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Todd R. Clear and Natasha A. Frost

Apr 8, 2022

The Punishment Imperative

The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America

New York University Press 2015

Over the last 40 years, the US penal system has grown at an unprecedented rate―five times larger than in the past and grossly out of scale with the rest of the world. In The Punishment Imperative: The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America (New York University Press, 2013), criminologists Todd Clear and Natasha Frost argue that America’s move to mass incarceration from the 1960s to the early 2000s was more than just a response to crime or a collection of policies adopted in isolation; it was a grand social experiment. Tracing a wide array of trends related to the criminal justice system, this book charts the rise of penal severity in America and speculates that a variety of force have finally come together to bring this great social experiment to an end.

Todd R. Clear is University Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, Newark.  He was also the founder of Rutgers University-Newark’s New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) consortium.

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020).

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Zalman Newfield

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020).

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