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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

Going Up The River ~review

Travels in a Prison Nation
By Joseph T. Hallinan
Random House: 320 pp.

[quoting] Every senator, congressman and state legislator, as well as every governor and the president, should read "Going Up the River." They probably won't: The book's subject is the appalling growth and size of the American prison industry, and it seems that no one in public life today has any ideas about prisons except to build more of them. Joseph T. Hallinan, for some years a national reporter for the Newhouse chain, has written a book that could well have been written in cold anger. But it wasn't. Instead Hallinan has taken a thorough, clear and calm look at how, almost unnoticed, the nation has created a $40-billion-a-year prison industry that employs 400,000 people. It is a system in which rehabilitation is nearly a forgotten goal, prisoners are treated most inhumanely in the most modern prisons and wardens talk as much about cutting costs as about devising ways to keep prisoners from repeating offenses. The U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation except Russia. Hallinan believes there are signs here and there of a changing attitude toward prison. But he is not hopeful that change will come quickly. A powerful, levelheaded book, "Going Up the River" may just, hopefully, accelerate the pace of change. Anthony Day [end quoting]

Source: The Los Angeles Times

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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