Stateville by James B. Jacobs
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By James B. Jacobs


Penitentiary in Mass Society New edition

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Format: Paperback

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Stateville by James B. Jacobs

Book Description

Stateville penitentiary in Illinois has housed some of Chicago's most infamous criminals and was proclaimed to be "the world's toughest prison" by Joseph Ragen, Stateville's powerful warden from 1936 to 1961. It shares with Attica, San Quentin, and Jackson the notoriety of being one of the maximum security prisons that has shaped the public's conception of imprisonment. In Stateville James B. Jacobs, a sociologist and legal scholar, presents the first historical examination of a total prison organization administrators, guards, prisoners, and special interest groups. Jacobs applies Edward Shils's interpretation of the dynamics of mass society in order to explain the dramatic events of the past quarter century that have permanently altered Stateville's structure. With the extension of civil rights to previously marginal groups such as racial minorities, the poor, and, ultimately, the incarcerated, prisons have moved from society's periphery toward its center. Accordingly Stateville's control mechanisms became less authoritarian and more legalistic and bureaucratic. As prisoners' rights increased, the preogatives of the staff were sharply curtailed. By the early 1970s the administration proved incapable of dealing with politicized gangs, proliferating interest groups, unionized guards, and interventionist courts. In addition to extensive archival research, Jacobs spent many months freely interacting with the prisoners, guards, and administrators at Stateville. His lucid presentation of Stateville's troubled history will provide fascinating reading for a wide audience of concerned readers. ." . . [an] impressive study of a complex social system." Isidore Silver, Library Journal "

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226389776
ISBN-10: 0226389774
Format: Paperback
(218mm x 140mm x 18mm)
Pages: 310
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 1-Sep-1978
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author James B. Jacobs

Eternal Criminal Record by James B. Jacobs Eternal Criminal Record, Hardback (February 2015)

For 60 million Americans a criminal record overshadows everything else about their identity. Citizens have a right to know when someone around them represents a threat. But convicted persons have rights too. James Jacobs examines the problem of erroneous records and proposes ways to eliminate discrimination for those who have been rehabilitated.

Breaking the Devil's Pact by James B. Jacobs Breaking the Devil's Pact, Paperback (March 2013)

An in-depth study of the U.S. v. IBT, beginning with Giuliani's lawsuit and the politics surrounding it, and continuing with an incisive analysis of the controversial nature of the ongoing trusteeship

Mobsters, Unions, and Feds by James B. Jacobs Mobsters, Unions, and Feds, Paperback (May 2007)

Documents organized crime's exploitation of organized labor and the massive federal clean-up effort. This book explains how Cosa Nostra families gained a foothold in the labor movement, and used this power to become part of the political and economic power structure of 20th-century urban America.

Can Gun Control Work by James B. Jacobs Can Gun Control Work, Paperback (September 2004)

Examines the on-the-ground practicalities of gun control, from mandatory safety locks to outright prohibition and disarmament. This book cautions against the belief that there exists some gun control solution which would substantially reduce violent crime. It presents an assessment of whether gun control can really be made to work.

» View all books by James B. Jacobs


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Author Biography - James B. Jacobs

James B. Jacobs is professor of law at New York University.

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