Islam in American Prisons: Black Muslims' Challenge to American Penology, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Islam in American Prisons

Black Muslims' Challenge to American Penology, 1st Edition

By Hamid Reza Kusha


230 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138268876
pub: 2016-11-25
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9781840147223
pub: 2009-06-25
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315251752
pub: 2016-12-05
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The growth of Islam both worldwide and particularly in the United States is especially notable among African-American inmates incarcerated in American state and federal penitentiaries. This growth poses a powerful challenge to American penal philosophy, structured on the ideal of rehabilitating offenders through penance and appropriate penal measures. Islam in American Prisons argues that prisoners converting to Islam seek an alternative form of redemption, one that poses a powerful epistemological as well as ideological challenge to American penology. Meanwhile, following the events of 9/11, some prison inmates have converted to radical anti-Western Islam and have become sympathetic to the goals and tactics of the Al-Qa'ida organization. This new study examines this multifaceted phenomenon and makes a powerful argument for the objective examination of the rehabilitative potentials of faith-based organizations in prisons, including the faith of those who convert to Islam.


'Kusha's is the first critical criminology treatment of Muslims in American prisons. His perspective brings to the surface the complexity of prison-bound conversion to Islam and its challenges to prevailing theory and practice. This is essential reading for criminologists, criminal justice professionals, policy makers, and is of great benefit to those concerned with the challenges facing U.S. institutions in a real multicultural society.' Nawal Ammar, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada 'Few scholars can successfully confront a multi-directional challenge. They normally focus on a unitary topic where they are most competent. Professor Hamid takes on two hard, yet timely, topics: the tenets of Islam, which is generally misunderstood in the West, and long-time incarceration as punishment for crime, which is misunderstood in the East. To integrate these topics, he elegantly discusses issues of history, justice, faith, culture, social control mechanisms; subjects that essentially form Islam's challenge to American Penology. The book is remarkably well written and the lessons to be learned from it are uniquely enriching.' Sam S. Souryal, Sam Houston State University, USA 'Overall this book offers an encouraging foundation for Muslims and others interested in Islam in American prisons to build upon for future interdisciplinary studies and research. Mining the wealth of topics covered in this book could be useful for legislators, academics and professionals working in criminal justice, Islamic studies and Islamic chaplaincy.' Journal of Intercultural Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Judeo-Christian foundations of American penology; American penal philosophy: an overview; Black incarceration: an historical analysis, 1960-2007; Adverse impacts of incarceration; Islam in American prisons; Islam's challenge to American penology; Conclusions; Index.

About the Series

Law, Justice and Power

Law, Justice and Power
To speak about law is always and necessarily to be engaged in a discourse about both justice and power. While law's relationship to justice is everywhere contingent and uncertain, law completely divorced from power is unthinkable. And, while law need not be virtuous to be law, if it had no effect in the world it could hardly be said to merit the name law. Recognizing these facts, the series on Law, Justice and Power takes a broad view of legal scholarship.It publishes books by social scientists, humanists and legal academics which connect an understanding of culture's normative ideals with examination of the complex ways that law works in the world, insist that justice is inseparable from social practices and analyze law as one form of power, one way of constituting, controlling and changing the social world. It focuses on state law as well as law in communities and cultural practices and on identities and their articulation in and through law, on law's power in the taken-for-granted world, on its role in the complex construction of nation and national power and on global developments which today destabilize and transform the meaning and significance of law. The series invites innovative scholarship that crosses disciplinary as well as geographic and temporal boundaries.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General