Youth in Prison : We the People of Unit Four book cover
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Youth in Prison
We the People of Unit Four




ISBN 9780415914383
Published September 23, 1997 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Based on two years of intensive research in a juvenile prison, this study tells the story of youths in a "model program," created after a class action lawsuit for inhumane and illegal practices. It captures their lives inside and outside of prison: from drugs, gangs and criminal behaviour to the realities of families, schools and neighbourhoods. Drawing on experience that encompasses 20 years of juvenile justice research and policy analysis, the authors scrutinize the prison's attempts to combine accountability and treatment for youths with protection for the public, situating these within the larger social and political context.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Kept, the Keepers, the Social OrderJuvenile Crime, Public Fear, Political Symbolism Going Inside the Prison One: The Impetus and Hope for ChangeNegotiating a Consent Decree and Envisioning a New EraThe Model Program: Responsibilities, Rights, and RespectThe Model Program's Essential Elements Surpassing Old Debates, Transforming Power Relations Two: Collective and Individual Identities: Who are these Prisoners, These Kids? Identity and Imprisonment: Lots of Us Inside These Walls Interactions and InterpretationsLife on the Streets: Friendship, Loyalties, Protection, EconomicsThe Perpetual Specter of Drugs Offense Histories and Risk to Public SafetyContextualizing their Offenses Never Children, Still Children Three: The Program's Early Success and Eventual DemiseThe Early Days of Intense Effort, Initial TriumphResponsibility and Shared Decision MakingHolding the World in Abeyance Disinterest, Reluctant Participation The Program's Demise: A Dream DiminishedPerpetual Change, Ineffective Treatment GroupsFurther Component Limitations Doing the Program: Variation Among Youths Four: Political Opposition, Bureaucratic Inertia, and Individual Inadequacies Unilateral Decision Making and Lack of Accountability Perceptions of Inconsistency and Lack of FairnessViolating the Spirit of the ProgramOrganizational Impediments, Bureaucratic InertiaLimited Sphere of InfluencePolitical Imperatives and ImpedimentsFive: Going Home When I Get Out... The Ubiquitous Influence of DrugsMake New Friends, But...You Can't Take It BackSocial and Economic Realities: Poverty, Unemployment, Dead EndsEver AfterSix: ConclusionThe Power and Futility of Prison Fences

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Author(s)

Biography

M. A. Bortner and Linda M. Williams teach at the School of Justice Studies at Arizona State University. Bortner is the author of Inside a Juvenile Court and Delinquency and Justice. Williams is President of the Williams Institute for Ethics and Management.

Reviews

"A study of this model program and its 385 participants during 1992-1994 is based on fieldwork research involving intensive interactions with incarcerated, staff members and prison administrators, supplemented by review of youths' agency files Criminal Justice Abstracts."
"This research analyzes the model treatment program that was the center of the state's attempt to reconstruct its prison environment. This prison system is examined within in the context of the more encompassing national controversies regarding crime, violence, and punishment Criminology of Violence and Abuse."
"...this book is quite useful for any undergraduate course in juvenile justice as it illustrates the realities of experimental approaches within the juvenile justice system. Reminding readers of a fundamental distinction between adults and juveniles, this book is a valuable and worthy contribution to juvenile justice literature." -- International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
"A study of this model program and its 385 participants during 1992-1994 is based on fieldwork research involving intensive interactions with incarcerated youths, staff memebers and prison administrators, supplemented by review of youth's agency files Criminal Justice Abstracts."
"The book is well writen and relatively easy to read...Recommended for libraries supporting programs in counseling and social work and for libraries seeking expanded coverage of critical justice and criminology." -- R.T. Sigler Choice
"With their study of the 'model treatment program' Bortner and Williams have created a model of their own against which those of us who currently are engaged in the process of researching, theorizing and writing about the US criminal justice system may measure our own work. Youth in Prison is a profoundly important text not only for its thoroughly researched analysis of one alternative to traditional juvenile incarceration, but for the insights it offers into the lives of incarcerated youth during--and, equally as important, before and after--their involvement with the penal system. Here we see not only where and how [the] model program failed, but how critical a rethinking of our treatment of youth in crisis is to our collective effort as a society to end the need for juvenile prisons." -- Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz
"Youth in Prison contributes an important piece of the juvenile justice puzzle." -- Luis J. Rodriguez
"This book is a must read. It is impossible to understand the current discussions about crime, youth, drugs, schools, gangs and violence without first reading this book. It gives new meaning to the struggle to link theory and practice, justice and hope, to and through the voices of the youths, speaking not simply to their lives but to the very life of the US as a democratic society." -- Henry Giroux, Pennsylvania State University
"Bortner and Williams give us a sobering and perceptive account of our growing problem of incarcerated juveniles. Using the lends of...a model-treatment experiment, they illuminate the paradoxes inherent in policies that ignore the needs of young people, and then pretend to somehow cope with the resulting harm with discipline and punishment." -- Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York
"...this book is quite useful for any undergraduate course in juvenile justice as it illustrates the realities of experimental approaches within the juvenile justice system. Reminding readers of a fundamental distinction between adults and juveniles, this book is a valuable and worthy contribution to juvenile justice literature." -- International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology