Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison
by Nell Bernstein
The New Press, 2014
Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better
by Maya Schenwar
If you have the capacity to read one book on prisons this month, which should you choose? For many people I would say without hesitation: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2012). It is a stunning book. Or it was for me. Call me naïve, but it had never occurred to me that the cancerous growth of the prison system since the 1970s might have been a response to the success of the Civil Rights movement in the ’60s.