Synopses & Reviews
The American prison system has grown tenfold in thirty years, while crime rates have been relatively flat: 2 million people are behind bars on any given day, more prisoners than in any other country in the world — half a million more than in Communist China, and the largest prison expansion the world has ever known. In Going Up The River
, Joseph Hallinan gets to the heart of Americas biggest growth industry, a self-perpetuating prison-industrial complex that has become entrenched without public awareness, much less voter consent. He answers, in an extraordinary way, the essential question: What, in human terms, is the price we pay? He has looked for answers to that question in every corner of the “prison nation,” a world far off the media grid — the America of struggling towns and cities left behind by the information age and desperate for jobs and money. Hallinan shows why the more prisons we build, the more prisoners we create, placating everyone at the expense of the voiceless prisoners, who together make up one of the largest migrations in our nations history.
From the Hardcover edition.
"[A] clear-eyed, sleekly written and deeply disturbing tour of the privatized prison landscape of America circa 2000, with a welcome (if unnerving) focus on the human aspect of maximum incarceration....[An] essential portrait..." Publishers Weekly
"This is an eye-opening look at the U.S. prison system and the troubling trend of mixing the profit motive of the private prisons with social objectives of punishing criminals." Vanessa Bush, Booklist
"From Beeville, TX, to Tamms, IL, Hallinan saw much of the same story: largely without public awareness or consent, prisons have become big business while taking their toll in human terms. Highly recommended." Library Journal
- Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001- A New York Times Notable Book
No nation in the world incarcerates a higher percentage of its people than the United States. Just how out of hand things have gotten is the subject of Hallinan's groundbreaking exploration of one of America's biggest growth industries, a self-perpetuating prison-industrial complex that has become entrenched without public awareness, much less voter consent.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -252) and index.
About the Author
Joseph Hallinan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has been writing about the criminal-justice system for almost a decade, first as a local reporter and later as a nationally syndicated correspondent for the Newhouse News Service. In 1997, Hallinan was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he continued to investigate American prisons. He now writes for The Wall Street Journal
and lives in Chicago.
From the Hardcover edition.