Prison, Inc: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison

Prison, Inc: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison

Prison, Inc: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison

Prison, Inc: A Convict Exposes Life Inside a Private Prison

Synopsis

In The Sense of Justice , distinguished legal author Markus Dirk Dubber undertakes a critical analysis of the "sense of justice": an overused, yet curiously understudied, concept in modern legal and political discourse. Courts cite it, scholars measure it, presidential candidates prize it, eulogists praise it, criminals lack it, and commentators bemoan its loss in times of war. But what is it? Often, the sense of justice is dismissed as little more than an emotional impulse that is out of place in a criminal justice system based on abstract legal and political norms equally applied to all.

Dubber argues against simple categorization of the sense of justice. Drawing on recent work in moral philosophy, political theory, and linguistics, Dubber defines the sense of justice in terms of empathy- the emotional capacity that makes law possible by giving us vicarious access to the experiences of others. From there, he explores the way it is invoked, considered, and used in the American criminal justice system. He argues that this sense is more than an irrational emotional impulse but a valuable legal tool that should be properly used and understood.

Excerpt

Thomas J. Bernard

This book is a case study of a privately owned prison intended to provide you, the reader, with an accurate glimpse into prison life. It follows the events thaToccurred with the prison's descent into chaos and its subsequent climb back toward order and control. All names of people and places in this book have been changed to protect the identity of the author, who fears he might suffer retaliation either from prison officials or from other inmates if his true identity were disclosed.

To disguise his identity, the author of this book uses the pseudonym K. C. Carceral. This person is an inmate who has been in prison since 1982 when, shortly after graduating from high school, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. in 1997, after eighteen years in various state prisons, Carceral was transferred to a brand-new “private” prison that is owned and operated by a profit-making corporation whose stock is publicly traded on Wall Street. This is a real prison run by a real corporation, but to disguise their identities in this book they are called Enterprise Correctional Facility and Venture Correctional Corporation. Venture maintained that it could house inmates at lower cost while providing better facilities and services than prisons run by the state's Department of Corrections. in order to achieve these tax savings, the state government contracted with this corporation to house a significant portion of its inmate population.

Carceral comes from a state in the northern part of the United States (called Northern State in this book), while Venture built its new prison in a southern state (called Southern State here) about 600 miles away. Shortly after it opened, 1,500 inmates from Northern State were transferred to this brand-new prison. Almost immediately, the prison began to descend into chaos and violence as the corporation focused on contain-

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