Defining Documents in American History: Prison Reform Review

"One step forward, two steps back. The need for prison reform continues to be a critical topic of conversation for many Americans. “Defining Documents,” a well-established series, takes on prison reform throughout American history, beginning in 1717. The two volumes of Prison Reform contain an expansive collection of 61 primary documents, including letters, treaties, petitions, government reports, official court decisions, and more, all of which have directly affected the evolution of America’s prison system. The documents are organized into six sections: “Prisons” Without Wardens, Walls, or Cells; Antebellum Prisons and Prison Reform; Prison & Prison Reform in the 1990s and Twenty-first Century; Wartime Incarceration and Punishment; and Race, Ethnicity, and Imprisonment. Each document is preceded by a summary review, defining moment, and author biography. These sections provide the perfect amount of context to the document. Following the document is an analysis and a bibliography, rendering the information easily digestible at any level. Summing Up: Two Stars. Recommended. Lower division undergraduates through faculty."
- CHOICE, 2019