A Country Called Prison
A review at Reason:
Citizenship in prison nation...most often begins in poor neighborhoods with underperforming schools, abusive households, and easy access to drugs and alcohol. Children in close proximity to the realities of incarceration are more likely to experience it firsthand, the authors continue, since they are often raised in conditions hostile to the learning processes necessary to peacefully and productively engage in society. The prison system as it currently operates does not improve upon or reverse this maladaptive socialization. Instead, Looman and Carl write, the toxic social patterns within prison walls undermine the behavioral learning people need to progress from dependent children into independent adults. Rather than learning how to peacefully associate with different types of people and get ahead in life, inmate social orders often reward the very same behaviors that lead to incarceration in the first place: aggression, deception, drug abuse, and theft.