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Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons

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Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons


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 An extraordinary, comprehensive, shocking, expose of the American prison system.

  • Selected as a semifinalist for the 25th annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
  • With over 2 million inmates the impact of this topic reaches far into the general population to family members, citizens, and policymakers.
  • Completely updated to reflect all the latest data showing that the growth of the prison system has continued unabated despite efforts to stem the tide.


  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 312
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-188179-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-188179-2

Gates of Injustice is an extraordinarily compelling expose of the American prison system now completely updated in this new paperback editon: how more than 2,000,000 Americans came to be incarcerated; what it's really like on the inside; what it's like for the families left on the outside; and how an enormous "prison-industrial complex" has grown to support and promote imprisonment in place of virtually every other alternative. Reuters journalist Alan Elsner shows how prisons really work, how race-based gangs are able to control institutions and prey on weaker inmates, and how an epidemic of abuse and brutality has exploded across American prisons. Readers will discover the plight of 300,000 mentally ill people in prisons, virtually abandoned with little medical treatment. They'll also meet the fastest growing segment of the prison population: women. Readers go inside "supermax" prisons that cut inmates off from all human contact, and uncover the official corruption and brutality that riddles jail systems in major cities like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. Finally, they'll learn prisons accelerate the spread of infectious diseases throughout the broader society--just one of the many ways the prison epidemic touches everyone, even if they've never met anyone who's gone to jail.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

The Second Toughest Sheriff in America

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition  xi

Preface to the First Edition  xiii

Acknowledgments  xvii

Chapter 1:  The Second Toughest Sheriff in America  1

Chapter 2:  Becoming a Prison Nation  11

Chapter 3:  Entering the Gates  31

Chapter 4:  The Vulnerable  63

Chapter 5:  The Sanity of the System  81

Chapter 6:  An Unhealthy Situation  103

Chapter 7:  Women Behind Bars  131

Chapter 8:  Supermax  153

Chapter 9:  Short-Term Problems  181

Chapter 10:  Money, Money, Money  201

Chapter 11:  After Prison  219

Chapter 12:  Some Modest Suggestions  231

Endnotes  243

Index  265


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