Synopses & Reviews
Today there are approximately fifty thousand prisoners in American prisons serving life without parole, having been found guilty of crimes ranging from murder and rape to burglary, carjacking, and drug offences. In The Forgotten Men
, criminologist Margaret E. Leigey provides an insightful account of a group of aging inmates imprisoned for at least twenty years, with virtually no chance of release.and#160;These men make up one of the most marginalized segments of the contemporary U.S. prison population. Considered too dangerous for rehabilitation, ignored by prison administrators, and overlooked by courts disinclined to review such sentences, these prisoners grow increasingly cut off from family and the outside world. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-five such prisoners, Leigey gives voice to these extremely marginalized inmates and offers a look at how they struggle to cope. She reveals, for instance, that the men believe that permanent incarceration is as inhumane as capital punishment, calling life without parole andldquo;the hard death penalty.andrdquo; Indeed, after serving two decades in prison, some wished that they had received the death penalty instead. Leigey also recounts the ways in which the prisoners attempt to construct meaningful lives inside the bleak environment where they will almost certainly live out their lives.and#160;
and#160;Every state in the union (except Alaska) has the life-without-parole sentencing option, despite its controversial nature and its staggering cost to the taxpayer. The Forgotten Men provides a much-needed analysis of the policies behind life-without-parole sentencing, arguing that such sentences are overused and lead to serious financial and ethical dilemmas.
andquot;The Forgotten Men is a thorough, insightful, and engaging book that provides rich information and in-depth analysis in order to accurately convey the realities of life in prison. Leigeyandrsquo;s book is a unique and cutting?-?edge contribution.andquot;
andquot;This book providesand#160;a rich, detailed portrait of the lives of those who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in the United States. The authors skillfullyand#160;conduct aand#160;journey inside the minds of exonerees, allowing readers to see the world from their unique perspectives.andquot;
andquot;When an innocent man walks off death row, we bask in the happiness that he and his supporters exude, but, as Westervelt and Cook movingly document in this outstanding scholarly treatise, exoneration never ends the despair that follows a wrongful death sentence.andquot;
andquot;A wonderful research idea, wonderfully realized.and#160; The persons we meet on these pages have suffered the cruelest fate imaginable, and we learn crucial lessons from them about human trauma and human resilience. A rich, thoughtful, important, compelling study.andquot;
andquot;Westervelt and Cook have written a well-written, compelling, and detailed qualitative study of the afterlife of death row inmates who have been exonerated by the courts. This study demonstrates the authors' extensive and thorough work, which has paid off with an important study in criminology. Highly recommended.andquot;
andquot;The nation's first systematic study of the experiences of death-row inmates who are cleared of wrongdoing.andquot;
"This is an incisive contribution to complicating juvenile crime, incarceration, and rehabilitation discussion. The authors locate several teenagers, inside and outside the juvenile facilities where they are confined, and show how they adapt one setting to the other with a hybrid of promising and troubling results."
"This study takes us inside the lives of troubled youth that the juvenile court was designed to rescue; it is a must-read for those seeking a humane and effective juvenile corrections system."
andquot;A profound and moving work of social science that explains in compelling prose what it means to sentence human beings to live and die in prison. The forgotten men whose life stories frame this book will be long remembered by students of penology. Leigeyandrsquo;s superb book will guide my research and teaching in the coming years.andquot;and#160;
andquot;The Forgotten Men is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the human costs of mass incarceration in America. A compelling and compassionate account of injustice, inhumane punishment and the resilience of the human spirit, the book lays bare the devastating consequences of unnecessarily extreme sentencing policies.andquot;
andquot;By carefully recording the decades-long experiences of those sentenced to permanent incarceration, Leigey brings a much needed degree of humanity to these forgotten men. In so doing, her important contribution impels readers to consider the purpose served by lifelong prison sentences.andquot;
In The Forgotten Men, criminologist Margaret E. Leigey provides an insightful account of a group of inmates sentenced to life without parole. Imprisoned for at least twenty years, with virtually no chance of release, these men make up one of the most marginalized segments of the U.S. prison population. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-five such prisoners, Leigey describes how they struggle to construct meaningful lives and provides a much-needed analysis of the policies behind life-without-parole sentencing.and#160;and#160;
Life after Death Row examines the post-incarceration struggles of individuals who have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes, sentenced to death, and subsequently exonerated. Drawing upon research on trauma, recovery, coping, and stigma, the authors weave a nuanced fabric of grief, loss, resilience, hope, despair, and meaning to provide the richest account to date of the struggles faced by people striving to reclaim their lives in contemporary American society after years of wrongful incarceration.
Life after Death Row examines the post-incarceration struggles of individuals who have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes, sentenced to death, and subsequently exonerated.
Saundra D. Westervelt and Kimberly J. Cook present eighteen exonereesandrsquo; stories, focusing on three central areas: the invisibility of the innocent after release, the complicity of the justice system in that invisibility, and personal trauma management. Contrary to popular belief, exonerees are not automatically compensated by the state or provided adequate assistance in the transition to post-prison life. With no time and little support, many struggle to find homes, financial security, and community. They have limited or obsolete employment skills and difficulty managing such daily tasks as grocery shopping or banking. They struggle to regain independence, self-sufficiency, and identity.
Drawing upon research on trauma, recovery, coping, and stigma, the authors weave a nuanced fabric of grief, loss, resilience, hope, and meaning to provide the richest account to date of the struggles faced by people striving to reclaim their lives after years of wrongful incarceration.
About the Author
SAUNDRA D. WESTERVELT is an associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is the coeditor of Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice (Rutgers University Press).
and#160;KIMBERLY J. COOK is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is the author of Divided Passions: Public Opinions on Abortion and the Death Penalty.
Table of Contents
1. History and Current Tensions in Juvenile Corrections
2. The Setting
3. Mixed Messages: “Therapy Speak” in a Correctional Milieu
4. “Take It Like a Man”: Masculinities, Treatment, and Crime
5. “Jumping through Hoops”: Identity, Self-Preservation, and Change
6. On the Outs
7. Rehabilitating Rehabilitation: What We Learned from Unit C