Cover image for Lockdown America : police and prisons in the age of crisis
Lockdown America : police and prisons in the age of crisis
Parenti, Christian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Verso, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 290 pages ; 25 cm
Nixon's splendid little war: social crisis and containment -- From crisis to roll back -- A war for all seasons: the return of law and order -- Discipline in Playland, part I- zero tolerance: the science of kicking ass -- Discipline in Playland, part II- policing the themepark city -- Carrying the big stick: SWAT teams and paramilitary policing -- Repatriating la Migra's war: the militarized border comes home -- The rise of big house nation: from reform to revenge -- Prison as Abattoir: official terror -- Balkans in a box: rape, race war, and other forms of management -- Big bucks from the big house: the prison industrial complex and beyond.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9471 .P33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Consider the following: Over 1.7 million Americans live in prison, a three hundred percent increase since 1980; In some US cities, one third of all young Black men are in jail, on probation or awaiting trial; In California, spending on prisons has eclipsed allocations for higher education; Starbucks, Jansport and Microsoft all use prison labor to package their products; Corrections Corporations of America, the nation's largest private jailer, has been dubbed a 'theme stock for the 90s.' Why is criminal justice so central to American politics? Lockdown America not only documents the horrors and absurdities of militarized policing, prisons, a fortified border, and the federalization of the war on crime, it also explains the political and economic history behind the massive crackdown. Written in accessible and vivid prose, Lockdown America will propel readers toward a deeper understanding of the links between crime and politics in a period of gathering economic crisis.

Author Notes

Christian Parenti teaches at the New College of California in San Francisco. His writing appears in The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Salon, and the Christian Science Monitor

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this important book, Parenti surveys the rise of the prison industrial complex from the Nixon through Reagan eras and into the present. Why does the United States currently have one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world, with over 1.8 million Americans living behind bars? Why are only 29 precent of all prisoners violent offenders? Parenti, a former radio journalist and now a professor at the New College of California, argues that capitalism implies and demands a certain amount of poverty; the powers that be then respond by incarcerating drug users, the underclass, and other relatively powerless persons. Parenti provides a very thorough account of this process as well as a realistic portrayal of an American prison life characterized by rape, torture, gangs, and prisoners as a source of labor. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄTim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Part I Crisis
Chapter 1 Nixon's Splendid Little War: Social Crisis and Containmentp. 3
Chapter 2 From Crisis to Rollbackp. 29
Chapter 3 A War for All Seasons: The Return of Law and Orderp. 45
Part II Police
Chapter 4 Discipline in Playland, Part I--Zero Tolerance: The Science of Kicking Assp. 69
Chapter 5 Discipline in Playland, Part II--Policing the Themepark Cityp. 90
Chapter 6 Carrying the Big Stick: SWAT Teams and Paramilitary Policingp. 111
Chapter 7 Repatriating la Migra's War: The Militarized Border Comes Homep. 139
Part III Prison
Chapter 8 The Rise of Big House Nation: From Reform to Revengep. 163
Chapter 9 Prison as Abattoir: Official Terrorp. 170
Chapter 10 Balkans in a Box: Rape, Race War, and Other Forms of Managementp. 182
Chapter 11 Big Bucks from the Big House: The Prison Industrial Complex and Beyondp. 211
Notesp. 245
Indexp. 282