Cover image for No escape : the future of American corrections
No escape : the future of American corrections
DiIulio, John J., Jr., 1958-
Publication Information:
[New York] : BasicBooks, [1991]

Physical Description:
xii, 301 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9469 .D55 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Consider the facts: in the U.S., 1 in every 35 adult white males, 1 in every 9 adult black males, and 1 in every 4 black males between the ages of 18 and 30 lived under some form of correctional supervision in 1989. During the 1980s the rate of incarceration doubled, and by the year 2000 corrections will represent the largest single item in many state budgets. Clearly, according to the director of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Policy Studies at Princeton, we cannot escape the problems of the U.S. corrections system. Dilulio takes a sharp look at the current situation and presents an unusual thesis: only better management can improve the prison system. Change, he believes, can come only through the efforts of people directly involved in the front line of the system, not through theories and laws. In examining what needs to be changed and how ultimately to do it, he balances analysis of current theory with consideration of real cases of what has worked and what hasn't. He tackles all the tough subjects--rehabilitation, privatization of prisons, alternatives to incarceration--with a clearheaded, thoughtful, and fresh approach. Moreover, he writes accessibly for the lay reader and the public policy analyst or corrections official alike. An important book on a subject that will only become a greater national concern in the foreseeable future. ~--Mary Ellen Sullivan

Publisher's Weekly Review

This report by the director of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Policy Studies at Princeton University may become a seminal work in the literature of penology. Soliciting expert opinions--from police commissioners and officers, wardens, counselors, probation officers, parole agents--he presents a view from the trenches on how to make our corrections policies more effective. The book is admirably free of dogmatism, and steers a middle course between rigid conservativism and soft-line liberalism. This does not mean that DiLulio equivocates, however; much the opposite. For example, he characterizes lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key advocates as ``morally myopic morons.'' His impressive analysis of the prison system will be of great interest to professionals. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Dilulio, a leading expert in correctional thought and policy and author of Governing Prisons ( LJ 1/88), has written a thought-provoking book about American corrections: where we are today and where new trends seem to be taking us. The facts are clear. The number of incarcerated people will continue to grow, overcrowding will continue to be rampant, and resistance to new prisons and jails will be coupled with plans for alternative forms of community-based corrections. After carefully examining various approaches to these problems including judicial intervention, privatization, and community service, the author comes to some startling conclusions. A worthwhile addition to the corrections literature, this is recommended for academic libraries and large public library collections.--Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

DiIulio's book spells out in interesting detail how the American jail and prison system can be improved and modified through modern management techniques. The author's thesis is that "Poor prison and jail conditions are produced by poor prison and jail management; cruel and unusual conditions are the product of failed management." Further, DiIulio alleges that "No group of inmates is unmanageable'; and no combination of political, social, budgetary, architectural, or other factors makes good management impossible." DiIulio elaborates on these two theses in seven chapters that are both insightful and thought provoking. Few would doubt that American prisons and jails are facing increased inmate caseloads, budgetary constraints, and judicial oversight, yet DiIulio offers up a series of management-oriented ukases that at least address these problems from a different perspective. Most of the correctional literature of the past 30 years has been "inmate oriented." This work should be on the reading list not only for correctional administrators, but also for students of corrections and criminology as well. A notable achievement. -J. C. Watkins Jr., University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
1 Better Management Equals Better Prisons and Jailsp. 11
2 Promising Alternatives to Incarcerationp. 60
3 Rehabilitation Revisitedp. 103
4 Judicial Intervention: Lessons of the Pastp. 148
5 Privatization or Nationalization?p. 180
6 Social Science and Correctionsp. 212
7 Conclusion: the American Penal Credop. 266
Notesp. 273
Indexp. 289