Prisoners have been part of the population in the Americas since the first settlers arrived from Europe. Since then, there have been efforts to reform and improve the prison system in this country. This volume gathers together and analyzes documents that discuss the fierce debates and legislation related to prison reform, the privatization prisons, the efforts to end practices like solitary confinement, and the improvement of mental health care in prisons.
Documents analyzed in these volumes include: Remarks on Prisons and Prison Systems in the United States by Dorothea Dix; The Declaration of Principles by the National Congress of Penitentiary and Reformatory Discipline; Fifty Years of Prison Services: An Autobiography, by Zebulon Reed Brockway; Changing Lenses - A New Focus for Crime and Justice by Howard Zehr; Privatizing Correctional Institutions: An Organizational Perspective," by David Schichor; and the FIRST STEP Act.
Each in-depth chapter provides a thorough commentary and analysis of each primary source document, often reprinted in its entirety. Commentary includes a Summary, Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Detailed Document Analysis, and discussion of Essential Themes.