Faculty Book: Todd R. Clear
Todd R. Clear
Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Places Worse
(Oxford University Press, 2007)
At no time in history, and certainly in no other democratic society, have prisons been filled to such capacity than in the U.S. And nowhere has this growth been more concentrated than in the disadvantaged—and primarily minority—neighborhoods of America's largest urban cities. In the first detailed, empirical exploration of the effects of mass incarceration on poor areas, Clear makes the counterintuitive point that when incarceration concentrates at high levels, crime rates will go up. Removal, in other words, has exactly the opposite of its intended effect: it destabilizes the community, reduces public safety, widens racial disparities, and diminishes life chances for youths. He argues that we cannot overcome the problem of mass incarceration concentrated in poor places without incorporating an idea of community justice into our failing correctional and criminal justice systems. Todd Clear is a distinguished professor of criminal justice at John Jay College and the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JUL 30, 2007