death penalty cases, at the same time that a decline in murder rates eroded law-and-order arguments. Defense lawyers radically improved how they litigate death cases when given adequate resources. More troubling, many states replaced the death penalty with what amounts to a virtual death sentence—life without possibility of parole. Today, the death penalty hangs on in a few scattered counties where prosecutors cling to entrenched habits and patterns of racial bias.

The failed death penalty experiment teaches us how inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments undermine the pursuit of justice. Garrett makes a strong closing case for what a future criminal justice system might look like if these injustices were remedied.

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The Ex-Prisoner's Dilemma
How Women Negotiate Competing Narratives of Reentry and Desistance
Leverentz, Andrea M
Rutgers University Press, 2014
2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

When a woman leaves prison, she enters a world of competing messages and conflicting advice.  Staff from prison, friends, family members, workers at halfway houses and treatment programs all have something to say about who she is, who she should be, and what she should do.  The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma offers an in-depth, firsthand look at how the former prisoner manages messages about returning to the community. 

Over the course of a year, Andrea Leverentz conducted repeated interviews with forty-nine women as they adjusted to life outside of prison and worked to construct new ideas of themselves as former prisoners and as mothers, daughters, sisters, romantic partners, friends, students, and workers.  Listening to these women, along with their family members, friends, and co-workers, Leverentz pieces together the narratives they have created to explain their past records and guide their future behavior.  She traces where these narratives came from and how they were shaped by factors such as gender, race, maternal status, age, and experiences in prison, halfway houses, and twelve-step programs—factors that in turn shaped the women’s expectations for themselves, and others’ expectations of them.  The women’s stories form a powerful picture of the complex, complicated human experience behind dry statistics and policy statements regarding prisoner reentry into society for women, how the experience is different for men and the influence society plays.

With its unique view of how society’s mixed messages play out in ex-prisoners’ lived realities, The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma shows the complexity of these women’s experiences within the broad context of the war on drugs and mass incarceration in America. It offers invaluable lessons for helping such women successfully rejoin society.
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Eyewitness Testimony
Elizabeth F. Loftus
Harvard University Press, 1979

Every year hundreds of defendants are convicted on little more than the say-so of a fellow citizen. Although psychologists have suspected for decades that an eyewitness can be highly unreliable, new evidence leaves no doubt that juries vastly overestimate the credibility of eyewitness accounts. It is a problem that the courts have yet to solve or face squarely.

In Eyewitness Testimony, Elizabeth Loftus makes the psychological case against the eyewitness. Beginning with the basics of eyewitness fallibility, such as poor viewing conditions, brief exposure, and stress, Loftus moves to more subtle factors, such as expectations, biases, and personal stereotypes, all of which can intervene to create erroneous reports. Loftus also shows that eyewitness memory is chronically inaccurate in surprising ways. An ingenious series of experiments reveals that memory can be radically altered by the way an eyewitness is questioned after the fact. New memories can be implanted and old ones unconsciously altered under interrogation.

These results have important implications for court reform, police interrogation methods, defense strategy, and many other aspects of criminal and civil procedure. Eyewitness Testimony is a powerful book that should be required reading for trial lawyers, social psychologists, and anyone who considers the chilling prospect of confronting an eyewitness accusation in a court of law.

[more]

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Familiarity Is the Kingdom of the Lost
Dugmore Boetie
Ohio University Press, 2020
A fast-paced romp through apartheid-era South Africa that exemplifies the creative human capacity to overcome seemingly omnipotent enemies and overwhelming odds. The picaresque hero of this novel, Duggie, is a dispossessed black street kid turned con man. Duggie’s response to being confined to the lowest level of South Africa’s oppressive and humiliating racial hierarchy is to one-up its absurdity with his own glib logic and preposterous schemes. Duggie’s story, as one critic puts it, offers “an encyclopedic catalogue of rip-offs, swindles, and hoaxes” that regularly land him in jail and rely on his white targets’ refusal to admit a black man is capable of outsmarting them. Duggie exploits South Africa’s bureaucratic pass laws and leverages his artificial leg every chance he gets. As “a worthless embarrassment to the authorities and a bad example to the convicts,” Duggie even manages to get himself thrown out of jail. From Duggie’s Depression-era childhood in urban Johannesburg to World War II and the rise of the white supremacist apartheid regime to his final, bitter triumph, Boetie’s narrative celebrates humanity’s relentless drive to survive at any cost. This new edition of Boetie’s out-of-print classic features a recently discovered photograph of the author, an introduction replete with previously unpublished research, numerous annotations, and is accompanied by Lionel Abrahams’ haunting poem, “Soweto Funeral,” composed after attending Boetie’s interment, all of which render the text accessible to a new generation of readers.
[more]

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The Gang as an American Enterprise
Felix M Padilla
Rutgers University Press, 1992
The Diamonds are a Chicago Street gang whose members are second-generation Puerto Rican youths. For Felix Padilla, the young men who join the Diamonds have made a logical choice. The gang is an alternative and dependable route to emotional support, self-respect, material goods, and upward mobility. Although Padilla shares the same ethnic background as the gang members and also grew up in a Chicago barrio, gaining the trust of the Diamonds was not easy. Eventually, however, he was able to get close enough to the members to interview and observe them.

Padilla shows us his decision to join the Diamonds. From early childhood, boys develop positive images of the gang. They realize that the dominant culture promises mobility, but that their paths to that mobility are blocked. By joining a gang they can creatively oppose the dominant culture. Padilla does not paint a romanticized picture of the Diamonds. Some members come to understand that when they sell drugs, they benefit the gang's leaders and suppliers more than themselves. Further, they recognize that the gang is also subject to problems of domination and inequality. Padilla shows that though the Diamonds are sometimes violent, they are not psychopaths. While we need not approve of what they do, he urges us to understand it as a rational response to the doors these young men see closed around them.
[more]

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The Green Eagle Score
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2010
In The Green Eagle Score, Parker cuts his vacation with Claire short with a new job: stealing the entire payroll of an Air Force base in upstate New York. With help from Marty Fusco, fresh out of the pen, and a smart aleck finance clerk named Devers, Parker tries to shorten the odds on the risky job. But the ice is thinner than Parker likes to think—and a wrench always gets thrown in the works.
[more]

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The Handle
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2009

In The Handle, Parker is enlisted by the mob to knock off an island casino guarded by speedboats and heavies, forty miles from the Texas coast. With double-crosses and double-dealings from the word go, Parker knows the line between success and failure on this score would be exactly the length of the barrel of a .38.

[more]

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Hoosier Public Enemy
A Life of John Dillinger
John Beineke
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2014
During the bleak days of the Great Depression, news of economic hardship often took a backseat to articles on the exploits of an outlaw from Indiana—John Dillinger. For a period of fourteen months during 1933 and 1934 Dillinger became the most famous bandit in American history, and no criminal since has matched him for his celebrity and notoriety. Dillinger won public attention not only for his robberies, but his many escapes from the law. The escapes he made from jails or “tight spots,” when it seemed law officials had him cornered, became the stuff of legends. While the public would never admit that they wanted the “bad guy” to win, many could not help but root for the man who appeared to be an underdog. Although his crime wave took place in the last century, the name Dillinger has never left the public imagination
[more]

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The Hunter
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 1962
She shot him just above the belt and left him for dead. Then they torched the house, with Parker in it, and took the money he had helped them steal. It all went down just the way they'd planned, except for one thing: Parker didn't die.

In The Hunter, the first volume in the Parker series, our ruthless antihero roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption. The volume that kickstarted Parker's forty-plus-year career of larceny—and inspired the 1967 motion picture Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin—The Hunter is back, ready to thrill a new generation of noir fans.
[more]

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In the Godfather Garden
The Long Life and Times of Richie "the Boot" Boiardo
Linnett, Richard
Rutgers University Press, 2013
In the Godfather Garden is the true story of the life of Richie “the Boot” Boiardo, one of the most powerful and feared men in the New Jersey underworld. The Boot cut his teeth battling the Jewish gang lord Abner Longy Zwillman on the streets of Newark during Prohibition and endured to become one of the East Coast’s top mobsters, his reign lasting six decades.

To the press and the police, this secretive Don insisted he was nothing more than a simple man who enjoyed puttering about in his beloved vegetable garden on his Livingston, New Jersey, estate. In reality, the Boot was a confidante and kingmaker of politicians, a friend of such celebrities as Joe DiMaggio and George Raft, an acquaintance of Joseph Valachi—who informed on the Boot in 1963—and a sworn enemy of J. Edgar Hoover.

The Boot prospered for more than half a century, remaining an active boss until the day he died at the age of ninety-three. Although he operated in the shadow of bigger Mafia names across the Hudson River (think Charles "Lucky" Luciano and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, a cofounder of the Mafia killer squad Murder Inc. with Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro), the Boot was equally as brutal and efficient. In fact, there was a mysterious place in the gloomy woods behind his lovely garden—a furnace where many thought the Boot took certain people who were never seen again.

Richard Linnett provides an intimate look inside the Boot’s once-powerful Mafia crew, based on the recollections of a grandson of the Boot himself and complemented by never-before-published family photos. Chronicled here are the Prohibition gang wars in New Jersey as well as the murder of Dutch Schultz, a Mafia conspiracy to assassinate Newark mayor Kenneth Gibson, and the mob connections to several prominent state politicians.

Although the Boot never saw the 1972 release of The Godfather, he appreciated the similarities between the character of Vito Corleone and himself, so much so that he hung a sign in his beloved vegetable garden that read “The Godfather Garden.” There’s no doubt he would have relished David Chase’s admission that his muse in creating the HBO series The Sopranos was none other than “Newark’s erstwhile Boiardo crew.”
[more]

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Last Rampage
The Escape of Gary Tison
James W. Clarke
University of Arizona Press, 1999
In 1978 convicted murderer Gary Tison escaped from an Arizona prison with the help of his three sons. Over the following two weeks, Tison and his gang roamed the Southwest, murdering six people before confronting police in a bloody shootout near the Mexican border. Next to the Gunfight at the OK Corral, this is the most sensational crime story in Arizona history.
[more]

front cover of The Man with the Getaway Face
The Man with the Getaway Face
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 1963
In New York there was a contract on his life. In Nebraska there was an unscrupulous plastic surgeon guarded by a punch-drunk fighter. And somewhere in New Jersey there was an armored car stuffed with money. In the middle of it all was Parker.

Parker goes under the knife in The Man with the Getaway Face, changing his face to escape the mob and a contract on his life. Along the way he scores his biggest heist yet, but there’s a catch—a beautiful, dangerous catch who goes by the name Alma.
[more]

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Moses and the Monster and Miss Anne
Carole C. Marks
University of Illinois Press, 2009
This engaging history presents the extraordinary lives of Patty Cannon, Anna Ella Carroll, and Harriet Tubman, three "dangerous" women who grew up in early-nineteenth-century Maryland and were vigorously enmeshed in the social and political maelstrom of antebellum America. The "monstrous" Patty Cannon was a reputed thief, murderer, and leader of a ruthless gang who kidnapped free blacks and sold them back into slavery, whereas Miss Anna Ella Carroll, a relatively genteel unmarried slaveholder, foisted herself into state and national politics by exerting influence on legislators and conspiring with Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks to keep Maryland in the Union when many state legislators clamored to join the Confederacy. And, of course, Harriet Tubman--slave rescuer, abolitionist, and later women's suffragist--was both hailed as "the Moses of her people" and hunted as an outlaw with a price on her head worth at least ten thousand dollars.

All three women lived for a time in close proximity on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, an isolated region that thrived on tobacco and then lost it, procured slaves and then lost them, and produced strong-minded women and then condemned them. Though they never actually met, and their backgrounds and beliefs differed drastically, these women's lives converged through their active experiences of the conflict over slavery in Maryland and beyond, the uncertainties of economic transformation, the struggles in the legal foundation of slavery and, most of all, the growing dispute in gender relations in America.

Throughout this book, Carole C. Marks gleans historical fact and sociological insight from the persistent myths and exaggerations that color the women's legacies, and she investigates the common roots and motivations of three remarkable figures who bucked the era's expectations for women. She also considers how each woman's public identity reflected changing ideas of domesticity and the public sphere, spirituality, and legal rights and limitations. Cannon, Carroll, and Tubman, each in her own way, passionately fought for the future of Maryland and the United States, and from these unique vantage points, Moses and the Monster and Miss Anne portrays the intersecting and conflicting forces of race, economics, and gender that threatened to rend a nation apart.

[more]

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The Mourner
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2009

The Mourner is a story of convergence—of cultures and of guys with guns. Hot on the trail of a statue stolen from a fifteenth-century French tomb, Parker enters a world of eccentric art collectors, greedy foreign officials, and shady KGB agents. Hired by a shifty dame who has something he needs, Parker will find out just who intends to bury whom—and who he needs to kill to finish the job.

[more]

front cover of The Mystery of A Yellow Sleuth
The Mystery of A Yellow Sleuth
Detective Sergeant Nor Nalla, Federated Malay States Police
Ronald Allan
National University of Singapore Press, 2018
In 1931 a book full of thrilling adventures set mostly in Malaya appeared in London under the title A Yellow Sleuth: Being the Autobiography of “Nor Nalla” (Detective-Sergeant Federated Malay States Police). Reviewers concluded that the stories were just barely plausible, but agreed that the author knew Malaya intimately.
Nor Nalla is an anagram for Ron Allan, who spent four years working on a rubber plantation in Malaya shortly before World War I. Like Kipling’s famous colonial spy, Kim, the “yellow sleuth” is a master of undercover operations, and this reissued work explores vast locales, from the forests of Malaya to the ports of Java, from London’s underbelly to the camps of Chinese laborers in WWI Flanders.  Throughout, readers are left to differentiate between fiction and fact, and ponder questions of authorship, in this “impossible fantasy of hybridity,” as Phillip Holden calls it in his perceptive introduction.
Contemporary readers will not only savor the book’s tales of adventure and detection, they will also appreciate the ways that the author brings to life— and reveals the contradictions of—late colonial society.
[more]

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No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell
The Stafford-Townsend Feud of Colorado County, Texas 1871-1911
James Kearney
University of North Texas Press, 2016

front cover of Nobody Runs Forever
Nobody Runs Forever
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Nobody Runs Forever opens a three-part saga with a job at a poker game that sours into a necktie party. When Parker goes in on a messy scam—stealing an armored car—with someone he barely knows, as usual the amateurs get in the way of the job. From a nervous ex-con and his well-intentioned sister to a bank manager's two-timing wife and a beautiful, relentless cop, too many people have their hands too close to Parker's pie. Even when he sees the job turning bad, he can’t let go of the score—and there just might be nowhere left to run...
[more]

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Organized Crime in Chicago
Beyond the Mafia
Robert M. Lombardo
University of Illinois Press, 2013
This book provides a comprehensive sociological explanation for the emergence and continuation of organized crime in Chicago. Tracing the roots of political corruption that afforded protection to gambling, prostitution, and other vice activity in Chicago and other large American cities, Robert M. Lombardo challenges the dominant belief that organized crime in America descended directly from the Sicilian Mafia. According to this widespread "alien conspiracy" theory, organized crime evolved in a linear fashion beginning with the Mafia in Sicily, emerging in the form of the Black Hand in America's immigrant colonies, and culminating in the development of the Cosa Nostra in America's urban centers.
 
Looking beyond this Mafia paradigm, this volume argues that the development of organized crime in Chicago and other large American cities was rooted in the social structure of American society. Specifically, Lombardo ties organized crime to the emergence of machine politics in America's urban centers. From nineteenth-century vice syndicates to the modern-day Outfit, Chicago's criminal underworld could not have existed without the blessing of those who controlled municipal, county, and state government. These practices were not imported from Sicily, Lombardo contends, but were bred in the socially disorganized slums of America where elected officials routinely franchised vice and crime in exchange for money and votes. This book also traces the history of the African-American community's participation in traditional organized crime in Chicago and offers new perspectives on the organizational structure of the Chicago Outfit, the traditional organized crime group in Chicago.
[more]

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The Outfit
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 1963
They wanted Parker dead—and a late-night visit from a hitman proved they meant business. Now Parker plans to get even—dead even. Armed with a new face and his usual iron will, Parker is declaring a coast-to-coast war.

In The Outfit, Parker goes toe-to-toe with the mob, hellbent on taking him down. The notorious lone wolf has some extra tricks up his sleeve, and the entire underworld will learn an unforgettable lesson: whatever Parker does, he does deadly.
[more]

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Parker
Movie Tie-in Edition, Originally Published as "Flashfire"
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2012
There have been many film adaptations of Richard Stark’s novels over the years, but none of them actually featured a protagonist named Parker—and none of them fully captured Parker’s chilling tenacity and laconic anticharm. Here for the first time is the real Parker, played by Jason Statham. Adapted by Black Swan screenwriter John J. McLaughlin, and directed by Taylor Hackford, Parker is sure to both satisfy Stark fans and action-movie lovers. And there couldn’t be a better Parker novel to bring to the silver screen than the fast-paced and stylish Flashfire.
When Flashfire opens, Parker isn’t happy. Three associates have borrowed his money for a job without permission, and he isn’t satisfied to wait and see if they make good. Instead, he vows to kill them all. Tearing across America to take their job out from under them, Parker finds himself in West Palm Beach. There things go sour. While attempting to trick the denizens of Palm Beach into accepting him for one of their own, Parker is gut-shot and forced to rely on a beautiful civilian, played in the film by Jennifer Lopez, for help. But even injured and exhausted, Parker still has his killer instinct, and he shows how unwise—and deadly—it is to cross him. Part heist movie, part unexpected romance, and mostly explosions, Parker brings to life Stark’s hero with verve and violence, while taking viewers on an action-packed adventure they won’t soon forget.
Also starring Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Patti Lupone, and Wendell Pierce, Parker is hitting theaters near you this January. Hard.
[more]

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Prince of Tricksters
The Incredible True Story of Netley Lucas, Gentleman Crook
Matt Houlbrook
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Meet Netley Lucas, Prince of Tricksters—royal biographer, best-selling crime writer, and gentleman crook. In the years after the Great War, Lucas becomes infamous for climbing the British social ladder by his expert trickery—his changing names and telling of tales. An impudent young playboy and a confessed confidence trickster, he finances his far-flung hedonism through fraud and false pretenses. After repeated spells in prison, Lucas transforms himself into a confessing “ex-crook,” turning his inside knowledge of the underworld into a lucrative career as freelance journalist and crime expert. But then he’s found out again—exposed and disgraced for faking an exclusive about a murder case. So he reinvents himself, taking a new name and embarking on a prolific, if short-lived, career as a royal biographer and publisher. Chased around the world by detectives and journalists after yet another sensational scandal, the gentleman crook dies as spectacularly as he lived—a washed-up alcoholic, asphyxiated in a fire of his own making.

The lives of Netley Lucas are as flamboyant as they are unlikely. In Prince of Tricksters, Matt Houlbrook picks up the threads of Lucas’s colorful lies and lives. Interweaving crime writing and court records, letters and life-writing, Houlbrook tells Lucas’s fascinating story and, in the process, provides a panoramic view of the 1920s and ’30s. In the restless times after the Great War, the gentlemanly trickster was an exemplary figure, whose tall tales and bogus biographies exposed the everyday difficulties of knowing who and what to trust. Tracing how Lucas both evoked and unsettled the world through which he moved, Houlbrook shows how he prompted a pervasive crisis of confidence that encompassed British society, culture, and politics.

Taking readers on a romp through Britain, North America, and eventually into Africa, Houlbrook confronts readers with the limits of our knowledge of the past and challenges us to think anew about what history is and how it might be made differently.
[more]

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Raising the Living Dead
Rehabilitative Corrections in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Alberto Ortiz Díaz
University of Chicago Press, 2023
An eye-opening look at how incarcerated people, health professionals, and others behind and beyond bars came together to problem-solve incarceration.
 
Raising the Living Dead is a history of Puerto Rico’s carceral rehabilitation system that brings to life the interactions of incarcerated people, their wider social networks, and health care professionals. Alberto Ortiz Díaz describes the ways that multiple communities of care came together both inside and outside of prisons to imagine and enact solution-oriented cultures of rehabilitation from the 1930s to the 1960s. Scientific and humanistic approaches to well-being were deliberately fused to raise the “living dead,” an expression that reemerged in the modern Caribbean to refer to prisoners. These reform groups sought to raise incarcerated people physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, and civically.
 
The book is based on deep, original archival research into the Oso Blanco (White Bear) penitentiary in Puerto Rico, yet it situates its study within Puerto Rico’s broader carceral archipelago and other Caribbean prisons. The agents of this history include not only physical health professionals, but also psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers, spiritual and religious practitioners, and, of course, the prisoners and their families. By following all these groups and emphasizing the interpersonal exercise of power, Ortiz Díaz tells a story that goes beyond debates about structural and social control.
 
The book addresses key issues in the history of prisons and the histories of medicine and belief, including how prisoners’ different racial, class, and cultural identities shaped their incarceration and how professionals living in a colonial society dealt with the challenge of rehabilitating prisoners for citizenship.
 
Raising the Living Dead is not just about convicts, their immediate interlocutors, and their contexts, however, but about how together these open a window into the history of social uplift projects within the (neo)colonial societies of the Caribbean. There is no book like this in Caribbean historiography; few examine these themes in the larger literature on the history of prisons.
[more]

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The Rare Coin Score
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2009

When it comes to heists, Parker believes in some cardinal rules. On this job, he breaks two of them: never bring a dame along—especially not one you like—and never, ever, work with amateurs. Nevertheless, with the help of a creepy coin collector named Billy, and the lure of a classy widow, he agrees to set up a heist of a coin convention. But Billy’s a rookie with no idea how to pull off a score, and the lady soon becomes a major distraction. The Rare Coin Score marks the first appearance of Claire, who pulls off her own heist on Parker's heart—while together they steal two million dollars worth of coins.

[more]

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Researching Perpetrators of Genocide
Edited by Kjell Anderson and Erin Jessee
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
Researchers often face significant and unique ethical and methodological challenges when conducting qualitative field work among people who have been identified as perpetrators of genocide. This can include overcoming biases that often accompany research on perpetrators; conceptualizing, identifying, and recruiting research subjects; risk mitigation and negotiating access in difficult contexts; self-care in conducting interviews relating to extreme violence; and minimizing harm for interviewees who may themselves be traumatized.

This collection of case studies by scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds turns a critical and reflective eye toward qualitative fieldwork on the topic. Framed by an introduction that sets out key issues in perpetrator research and a conclusion that proposes and outlines a code of best practice, the volume provides an essential starting point for future research while advancing genocide studies, transitional justice, and related fields. This original, important, and welcome contribution will be of value to historians, political scientists, criminologists, anthropologists, lawyers, and legal scholars.
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Saint Genet
Actor and Martyr
Jean-Paul Sartre
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

Saint Genet is Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic biography of Jean Genet—thief, convict, and great artist—a character of almost legendary proportions whose influence grows stronger with time. Bringing together two of the century’s greatest minds and artists, Saint Genet is at once a compelling psychological portrait, masterpiece of literary criticism, and one of Sartre’s most personal and inspired philosophical creations.

[more]

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The Seventh
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2009

The robbery was a piece of cake. The getaway was clean. The only thing left to do is split the cash—then it all goes wrong. In The Seventh, the heist of a college football game turns sour and the take is stolen from right under Parker’s nose. With the cops on his tail, Parker must figure out who crossed him—and how he can pay the culprit back.

[more]

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Slayground
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2010

The hunter becomes prey, as a heist goes sour and Parker finds himself trapped in a shuttered amusement park, besieged by a bevy of local mobsters, in Slayground. There are no exits from Fun Island. Outnumbered and outgunned, Parker can’t afford a single miscalculation. He’s low on bullets and making it out alive is a long shot—but, as anyone who’s crossed his path knows, no one is better at playing higher stakes with shorter odds.

[more]

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The Sour Lemon Score
A Parker Novel
Richard Stark
University of Chicago Press, 2010
Bank robberies should run like clockwork, right? If your name’s Parker, you expect nothing less. Until, that is, one of your partners gets too greedy for his own good. The four-way split following a job leaves too small a take for George Uhl, who begins to pick off his fellow heisters, one by one. The first mistake? That he doesn’t begin things by putting a bullet in Parker. That means he won’t get the chance to make a second. One of the darkest novels in the series, this caper proves the adage that no one crosses Parker and lives.
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Suspect Identities
A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification
Simon A. Cole
Harvard University Press, 2001

“No two fingerprints are alike,” or so it goes. For nearly a hundred years fingerprints have represented definitive proof of individual identity in our society. We trust them to tell us who committed a crime, whether a criminal record exists, and how to resolve questions of disputed identity.

But in Suspect Identities, Simon Cole reveals that the history of criminal identification is far murkier than we have been led to believe. Cole traces the modern system of fingerprint identification to the nineteenth-century bureaucratic state, and its desire to track and control increasingly mobile, diverse populations whose race or ethnicity made them suspect in the eyes of authorities. In an intriguing history that traverses the globe, taking us to India, Argentina, France, England, and the United States, Cole excavates the forgotten history of criminal identification—from photography to exotic anthropometric systems based on measuring body parts, from fingerprinting to DNA typing. He reveals how fingerprinting ultimately won the trust of the public and the law only after a long battle against rival identification systems.

As we rush headlong into the era of genetic identification, and as fingerprint errors are being exposed, this history uncovers the fascinating interplay of our elusive individuality, police and state power, and the quest for scientific certainty. Suspect Identities offers a necessary corrective to blind faith in the infallibility of technology, and a compelling look at its role in defining each of us.

[more]

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Texas Monthly On . . .
Texas True Crime
From the editors of Texas Monthly
University of Texas Press, 2007

Since 1973, one magazine has covered crime in Texas like no one else, delving deep into stories that may turn your stomach—but won't let you turn away. Texas Monthly On... Texas True Crime is a high-speed read around Texas, chasing criminals from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods, through gated mansions and trailer parks, from 1938 to the twenty-first century. The stories, which originally appeared as articles in the magazine, come from some of its most notable writers: Cecilia Ballí investigates the drug-fueled violence of the border; Pamela Colloff reports on Amarillo's lethal feud between jocks and punks; Michael Hall re-visits the legend of Joe Ball, a saloon owner who allegedly fed his waitresses to pet alligators; Skip Hollandsworth uncovers the computer nerd who became Dallas' most notorious jewel thief; and Katy Vine tracks a pair of teenage lesbians inspired by Thelma and Louise.

Texas Monthly On... Texas True Crime is the second in a series of books in which the editors of Texas Monthly offer the magazine's inimitable perspective on various aspects of Texas culture, including food, politics, travel, and music, among other topics. Texas Monthly On... Texas Women was released in 2006.

[more]

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Time of Grace
Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment
Ken Lamberton
University of Arizona Press, 2007
“I hole up in my own cozy cubicle and write, considering ways to make the approaching Thanksgiving holiday not just another day in this place. In prison, hope faces east; time is measured in wake-ups.”

Time of Grace is a remarkable book, written with great eloquence by a former science teacher who was incarcerated for twelve years for his sexual liaison with a teenage student. Far more than a “prison memoir,” it is an intimate and revealing look at relationships—with fellow humans and with the surprising wildlife of the Sonoran Desert, both inside and beyond prison walls. Throughout, Ken Lamberton reflects on human relations as they mimic and defy those of the natural world, whose rhythms calibrate Lamberton’s days and years behind bars. He writes with candor about his life, while observing desert flora and fauna with the insight and enthusiasm of a professional naturalist.

While he studies a tarantula digging her way out of the packed earth and observes Mexican freetail bats sailing into the evening sky, Lamberton ruminates on his crime and on the wrenching effects it has had on his wife and three daughters. He writes of his connections with his fellow inmates—some of whom he teaches in prison classes—and with the guards who control them, sometimes with inexplicable cruelty. And he unflinchingly describes a prison system that has gone horribly wrong—a system entrapped in a self-created web of secrecy, fear, and lies.

This is the final book of Lamberton’s trilogy about the twelve years he spent in prison. Readers of his earlier books will savor this last volume. Those who are only now discovering Lamberton’s distinctive voice—part poet, part scientist, part teacher, and always deeply, achingly human—will feel as if they are making a new friend.

Gripping, sobering, and beautifully written, Lamberton’s memoir is an unforgettable exploration of crime, punishment, and the power of the human spirit.
[more]

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Two Plays of Weimar Germany
Youth Is a Sickness and Criminals
Ferdinand Bruckner, Translated from the German by Laurence Senelick
Northwestern University Press, 2018
Two Plays of Weimar Germany offers new translations, by the renowned theater scholar and translator Laurence Senelick, of popular works by the playwright Ferdinand Bruckner: Youth Is a Sickness (Krankheit der Jugend) and Criminals (Die Verbrecher). 

Though his fame was later eclipsed by peers such as Bertolt Brecht, Bruckner was the celebrity dramatist of his time, and a new generation of readers is discovering his groundbreaking plays known for their strong cultural critique and unflinching portrayals of social ills, outcasts, and misfits. Youth Is a Sickness (1924) explores the lives of Germany's "lost generation," those who grew up during and after the cataclysm of the First World War, devoid of hope and ideals, lost in a haze of sex and drugs. Criminals (1926) traces several court cases about a failed double suicide, theft, abortion, and homosexual blackmail, controversial topics for the audience of its time and even today. Its innovative staging and interwoven storylines illuminate the imposed social tensions and legal injustice faced by the characters.

In this expert translation, readers can see Bruckner as a public intellectual, a man committed to commenting on the fate of Germany; humane values; and the past, present, and future in his work. With an introduction by the translator, this volume will be the definitive version for readers, actors, playwrights, and scholars.
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Utah's Lawless Fringe
Stories of True Crime
Stanford J. Layton
Signature Books, 2001
 It was Sunday and worship service was in progress. One of the settlers who was not attending service eyed four known outlaws passing near town. He raced to church to spread the alarm, and parishioners leaped up, grabbed their guns, and galloped off in pursuit, joined by some neighboring cattlemen. Before it was over, one of the posse was dead.

So it went on the outskirts of Utah Territory. In this case it was the little town of Bluff where the Mormon bishop served for some ten years as de facto sheriff and his congregation as deputies. As elsewhere, law and order developed organically rather than by legislation.

In this anthology several aspects of the process are considered, including one of the worst manifestations of citizen action: vigilantism. Territorial Utah witnessed more lynchings than legal executions. Another citizen trait was an unexpected indifference to vice. In 1908 Salt Lake City had 148 registered prostitutes overseen by a madam who was recruited for the position by the mayor and city council. During Prohibition one of the largest distilleries in the West operated in a Salt Lake warehouse.

What is to be learned from this? The contributors to these fourteen articles leave moral considerations to the reader’s contemplation, while providing surprises along the way in an extremely engaging—dare we say arresting—read.

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