The National Research Council offers a thought-provoking account of why the rate of imprisonment in the US has quadrupled in the past decade and is disproportionately poor, young, minority, addicted, mentally ill, and badly educated.
The report makes the case that incarceration is now hurting our society rather than helping it, and recommends changes in policy as a result.
No doubt this the conclusions and recommendations will be vigorously debated. They should: it is time for a serious discussion about incarceration in this country that will result in our re-thinking the nature and purpose of our correctional institutions.
The book is available for a free download (or in paperback for $67.46) at the National Academies Press site.