A Pound of Flesh

Author: Alexes Harris
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610448553
Format: PDF
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Over seven million Americans are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, with their criminal records often following them for life and affecting access to higher education, jobs, and housing. Court-ordered monetary sanctions that compel criminal defendants to pay fines, fees, surcharges, and restitution further inhibit their ability to reenter society. In A Pound of Flesh, sociologist Alexes Harris analyzes the rise of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system and shows how they permanently penalize and marginalize the poor. She exposes the damaging effects of a little-understood component of criminal sentencing and shows how it further perpetuates racial and economic inequality. Harris draws from extensive sentencing data, legal documents, observations of court hearings, and interviews with defendants, judges, prosecutors, and other court officials. She documents how low-income defendants are affected by monetary sanctions, which include fees for public defenders and a variety of processing charges. Until these debts are paid in full, individuals remain under judicial supervision, subject to court summons, warrants, and jail stays. As a result of interest and surcharges that accumulate on unpaid financial penalties, these monetary sanctions often become insurmountable legal debts which many offenders carry for the remainder of their lives. Harris finds that such fiscal sentences, which are imposed disproportionately on low-income minorities, help create a permanent economic underclass and deepen social stratification. A Pound of Flesh delves into the court practices of five counties in Washington State to illustrate the ways in which subjective sentencing shapes the practice of monetary sanctions. Judges and court clerks hold a considerable degree of discretion in the sentencing and monitoring of monetary sanctions and rely on individual values—such as personal responsibility, meritocracy, and paternalism—to determine how much and when offenders should pay. Harris shows that monetary sanctions are imposed at different rates across jurisdictions, with little or no state government oversight. Local officials’ reliance on their own values and beliefs can also push offenders further into debt—for example, when judges charge defendants who lack the means to pay their fines with contempt of court and penalize them with additional fines or jail time. A Pound of Flesh provides a timely examination of how monetary sanctions permanently bind poor offenders to the judicial system. Harris concludes that in letting monetary sanctions go unchecked, we have created a two-tiered legal system that imposes additional burdens on already-marginalized groups.

Hard Bargains

Author: Mona Lynch
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610448618
Format: PDF, ePub
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The convergence of tough-on-crime politics, stiffer sentencing laws, and jurisdictional expansion in the 1970s and 1980s increased the powers of federal prosecutors in unprecedented ways. In Hard Bargains, social psychologist Mona Lynch investigates the increased power of these prosecutors in our age of mass incarceration. Lynch documents how prosecutors use punitive federal drug laws to coerce guilty pleas and obtain long prison sentences for defendants—particularly those who are African American— and exposes deep injustices in the federal courts. As a result of the War on Drugs, the number of drug cases prosecuted each year in federal courts has increased fivefold since 1980. Lynch goes behind the scenes in three federal court districts and finds that federal prosecutors have considerable discretion in adjudicating these cases. Federal drug laws are wielded differently in each district, but with such force to overwhelm defendants’ ability to assert their rights. For drug defendants with prior convictions, the stakes are even higher since prosecutors can file charges that incur lengthy prison sentences—including life in prison without parole. Through extensive field research, Lynch finds that prosecutors frequently use the threat of extremely severe sentences to compel defendants to plead guilty rather than go to trial and risk much harsher punishment. Lynch also shows that the highly discretionary ways in which federal prosecutors work with law enforcement have led to significant racial disparities in federal courts. For instance, most federal charges for crack cocaine offenses are brought against African Americans even though whites are more likely to use crack. In addition, Latinos are increasingly entering the federal system as a result of aggressive immigration crackdowns that also target illicit drugs. Hard Bargains provides an incisive and revealing look at how legal reforms over the last five decades have shifted excessive authority to federal prosecutors, resulting in the erosion of defendants’ rights and extreme sentences for those convicted. Lynch proposes a broad overhaul of the federal criminal justice system to restore the balance of power and retreat from the punitive indulgences of the War on Drugs.

Lockdown America

Author: Christian Parenti
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9781859843031
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A documented look at the criminal justice system in America, "Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis" gives a detailed, critical account of the realities of the prison system.

Nudge

Author: Richard H. Thaler
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101655097
Format: PDF, ePub
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From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow New York Times bestseller Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. More than 750,000 copies sold

Human Development Report 1994

Author: United Nations Development Programme
Publisher: Human Development Report
ISBN: 0195091701
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Expounds a new concept of human security- one that focuses on the security of people in their homes, in their jobs, in their communities and in their environment.

Dos Mundos

Author: Richard Baker
Publisher: Utah State University Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Mexican Americans make up the largest minority in Idaho, yet they seemingly live in a different world from the dominant Anglo population, and because of pervasive stereotypes and exclusive policies, their participation in the community's social, economic, and political life is continually impeded. This unique ethnographic study of a small Idaho community with a large Hispanic population examines many dimensions of the impact race relations have on everyday life for rural Mexican Americans.

Building Better Health

Author: C. David Jenkins
Publisher: Pan American Health Org
ISBN: 9275115907
Format: PDF, ePub
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This manual provides guidance on proven disease prevention strategies and practical behavioral science principles for health workers involved in all levels of planning and operating local and regional health programmes. Issues discussed include: basic disease prevention principles; community health intervention strategies; improving health throughout the life cycle; leading forms of death and disability including brain and behavioural disorders, cardiovascular diseases, strokes and cancers; and successful strategies for behavioural change.

Closing the Coverage Gap

Author: Robert Holzmann
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 0821379801
Format: PDF, ePub
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This title looks at water availability and water demand in various sectors, estimating the water gap today and through the year 2050. It presents a methodology to prioritise options to bridge the water gap, using the marginal cost of water approach.

The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

Author: Michael T. Taussig
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807898414
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this classic book, Michael Taussig explores the social significance of the devil in the folklore of contemporary plantation workers and miners in South America. Grounding his analysis in Marxist theory, Taussig finds that the fetishization of evil, in the image of the devil, mediates the conflict between precapitalist and capitalist modes of objectifying the human condition. He links traditional narratives of the devil-pact, in which the soul is bartered for illusory or transitory power, with the way in which production in capitalist economies causes workers to become alienated from the commodities they produce. A new chapter for this anniversary edition features a discussion of Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille that extends Taussig's ideas about the devil-pact metaphor.