Download A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration by Ernest Drucker PDF

By Ernest Drucker

Whilst Dr. John Snow first traced an epidemic of cholera to a water pump within the Soho district of London in 1854, the sphere of epidemiology was once born. Taking an analogous public wellbeing and fitness ways and instruments that experience effectively tracked epidemics of flu, tuberculosis, and AIDS over the intervening 100 and fifty years, Ernest Drucker makes the case that our present exceptional point of imprisonment has turn into an epidemic—a plague upon our physique politic.

Drucker, an the world over well-known public wellbeing and fitness student and Soros Justice Fellow, spent two decades treating drug dependancy and one other twenty learning AIDS in many of the poorest neighborhoods of the South Bronx and around the world. He
compares mass incarceration to different, well-recognized epidemics utilizing simple public future health options: “prevalence and incidence,” “outbreaks,” “contagion,” “transmission,” and “potential years of lifestyles lost.”

He argues that imprisonment—originally conceived as a reaction to individuals’ crimes—has turn into mass incarceration: a destabilizing strength that undermines the households and groups it goals, destructive the very social constructions that hinder crime.

Sure to impress debate, this ebook shifts the paradigm of the way we predict approximately punishment by way of demonstrating that our unheard of premiums of incarceration have the contagious and self-perpetuating gains of the plagues of prior centuries.

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Additional info for A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America

Sample text

Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot all employed mass imprisonment—­each presided over a process that arrested and incarcerated millions. Such systems are often part of massive programs of slave labor or forced resettlement, in which high death rates are a typical by‑product. And some examples of mass incarceration are explicitly part of a program of ethnic cleansing or genocide—­a tool of policy that intends the extermination of entire populations. But now, for the first time, we see mass incarceration in a democratic society.

22 And we have learned that the ways we responded (and failed to respond) to our drug problems determined the course of the AIDS epidemic in America. So we can see that AIDS was a highly political epidemic from its first cases among gay men in California to its later home in the shooting galleries of the poorest urban ghettos of America’s cities. While the social drama surrounding the epidemic of AIDS was unfolding, AIDS medicine was making remarkable progress. By 1995 we had developed relatively effective treatments for the clinical disease of AIDS—­antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

But there aren’t: not only were the numbers of cases much lower in the North Bronx, so were the rates per 100,000 population. Rates in the impoverished Mott Haven section of the South Bronx were five to ten times as high as in Riverdale, a leafy and prosperous neighborhood in the north of the borough. How could we account for such big disparities in AIDS incidence from neighborhood to neighborhood? Clearly, as in the case of the Titanic, we needed more detailed information about the localities where the AIDS cases clustered, and more information about the individuals affected as compared to those who were not.

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