One of the most important problems faced by the United States is addressing its broken criminal justice system. This collection of essays offers a thorough examination of incarceration as a form of punishment. In addition to focusing on the philosophical aspects related to punishment, the volume’s diverse group of contributors provides additional background in criminology, economics, law, and sociology to help contextualize the philosophical issues. The first group of essays addresses whether or not our current institutions connected with punishment and incarceration are justified in a liberal society. The next set of chapters explores the negative effects of incarceration as a form of punishment, including its impact on children and families. The volume then describes how we arrived at our current situation in the United States, focusing on questions related to how we view prisons and prisoners, policing for profit, and the motivations of prosecutors in trying to secure convictions. Finally, Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration examines specific policy alternatives that might offer solutions to our current approach to punishment and incarceration.

chapter |14 pages


Why Do We Punish?

chapter 1|19 pages

The Problem of Punishment

chapter 2|15 pages

Unconscionable Punishment

chapter 3|20 pages

The Coproduction of Justice

chapter 10|14 pages

Restorative Justice in High Schools

A Roadmap to Transforming Prisons

chapter 12|16 pages

Policing for “Profit”

The Political Economy of Private Prisons and Asset Forfeiture

chapter 15|15 pages

Prison Tunnel Vision