How vengeance has replaced rehabilitation in our prisons--and its terrible costs.
In this dramatic expose of U.S. penitentiaries and the communities around them, Sasha Abramsky finds that prisons have dumped their age-old goal of rehabilitation, often for political reasons. The new "ideal," unknown to most Americans, is a punitive mandate marked by a drive toward vengeance.
Surveying this state of affairs -- life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling conditions, the growth of private prisons, the treatment of juveniles--Abramsky asks: Does the vengeful impulse ennoble our culture or demean it? California's Three Strikes law typifies the politics that exploit the grief of victims' families and our fears of violent crime. Brilliantly researched and compellingly told, AMERICAN FURIES shows that the ehtos of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" has enormous social costs.