** Incarceration Nations by Baz Dreisinger

Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World paints an almost uniformly grim picture of prisons as shadowy reservoirs of abuse with very few rehabilitation efforts. The author, who leads a program that offers university-level courses to inmates, is rightfully horrified by the length of prison sentences for relatively minor crimes, the liberal use of isolation, and the dearth of efforts to prepare inmates for life after prison. Unfortunately, her bitter tone and sweeping statements often distort her message into meaningless territory. Yes, we should send many fewer people to prison, yes, they should get opportunities to be released as they mature, yes, they should be allowed more normal social lives — but asserting that their criminal lives spring from their tough upbringings is wrong unfair to their cohorts who grew up under similar circumstances and did not commit crimes.

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