Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex: Crime and Incarceration in the 21st Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex

Crime and Incarceration in the 21st Century, 1st Edition

By Kevin Wehr, Elyshia Aseltine


80 pages

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Paperback: 9780415635530
pub: 2013-02-25
Hardback: 9781138133662
pub: 2015-10-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203070888
pub: 2013-06-26
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This short text, ideal for Social Problems and Criminal Justice courses, examines the American prison system, its conditions, and its impact on society. Wehr and Aseltine define the prison industrial complex and explain how the current prison system is a contemporary social problem. They conclude by using California as a case study, and propose alternatives and alterations to the prison system.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Section I: The Prison Industrial Complex: Principles, Processes, Products 1. Introduction 2. The Prison Industrial Complex: Social functions of crime and prisons 3. Elaborating the Prison Industrial Complex: Race, class, gender, and social control Section II: Crime and Incarceration in the 21st Century 4. The Troubling Conditions in Prisons 5. Consequences of Prisons for the Community Section III: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex 6. Reforming the Prison Industiral Complex: The case of California 7. Conclusion: Framing alternatives Glossary/Index

About the Authors

Kevin Wehr is associate professor of Sociology at the California State University, Sacramento, where he specializes in criminology and environmental and cultural sociology. He received his PhD in 2002 and his MS in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his BA in 1994 from the University of California Santa Cruz. His other works include America’s Fight over Water: The Environmental and Political Effects of Large-Scale Water Systems, Hermes on Two Wheels: The Sociology of Bicycle Messengers, and DIY: The Search for Control and Self-Reliance in the 21st Century.

Elyshia Aseltineis an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Towson University in Maryland. Her research focuses on punishment and inequality in the United States and Africa. 

About the Series

Framing 21st Century Social Issues

The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on

For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General