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Today, the number of persons incarcerated in American prisons is the highest per capita in U.S. history. At what social cost do we build and fill more prisons? James Samuel Logan here inquires into the basic reasons for the increase in the number of U. S. residents being imprisoned. He examines the historical nature of incarceration, debunking the myth that the social function of the prison was ever actually serious social reform. Logan exercises his unique connection to many of the social consequences of imprisonment, making reference to his own friends and family - experiences that are representative of the devastation caused by prisons. Logan's biggest concern is the lack of systematic and constructive critical investigation on the parts of Christian theologians and ethicists with regard to the social costs of imprisonment on such a large scale. Good Punishment brings together an examination of salient empirical data and social theory related to the contemporary U. S. practice of imprisonment with a constructive theological ethics of Christian praxis. Throughout, Logan draws heavily from the philosophies of Stanley Hauerwas, informing this investigation and proposal for reform.
More than 2 million persons occupy America's prisons and jails today ? the highest per capita incarceration rate in U.S. history. With just 6 percent of the world's population, the United States now holds 25 percent of its prisoners. At what social cost do we build and fill more prisons?
In Good Punishment? James Samuel Logan critiques the American obsession with imprisonment as punishment, calling it "retributive degradation" of the incarcerated. His analysis draws on both salient empirical data and material from a variety of disciplines ? social history, anthropology, law and penal theory, philosophy of religion ? as he uncovers the devastating social consequences (both direct and collateral) of imprisonment on such a large, unprecedented scale.
A distinctive contribution of this book lies in its development of a Christian social ethics of "good punishment" embodied as a politics of "healing memories" and "ontological intimacy." Logan earnestly explores how Christians can best engage with the real-life issues and concerns surrounding the American practice of imprisonment.
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