Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit polk.edu/equity.
Welcome to the Polk State College library guide for prisons and prisoners research topics. Below you will find suggested books/ebooks and recommended databases. If you need help, click the link for Ask a Librarian.
Controversial Issues in Prisons by
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
"This book is something of a 'call to arms'... Towards the end of this carefully-researched and well-argued book there is an exhortation to 'step out', 'be brave', and Scott and Codd have, indeed, written a brave book which deserves to be read widely; not only for the detailed analysis it unfolds on the toxic effects of prison, but also for the energy and passion they bring to bear in exploding the many myths which support its continued use." British Journal of Community Justice, Vol 9, Issues 1 & 2 special issue on the Rehabilitation Revolution "Scott and Codd's Controversial Issues in Prison is a passionate plea for academics to be 'be brave' and 'step out', and thus to acknowledge that the idea of, for example, an 'healthy prison' being (p.170) 'an oxymoron. Prisons are places of sadness and terror, harm and injustice, secrecy and oppression'. Set over ten chapters, eight of which deal with a 'controversial issue' - mental health problems in prison, women in prison, children and young people in custody, race and racism, self-inflicted deaths, the treatment of people who sexually offend, and prisoners and their families - Scott and Codd frame their argument to demonstrate that these issues raise fundamental concerns (p. ix) 'about the legitimacy of the confinement project and the kind of society in which it is deemed essential'."
Prisoners' Rights by
Publication Date: 2011-04-21
Prisoners' Rights: Principles and Practiceconsiders prisoners' rights from socio-legal and philosophical perspectives, and assesses the advantages and problems of a rights-based approach to imprisonment. At a time of record levels of imprisonment and projected future expansion of the prison population, this work is timely. The discussion in this book is not confined to a formal legal analysis, although it does include discussion of the developing jurisprudence on prisoners' rights. It offers a socio-legal rather than a purely black letter approach, and focuses on the experience of imprisonment. It draws on perspectives from a range of disciplines to illuminate how prisoners' rights operate in practice. The text also contributes to debates on imprisonment and citizenship, the treatment of women prisoners, and social exclusion. This book will be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students of penology and criminal justice, as well as professionals working within the penal system.
Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry by
Publication Date: 2012-09-20
This book examines the current state of both the theory and practice of prison privatization in the United States in the 21st century, providing a balanced compendium of research that allows readers to draw their own conclusions about this controversial subject.
America's Prisons by
Call Number: Polk/Lakeland Circulation (HV9471 .A49 2016)
Publication Date: 2015-12-15
What problems do America's prisons face? The new Jim Crow / Michelle Alexander ; Too many prison inmates? It's not so simple / Morris B. Hoffman ; The prison system is broken because of the war on drugs / Brian Mann ; The scariest explanation for America's vast prison population: we want it that way / Jakub Wrzesniewski ; The private prison system is dysfunctional and cruel / Brian Magee ; Private prisons are beneficial / Erwin A. Blackstone and Simon Hakim -- Who is in America's prisons? African Americans are overrepresented in prisons / Rina Palta ; The African American incarceration rate is the result of African American crime / Jason L. Riley ; Female prisoners should receive gender-specific attention / Megan Quattlebaum ; We should stop putting women in jail. For anything / Patricia O'Brien ; The juvenile detention system is broken / Sara Mayeux ; Juvenile detention can be effective / James Swift -- Are prisoners treated humanely? Solitary confinement is torture-- and morally wrong / Heather Rice ; Yes, some inmates still deserve solitary confinement / Greg Dobbs ; Food as punishment : giving U.S. inmates 'the loaf' persists / Eliza Barclay ; Prisoner disenfranchisement is wrong and dangerous / Jonathan Purtle ; Prisoner disenfranchisement should not be abandoned / Hans A. von Spakovsky -- Do prison alternatives work? Drug courts are not a good alternative for drug offenders / Margaret Dooley-Sammuli and Nastassia Walsh ; Drug courts are a good alternative for drug offenders / Jessica Huseman ; Electronic monitoring is an effective alternative to incarceration / Dylan Matthews ; Electronic monitoring is not an effective alternative to incarceration / James Kilgore ; Public shaming is a good substitute for imprisonment / Brian Hampel ; Public shaming is not a good substitute for imprisonment / David M. Reutter.
Why American Prisons Fail: how to fix them without spending more money (maybe less) by
Call Number: Polk/Winter Haven Circulation (HV9471 .P39 2016)
Publication Date: 2015-12-28
In Why American Prisons Fail: How to Fix Them without Spending More Money (Maybe Less), two former law school classmates, Peyton Paxson, a criminal justice professor, and George H. Watson, a past federal inmate and former attorney, address the issues currently facing our corrections system. They begin by describing how events in the late twentieth century caused the US to have the highest incarceration rate in the world today. They go on to discuss how Watson found himself in prison and his observations of how prisons fail to do their job--to rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them for reintegration back into society. The book provides brief surveys of the history of criminological theory and American prisons and compares U.S. penology with that of other Western democracies. The authors also examine the political and economic factors that drive today's mass incarceration phenomenon. They conclude with a discussion of existing best practices and proposed reforms to move away from expensive and unsuccessful mass incarceration toward a more effective system. Why American Prisons Fail is particularly timely, as there are rising bipartisan calls in Washington and among the states to adopt a different response to crime.
A Country Called Prison : mass incarceration and the making of a new nation by
Call Number: Polk/Lakeland Circulation (HV9466 .L66 2015)
Publication Date: 2015-07-01
The United States is the world leader in incarcerating citizens. 707 people out of every 100,000 are imprisoned. If those currently incarcerated in the US prison system were a country, it would be the 102nd most populated nation in the world. Aside from looking at the numbers, if we could look at prison from a new viewpoint, as its own country rather than an institution made up of walls and wires, policies and procedures, and legal statutes, what might we be able to learn?In A Country Called Prison, Mary Looman and John Carl propose a paradigm shift in the way that American society views mass incarceration. Weaving together sociological and psychological principles, theories of political reform, and real-life stories from experiences working in prison and withat-risk families, Looman and Carl form a foundation of understanding to demonstrate that prison is prison is more than an institution built of of fences and policies - it is a culture. A Country Called Prison offers concrete, concrete, feasible, economical suggestions to reform the prison system and help prisoners return to a healthier life after incarceration.
Criminal Justice Covers a wide variety of criminal justice topics, including corrections administration, law enforcement, social work, industrial security, drug rehabilitation, and criminal and family law.
Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text This comprehensive database includes full text and bibliographic records of leading journals in the criminal justice field. Covering a wide range of topics, it is an essential collection for students and scholars researching criminal justice and criminology.
America's News With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context The premier online resource covering todays hottest social issues, from capital punishment to immigration, to marijuana. This cross-curricular research tool supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Its informed differing views present each side of an issue, allowing you to draw your own valid conclusions.
Academic Search Complete Academic Search Complete, designed specifically for academic institutions, is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,300 journals and a total of 10,900 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1865, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
You must log in to use library databases and eBooks. When prompted to log in, enter your Passport credentials. If you have trouble, try resetting your Passport pin, sending an email to HelpDeskRequests@polk.edu, or calling the Help Desk at 863.292.3652. You can also get help from Ask a Librarian.