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A remarkable new book about a dark stain on modern South Africa – our enormous and problematic prison population – and what we can do to fix it.
"Lock them up and throw away the key!" is a cry we hear often in South Africa today. But this simplistic solution to crime simply isn’t working. As Father Babychan Arackathara, a Catholic chaplain to some of the Western Cape’s most notorious prisons, shows in this compassionate reflection on his work, even criminals have stories, and crime invariably has roots. He listens to those stories and untangles those roots on our behalf, sharing insights into the brokenness of our society and communities – and offering real, workable suggestions for fixing them.
Can we move to the ideal of hating the crime, but loving the criminal? What must we do to see that offenders are themselves victims and to engage them constructively? How do we break the cycles of addiction, trauma and crime to reach for reconciliation and transformation?
In 2016 South African film audiences were mesmerised by the film Noem My Skollie, which was written by - and based on the life of - John W. Fredericks. In this book Fredericks tells the full story on which the film was based.
Growing up in a dusty township on the Cape Flats, Fredericks formed a gang with his friends, and at the age of seventeen he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to two years in Pollsmoor prison. There the number gangs vied to initiate him into their ranks, but he resisted their advances, offering instead to help them push their time by telling stories. And so he became the prison ‘cinema’, drawing on his storytelling abilities and cementing his ambition to become a writer.
Life after prison became a nightmare when he was arrested for a murder he hadn’t committed, his childhood friends were sentenced to die on the gallows, and a gang boss tried to kill him. Slowly he turned his life around, getting a job and building a family, but society kept judging him as a gangster. Struggling to deal with his past, he turned to storytelling again, and painstakingly learnt the art of scriptwriting. The result was Noem My Skollie, which was watched by almost 90 000 people and won numerous awards.
Written in a powerful and authentic voice, Skollie is a gripping memoir of life on the Cape Flats, of prison and gangs, and of one man’s struggle to survive all this by telling stories.
The remarkable story of how Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row, for crimes he did not commit.
The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and compelling true story that brings to life deep, human questions about suffering and redemption.
Anthony Ray Hinton was poor and black when he was convicted of two murders he hadn't committed. For the next three decades he was trapped in solitary confinement in a tiny cell on death row, having to watch as - one by one - his fellow prisoners were taken past him to the execution room. Eventually his case was taken up by the award-winning lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who managed to have him exonerated, though it took 15 years for this to happen.
How did Hinton cope with the mental and emotional torture of his situation? The Sun Does Shine throws light not only on his remarkable personality but also on social deprivation and miscarriages of justice.
In her own words, Cyntoia Brown shares the riveting and redemptive story of how she changed her life for the better while in prison, finding hope through faith after a traumatic adolescence of drug addiction, rape, and sex trafficking led to a murder conviction.
Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison for a murder she committed at the age of sixteen. Her case became national news when celebrities and activists made the hashtag #FreeCyntoia go viral in 2017. She was granted full clemency after having served fifteen years, walking out a free woman on August 7, 2019. This is her story, in her own words.
In these pages, written over the fifteen years she was incarcerated, Cyntoia shares the difficult early life that lead to that fateful night and how she found the strength to not only survive, but thrive, in prison. A coming-of-age memoir set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars, Free Cyntoia takes you on a spiritual journey as Cyntoia struggles to overcome a legacy of family addiction and a lifetime of feeling ostracized and abandoned by society. Born to a teenage alcoholic mother who was also a victim of sex trafficking, Brown reflects on the isolation, low self-esteem, and sense of alienation that drove her straight into the hands of a predator. Though she attempts to build a positive path and honor the values her beloved adoptive mother taught her, Cyntoia succumbs to harmful influences that drive her to a cycle of promise and despair. After a fateful meeting with a prison educator turned mentor, Cyntoia makes the pivotal decision to take classes at Lipscomb University and strive for a better future, even if she’s never freed.
For the first time ever, Cyntoia shares the details of her transformation, including a profound encounter with God, an unlikely romance, and an unprecedented outpouring of support from social media advocates and A-list celebrities, which ultimately lead to clemency and her release from prison.
Giving a rare look at the power of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery in the darkest of places, Free Cyntoia is a deeply personal portrait of one woman’s journey for redemption within a system that had failed her from childhood.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018
‘Haunting...beautifully written.’ The New York Times Book Review
‘Compelling.’ The Washington Post
‘It’s among Tayari’s many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.’ Oprah Winfrey
‘Tayari Jones’ vision, strength, and truth-telling voice have found a new level of artistry and power.’ Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she struggles to hold on to the love that has been her centre. When his conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward – with hope and pain – into the future.
Dis ? fassinerende verslag van die lewe in
maksimumsekuriteit-gevangenisse, met ? vars invalshoek: China was
hondemeester, aan die voorfront tydens tronkgevegte. Gewapen slegs
met ? knuppel en sy hond moes hy messtekers en oproeriges afweer.
Hy is ? mensch, ? ongeslypte diamant met hart en ondernemingsgees.
Why do people fall in love with criminals? From thieves to perpetrators of violent crimes – they can still become the love of someone’s life. Carla van der Spuy interviews people who found love despite andbecause of the presence of prison bars, as well as experts such as forensic psychologists, and investigates what drives such relationships.
In this bold book, A. Naomi Paik grapples with the history of U.S. prison camps that have confined people outside the boundaries of legal and civil rights. Removed from the social and political communities that would guarantee fundamental legal protections, these detainees are effectively rightless, stripped of the right even to have rights. Rightless people thus expose an essential paradox: while the United States purports to champion inalienable rights at home and internationally, it has built its global power in part by creating a regime of imprisonment that places certain populations perceived as threats beyond rights. The United States' status as the guardian of rights coincides with, indeed depends on, its creation of rightlessness. Yet rightless people are not silent. Drawing from an expansive testimonial archive of legal proceedings, truth commission records, poetry, and experimental video, Paik shows how rightless people use their imprisonment to protest U.S. state violence. She examines demands for redress by Japanese Americans interned during World War II, testimonies of HIV-positive Haitian refugees detained at Guantanamo in the early 1990s, and appeals by Guantanamo's enemy combatants from the War on Terror. In doing so, she reveals a powerful ongoing contest over the nature and meaning of the law, over civil liberties and global human rights, and over the power of the state in people's lives.
aA modern horror story told in graphic detail. Morrisas meticulous documentation traces prison corruption . . . proving the tragedy could have been avoided. I recommend this book without reservation.aaJack Anderson
SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER As seen on BBC Breakfast Horrifying, heartbreaking and eye-opening, these are the stories, the patients and the cases that have characterised a career spent being a doctor behind bars. Violence. Drugs. Suicide. Welcome to the world of a Prison Doctor. Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK's most infamous prisons - first in young offenders' institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe's largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield. From miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all. In this eye-opening, inspirational memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget. Despite their crimes, she is still their doctor.
The Misery Merchants is a hard-hitting exposé of G4S, the company running one of South Africa’s private prisons in Mangaung. Hopkins presents up-close encounters with the gangs who run the prisons, and a unique insight into the minds of the men on the torture squad, who doused inmates with water before electrocuting them, and in some cases, strapped down ‘unruly’ prisoners and forced anti-psychotic medicines into their systems.
In the Free State of Ace Magashule, both the gangs and the prison bosses competed to run Mangaung Prison, one of South Africa’s few private prisons. Torture and forced medication were the order of the day. Hopkins, a seasoned journalist, has interviewed over 100 prisoners and many prison warders in order to understand what makes this prison so dysfunctional. Her insights and revelations will astonish you.
This book follows several characters who were held in or worked at the prison. L. is a prison gang general and an advocate for prisoners’ rights. He smuggled information on assaults, injections and corruption out of the prison for the author. Dan is a prison guard and a shop steward for the union. He led the workforce during two strikes and paid for it with his job and union membership. Setlai is a Department of Correctional Services official who blew the whistle on the abuse at Mangaung Prison in 2009. His reports were ignored and he was punished for speaking out. He was criminally charged and moved to another DCS post. Shakes is a member of the Emergency Security Team (EST) also known as the Ninjas. He engaged in torture and abuse but now feels ‘what we did was wrong’.
G4S is the largest security company in the world, and has its claws deep in SA’s government and private companies. Drive down any street and you’ll find a G4S van collecting or delivering money.
Mankind likes to consider itself civilized. Sadly, this civilization is only skin-deep and man's inhumanity to man, both in war and peace, has always been a cause for shame. But how should traitors, criminals and society's enemies be dealt with? This book shows some of the means used to chastise and punish down through the ages. Look out for more Pitkin Guides on the very best of British history, heritage and travel.
The prison is a recent invention, hardly more than two centuries old, yet it has become the universal system of punishment. How can we understand the place that the correctional system occupies in contemporary societies? What are the experiences of those who are incarcerated as well as those who work there? To answer these questions, Didier Fassin conducted a four-year-long study in a French short-stay prison, following inmates from their trial to their release. He shows how the widespread use of imprisonment has reinforced social and racial inequalities and how advances in civil rights clash with the rationales and practices used to maintain security and order. He also analyzes the concerns and compromises of the correctional staff, the hardships and resistance of the inmates, and the ways in which life on the inside intersects with life on the outside. In the end, the carceral condition appears to be irreducible to other forms of penalty both because of the chain of privations it entails and because of the experience of meaninglessness it comprises. Examined through ethnographic lenses, prison worlds are thus both a reflection of society and its mirror. At a time when many countries have begun to realize the impasse of mass incarceration and question the consequences of the punitive turn, this book will provide empirical and theoretical tools to reflect on the meaning of punishment in contemporary societies.
Galway was one of thirty-eight Irish towns which had a local prison in the late nineteenth century. Thousands of women were imprisoned there in this period, and this book looks at the socio-economic conditions in which these women lived, the crimees they committed and the treatment they received while in prison. Late nineteenth-century Galway was a place of high emigration and low standards of living for many people. Most of the women who were sent to jail in Galway in the latter half of the century were unskilled and unable to read or write. The crimes of which they were found guilty were predominantly, alcohol-related and they were much more likely to re-offend than men. Using a wide variety of sources. including prison registers, parliamentary papers, newspapers and personal accounts of prisoners, this book examines Galway's women prisoners at a time when female criminality in Ireland was undergoing significant change.
Power on the Inside is the first book to examine the historical development of prison gangs worldwide, from those that emerged inside mid-nineteenth-century Neapolitan prisons to the new generation of younger inmates challenging the status quo within gang subcultures today. Historian-criminologist Mitchel P. Roth examines prison gangs throughout the world, from the Americas, Oceania, and South Africa to Southeast Asia, Europe, and beyond. The book examines the many variables that influence the evolution of prison subcultures, from colonialism and population demographics to prison architecture and staff-prisoner relations. Power on the Inside features eighty historical and contemporary images and will inform professionals in the field as well as general readers who want to know more about the realities of prison gangs today.
Though institutional care for people suffering from mental illness was phased out in the last century, mentally disordered offenders remain the exception to this rule. The numbers detained in medium secure care have increased and new initiatives in high secure care have created specialist facilities for individuals thought to be particularly dangerous to other people. This means that the nature of institutional life, and in particular the balance between continuing detention for its own sake and care and treatment designed to allow for discharge to a more normal life in the community, should continue to pre-occupy us. Secure Lives is a unique study of life in a high security hospital, based on original research material obtained in the mid 1990s. Compelling personal accounts from staff and patients, as well as case study material, illustrate the complex culture of a high security hospital. The book explores the complex relationship that exists between staff and patients, the social hierarchy, and life amongst potentially dangerous and mentally ill individuals. Though there are many texts on forensic psychiatry in practice, this book provides a first-hand account of life in an environment never seen by those outside its walls.
Boot camps what are their effects on criminal behavior? Public and political support for boot camps as alternative correctional facilities has rarely faltered since their inception decades ago, though their efficacy remains uncertain. Rehabilitation Issues, Problems, and Prospects in Boot Camp explores all facets of the controversial issue, from the attitudes and perceptions of the public, to the political motivations in maintaining them, on to the latest research on the camps and their graduates. Respected authorities discuss boot camps' effectiveness on diverse groups according to age, gender, race, and correctional facility. Cost factors between boot camps and other correctional institutions are compared, along with the latest criminal recidivism data. Boot camps provide inmates with an uncomfortable, paramilitary-style environment with an eye toward shorter incarceration time, lower costs, and more positive effects on criminal behavior. Does this correctional model work as anticipated? Rehabilitation Issues, Problems, and Prospects in Boot Camp gives you the facts, revealing the public and political arguments for and against boot camps as well as the research on the theoretical predictors of criminal recidivism and the differing attitudes of attendees toward the facilities according to gender and race. Critical policy issues are identified and discussed in-depth, with particular emphasis given to the positive and negative aspects of rehabilitation possibilities of boot camps. Helpful tables clearly illustrate statistics while extensive references provide opportunities for further insight. Rehabilitation Issues, Problems, and Prospects in Boot Camp explores questions such as: criminal recidivism what are the theoretical predictors? what effect does gender have on criminal recidivism? what is the effect of this hypermasculine paramilitary prison environment have on males and females? what are the differences between Native American and non-Native American perceptions of boot camp? is the perceived severity of boot camp different for gender? what is the process for policymaking in creating and maintaining boot camps? what role does politics play in the continuation of boot camps? what corrections to boot camp facilities should be made based upon evidence and research? Rehabilitation Issues, Problems, and Prospects in Boot Camp is a thorough examination of the social and political issues about boot camps that makes essential reading for educators, students, sociologists, criminologists, psychologists, counselors, and criminal justice professionals.
Macho Love: Sex Behind Bars in Central America is the first in-depth study of sexual culture and AIDS in Latin prisons. Psychologists, social workers, criminologists, and AIDS specialists will discover how the interplay of sexual ideals, prostitution, manipulation, resistance, and power relationships among prisoners and some staff are based on money, sex, drugs, and violence. Macho Love gives you a stirring and emotional look at the various risks and dangers lurking in the Latin American prison culture and discusses how Costa Rican and Central American prisons are improving the situation with new intervention programs. Fascinating and informative, Macho Love explores the dangerous Latin prison culture as it discusses: new HIV/AIDS prevention programs implemented in some Costa Rican and Central American prisons the frequency and types of prostitution and rape in prison drug and alcohol addiction and their effects on the spread of HIV/AIDS an understanding of why rehabilitation programs fail or succeed the lack of opportunities to work or to study that leaves the inmates vulnerable to the only freedom they have left--sex why a "cachero," or a man who penetrates another man, is not considered a homosexual and often refuses to wear a condom, which tremendously increases the risk of HIV/AIDS Macho Love explores the life-threatening sexual culture in prisons to bring you the realities of the Latin prison culture. This revealing book examines the different types of relationships which occur in prisons and the factors that place inmates at risk for contracting the HIV virus, such as not wearing a condom because of intoxication due to drugs and alcohol. Macho Love also shows you how the new HIV/AIDS intervention programs in Costa Rica are combatting these serious problems to lower HIV infection rates and avoid the spread of this deadly and dangerous disease.
Kalief Browder was 16 when he was arrested in the Bronx for allegedly stealing a backpack. Unable to raise bail and unwilling to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, Browder spent three years in New York's infamous Rikers Island jail-two in solitary confinement-while awaiting trial. After his case was dismissed in 2013, Browder returned to his family, haunted by his ordeal. Suffering through the lonely hell of solitary, Browder had been violently attacked by fellow prisoners and corrections officers throughout his incarceration. Consumed with depression, Browder committed suicide in 2015. He was just 22 years old. In Life and Death in Rikers Island, Homer Venters, the former chief medical officer for New York City's jails, explains the profound health risks associated with incarceration. From neglect and sexual abuse to blocked access to care and exposure to brutality, Venters details how jails are designed and run to create new health risks for prisoners-all while forcing doctors and nurses into complicity or silence. Pairing prisoner experiences with cutting-edge research into prison risk, Venters reveals the disproportionate extent to which the health risks of jail are meted out to those with behavioral health problems and people of color. He also presents compelling data on alternative strategies that can reduce health risks. This revelatory and groundbreaking book concludes with the author's analysis of the case for closing Rikers Island jails and his advice on how to do it for the good of the incarcerated.
The No.1 Bestseller! 'I was a very vulnerable young woman with three small children. I was lost ... Pat Quirke tried to come in and control everything' Bobby Ryan's disappearance in rural Tipperary in June 2011 mystified all who knew him. The truck-driver and part-time DJ (known as Mr Moonlight) was an easy-going fellow with no enemies. Or so everyone thought. When Ryan's body was found 22 months later on the farm of Mary Lowry, the wealthy young widow he had been seeing, it was clear that he had met a violent end. And the most likely person to have brought about that end? Pat Quirke, the man who had 'discovered' the body - Mary Lowry's brother-in-law, financial advisor, tenant and one-time lover. Following the longest running murder trial in Irish criminal history Quirke was convicted of murder in May 2019. Getting to that day had taken years of exhaustive work by gardai. The Murder of Mr Moonlight is the definitive account of their investigation as well as the compelling story of how an innocent man paid the price for another man's obsessions. Catherine Fegan, Irish Journalist of the Year (2017), and Chief Correspondent at the Irish Daily Mail, covered every day of Quirke's trial. Over many months she also conducted interviews in Tipperary and further afield. She has written an extraordinary insightful and meticulous account of the case that gripped the nation. '[An] excellent book that shows all the colours of the story that intrigued the nation' Irish Daily Mail 'Well-researched and highly readable ... Fegan proves her journalistic mettle, delivering forensic detail in accessible language ... Anyone who followed the trial will not be disappointed by Fegan's book' Sunday Business Post 'Absolutely compulsive reading (as I know because my wife wouldn't let me anywhere near it - but I did get it in the end!) ... a page-turner' Eamon Dunphy, The Stand
Political instability is nearly always accompanied by fuller prisons, and this was particularly true during the "long" Second World War, when military mobilization, social disorder, wrenching political changes, and shifting national boundaries swelled the ranks of the imprisoned and broadened the carceral reach of the state. This volume brings together theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich studies of key transitional moments that transformed the scope and nature of European prisons during and after the war. It depicts the complex interactions of both penal and administrative institutions with the men and women who experienced internment, imprisonment, and detention at a time when these categories were in perpetual flux.
The United States arrests, punishes, and locks up far more people-both juveniles and adults-than any other democratic country in the world. Indeed, despite the fact that the U.S holds 5 percent of the world's population, it contains 25 percent of its prisoners. These individuals not only constitute a disproportionately large group, but also suffer decreased employment opportunities and housing discrimination after their release, making a return to prison all the more likely. Headlines of articles in US media allude to "Prison Without Punishment" in Germany and "Radical Humaneness" in Norway, but why are prison conditions in those countries so notably less bleak than those here? And when recidivism rates are lower in countries with these kinder, gentler prisons than in America, why do prisons here remain so harsh? In Unusually Cruel, Mark Morje Howard argues that the United States' prison system is exceptional-in a truly shameful way. Due to its exceptional nature, most scholars have focused on the internal dynamics that have produced the US' unusually large and severe prison system. Howard conducts a comparative analysis as a corrective to this myopia, demonstrating just how far the US lies outside of the norm of established democracies in this regard. He uses a new methodology in order to put American incarceration rates in perspective. The book compares data from 21 countries-all advanced industrialized societies, liberal democracies, and OECD members-ultimately showing that the US holds more than three times the number of incarcerated people of its closest competitor, New Zealand. This method reveals interesting findings, including that, although the female incarceration rate is only a fraction of the male incarceration in America, the US imprisons more than five times as many women as any other comparable country. And strikingly, while crime rates are roughly equal among countries in the western world, the US incarceration rate is seven times the average rate of European countries. Howard shows that in every measure of punitiveness-including policing, sentencing, prison conditions, and rehabilitation-US policies are harsher, producing worse individual outcomes and lower public safety, than those of any comparable country. The book does not merely paint a grim picture, however. Unusually Cruel also identifies solutions that are less punishing and more productive, arguing that, by learning from models that have worked elsewhere, the US can get out of its criminal justice quagmire.
'Shocking, scathing, entertaining.' Guardian 'Incredibly compelling.' The Times 'Heart-breaking.' Sunday Times Where can a tin of tuna buy you clean clothes? Where is it easier to get 'spice' than paracetamol? Where does self-harm barely raise an eyebrow? Welcome to Her Majesty's Prison Service. Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn't spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years. His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the largest and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe. With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to senior officials bent on endless reform, this powerful memoir uncovers the horrifying reality behind the locked gates. Filled with dark humour and shocking stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals why our creaking prison system is sorely costing us all - and why you should care.
Karl Williams was on holiday in Dubai, living it large with two English friends, when they were accused of drug dealing, arrested, and tortured by police. They were innocent, but the authorities didn't care. And so began their year-long nightmare as they were locked up in Port Rashid where prisoners of all nationalities were crammed into stinking cells, violence could erupt in seconds, and control of the jail was in the hands of a few powerful inmates. Unless you knew the right people and could work the system, you were screwed. Karl was a survivor and managed to rise up the prison pecking order, making friends with local gangsters, Russian mafia and other assorted murderers, drug dealers, fraudsters and hapless innocents he encountered behind bars. But it was hard to stay positive when facing life or the death penalty . . . And then he was moved to the notorious Central prison, a terrifying place where HIV positive prisoners were used by gangsters to infect their enemies; and murders and rape were common. When Karl had lost all hope of finding justice, Reprieve, an organization of committed human rights defenders, took up his case . . . Raw, totally gripping, and at times brutally funny, Killing Time takes you behind the shiny desert paradise to the heart of the real Dubai.
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