For the Children?

HONG KONG REVIEW OF BOOKS 香港書評

MH discusses children in the US prison system, the racial biases evident in incarceration patterns and the idea of a world without prisons.

Erica C. Meiners, For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) 255 pp.

The fact that the United States currently has the world’s largest prison population might not come as a surprise for some. But what is usually left out of mainstream media narratives is the racialized core of incarceration and surveillance, the fact that people of color, especially black adults, are far more likely to be incarcerated than their white peers. This is also why Erica C. Meiners’ For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State singles out “targeted criminalization” instead of “mass incarceration”. As further revealed by current attempts at prison reform and alternatives to imprisonment in the United States, getting prisons closed has little to do with…

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