Thursday, October 19, 2017

Op-Ed by Heather Schoenfeld: Louisiana sheriff’s comments reflect more than racism

Reposted from Injustice Today:
At a press conference on October 5th, Sheriff Steve Prator of Caddo Parish, Louisiana decried the state’s new policy that would lead to the release of some prisoners in the upcoming months. Sheriff Prator’s comments that the reforms would contribute to the release of “good” prisoners as well as “bad ones” have been roundly critiqued for “evoking slavery,” and the century-old legacy in Southern states of leasing black prisoners for profit. In fact, his comments also evoked more recent history. During the 1980s and 1990s, as the prison population dramatically expanded in many southern states, officials began to market prison labor as an economic boon to rural communities. Their actions reflected the absence of any serious policy discussion about the purpose of incarceration, besides warehousing offenders, or about what prisoners should do while serving their sentences.
The tradition of using prisoners as cheap or free labor for Southern communities is a long one. It grew out of a commonly held belief, in the aftermath of the Civil War, that former slaves would not work unless compelled or coerced and from the desire by local officials to maintain a cheap supply of labor. These beliefs led to the enactment of racist laws and practices that criminalized black Americans, who could then be forced to work without compensation. What began as convict leasing to private companies, eventually turned into labor for the state — growing crops, building roads, and constructing and maintaining public facilities (including prisons themselves). As detailed in my forthcoming book, Building the Prison State, the Florida Division of Corrections classified prisoners by their ability to work, not their security level until the 1960’s. Grade 1 prisoners were physically fit for any assignment; Grade 2 prisoners had a “slight defect, such as age, but were otherwise physically fit”; Grade 3 prisoners had “extensive physical disability, able to do only light work”; and Grade 4 prisoners were physically “unfit,” unable to do productive labor.
As Southern prison systems became more centralized and bureaucratized in the mid-20th century, prisons began providing other activities for prisoners, including education, recreation, and rehabilitative programming. Not coincidentally, the proportion of white prisoners in Southern prisons also increased. Yet work assignments — whether for private industry or the state — remained a crucial part of the prison experience.
Beginning in the 1980s, as the incarcerated population in Southern states rapidly increased, prisons there became dangerously overcrowded. By the end of that decade, state legislators voted to build new prisons in order to comply with federal court orders that found Southern prison systems unconstitutional for overcrowding and inadequate medical care. Yet officials faced stiff opposition to locating new prisons in their communities from much of the public, who considered them to be “undesirable land uses.” In response to this opposition, the Florida Department of Corrections and the governor’s office began a concerted marketing campaign to “sell” prisons to economically struggling rural communities in the northern part of the state. One of the big selling points to these communities was that prisoners could complete local public works projects at practically no cost. In addition, the state minimized the cost of prison expansion to taxpayers by using inmate labor to build and maintain new prisons. The marketing worked. County commissioners, sheriffs and state legislators began to welcome new prisons. Today, local officials in many Florida communities that house prisons will point — often with pride — at the parks, roadways, buildings and other projects that prisoners helped build.
During the 1990s, states and the federal government built approximately 170 new prisons in Southern rural towns. Yet, despite this influx, there were no coinciding policy discussions (let alone consensus) among state officials about what, exactly, prisoners should be doing while serving their sentences.
This question of how prisoners should spend their time is closely related to changing notions during the past century of the purpose of incarceration. During the first part of the 20th century, progressive experiments aside, the answer in most of the country was for prisoners to “work” so as to “normalize” the offender as a productive laborer. By the mid-20th century, that consensus had evolved into theories that prisoners should combine work with education in order to increase their prospects of becoming rehabilitated. By the 1990’s, during the heyday of “mass incarceration,” many politicians, victims’ rights organizations and law enforcement groups completely rejected the notion that prisons should be used to help rehabilitate inmates. Rather, they advocated not just to lock more people up, but to make their experience in prison as miserable as possible. Congress and President Clinton stripped prisoners of the ability to receive Pell Grants. State legislators attempted to take televisions and weight-equipment out of the state prisons and defunded correctional education. However, the expectation that prisoners work has remained constant. Corrections departments across the country routinely report the high percentage of prisoners with work assignments and often recount the benefits of this work to the state.
Today, the costs of maintaining such high rates of imprisonment have become unsustainable to many states. By 2011, states spent an estimated $52 billionon their corrections systems — 1 in 14 state general fund dollars. The state prison in Sheriff Prator’s parish closed in 2012 as a result of state budget cuts. Reformers around the country are advocating for legislation that will keep some non-violent offenders out of prison. These proposed reforms effectively put rural communities and political officials who gain from prison expansion on notice because they will deplete the supply of underpaid labor. It is hardly surprising then that Sheriff Prator and others would oppose the release of prisoners — particularly those that serve the economic needs of their communities.
The efforts of criminal justice reformers advocating for a reduction in our nation’s prison population would be strengthened by a frank acknowledgement of the economic benefits derived by rural communities from the placement of prisons. While the extent of the economic impact of prisons is debated, by bringing up this history, they can encourage an important and all-too rare public conversation about the economics of prisons. It is important for legislators, and the public, to connect these economic factors to broader discussions about what prisoners should be doing when incarcerated and, relatedly, to the overall purpose of prisons today.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Members' Publications

As compiled by Miltonette Craig: 

October 2017


Andraka-Christou, Barbara. (2017). What Is “Treatment” For Opioid Addiction in Problem-Solving Courts? A Study of 20 Indiana Drug and Veterans Courts. Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, 18(2), 189-254. [Access it here]

Dawe Meghan, and Philip Goodman. (2017). Conservative Politics, Sacred Cows, and Sacrificial Lambs: The (Mis)Use of Evidence in Canada’s Political and Penal Fields. Canadian Review of Sociology, 54(2), 129-146. [Access it here]

Kang, Timothy, Candace Kruttschnitt, and Philip Goodman. (2017, Forthcoming). Multi-Method Synergy: Using the Life-History Calendar and Life as a Film for Retrospective Narratives. Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

Mears, Daniel, Miltonette Craig, Eric Stewart, and Patricia Warren. (2017). Thinking Fast, Not Slow: How Cognitive Biases May Contribute to Racial Disparities in the Use of Force in Police-Citizen Encounters. Journal of Criminal Justice, 53, 12-24. [Access it here]

Reiter, Keramet, and Susan Bibler Coutin. (2017). Crossing Borders and Criminalizing Identity: The Disintegrated Subjects of Administrative Sanctions. Law and Society Review, 51(3), 567-601. [Access it here]

Sykes, Bryan, Anjuli Verma, and Black Hawk Hancock. (2017). Aligning Sampling and Case Selection in Quantitative-Qualitative Research Designs: Establishing Generalizability Limits in Mixed-Method Studies. Ethnography. DOI: 10.1177/1466138117725341 [Access it here]

Werth, Robert. (2017). Book Review: On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption and Justice, by Frederic Reamer. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517731736 [Access it here]


Goodman, Philip, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps. (2017). Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice. New York: Oxford University Press. [More info here]

If you would like your recently published book or article to be included in the next digest,

please send your citation information to Miltonette Craig ( by November 30.

Job Posting: University of Oxford (Criminology)


Associate Professorship in Quantitative Criminology 

CENTRE FOR CRIMINOLOGY, FACULTY OF LAW in association with Green Templeton College, Oxford
Grade 10a: £46,336 - £62,219 p.a.
The Faculty of Law and Green Templeton College Law invite suitably qualified candidates to apply for the post of Associate Professor in Quantitative Criminology in the Centre for Criminology, Oxford. The person appointed will be expected to engage in advanced study and research in Quantitative Criminology, to give high-quality seminars, classes, supervision, lectures, and tutorials, at both undergraduate and graduate level, to examine, and to play a part in the administration of the Centre and the Faculty.
Applicants must hold a doctorate in a relevant social science subject, have relevant teaching experience, have conducted and published empirical research with quantitative methods, be able to develop course materials and research proposals, have a research record of international standing and the intention to continue researching and publishing, and have the potential to secure external research funding. Preference will be given to candidates with a record of research and publication in the field of race and criminal justice, and experience of or the potential for successful engagement outside the academy in knowledge exchange activities or policy development. The full selection criteria in the Further Particulars should be consulted before applying.
Associate professors who are awarded the title of full professor may receive from the University an additional salary payment of £2,700 p.a.
Queries about the application process should be addressed to the Personnel Officer in the Law Faculty, Emma Gascoigne email:; tel: 01865 281622. All enquiries will be treated in strict confidence and will not form part of the selection decision.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 30 October 2017.
The College and the University are Equal Opportunity Employers. Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Oxford.

Job Posting: Université de Montréal (Criminology)

 Professor of Criminology 
Faculté des arts et des sciences / École de criminologie 

 Job description 
The École de criminologie is seeking applications for a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the field of criminal and/or social justice (for instance, community intervention practices, penal policies, environmental Criminology). 

The appointed candidate will be expected to teach at all three levels of the curriculum, supervise graduate students, engage in ongoing research and publication, and contribute to the academic life and reputation of the University. 


• Ph.D. in Criminology (or any related or relevant discipline) 
• Strong research record in the field 
• University teaching experience 
• Proficiency in the French language* 

 Information about the position 
Posting number 
FAS 09-17 / 18 
Until November 6th, 2017 inclusively 
The Université de Montréal offers competitive salaries and a full range of benefits. 
Starting date 
On or after June 1st, 2018 


The application must include the following documents: 

- a cover letter 
- a curriculum vitæ 
- copies of recent publications and research 

• Three letters of recommendation are also to be sent directly to the department Head by the referees.
Application and letters of recommendation must be sent to the head of the École de criminologie to the attention of Mr Jean Proulx at the following address: 
M. Jean Proulx 
École de criminologie 
Faculté des arts et des sciences 
Université de Montréal 
C. P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville 
Montréal (QC) H3C 3J7 
Applications and letters of recommendation can also be sent electronically to the following email address: 
For more information about the École de criminologie, please consult its Web site at: 

* Language Policy: Université de Montréal is a Québec university with an international reputation. French is the language of instruction. To renew its teaching faculty, the University is intensively recruiting the world’s best specialists. In accordance with the institution’s language policy, Université de Montréal provides support for newly-recruited faculty to attain proficiency in French 
The Université de Montréal application process allows all regular professors in the Department to have access to all documents unless the applicant explicitly states in her or his cover letter that access to the application should be limited to the selection committee. This restriction on accessibility will be lifted if the applicant is invited for an interview. 
Equal Access Employment Program 
Through its Equal Access Employment Program, Université de Montréal invites women, Aboriginal people, visible and ethnical minorities, as well as persons with disabilities to apply. During the recruitment process, our selection tools will be adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities who request it. Be assured of the confidentiality of this information. 
Université de Montréal is committed to the inclusion and the diversity of its staff and also encourages people of all sexual and gender identities to apply. 
Immigration Requirements 
We invite all qualified candidates to apply at UdeM. However, in accordance with immigration requirements in Canada, please note that priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Backlists of Our Scholars' Recently Published Works

June 2017


Burkhardt, Brett C. (2017). Who Is in Private Prisons? Demographic Profiles of Prisoners and Workers in American Private Prisons. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlcj.2017.04.004

Fleury-Steiner, Benjamin. (2017). Book Review: Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court, by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve. British Journal of Criminology, 57(3): 763-765.

Garland, David. (2017). Book Review: Reinventing Punishment: A Comparative History of Criminology and Penology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, by Michele Pifferi. Theoretical Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/1362480617705807

Quirouette, Marianne. (2017). Community Practitioners in Criminal Courts: Risk Logics and Multiply-Disadvantaged Individuals. Theoretical Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/1362480617707951

Steele, Linda. (2017). Book Review: Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada, by Liat Ben-Moshe, Chris Chapman, and Alison Carey (Eds.). Punishment and Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517703582

Super, Gail. (2017). Book Review: The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics, by Lisa L. Miller. Theoretical Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/1362480617709840


Crete, Jean-Philippe. (2017). “Punitive Healing and Penal Relics: Indigenous Prison Labour and the (Re)production of Cultural Artefacts.” In Jacqueline Z. Wilson, Sarah Hodgkinson, Justin Piché, and Kevin Walby (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.

April 2017


Ballucci, Dale, Carmen Gill, and Mary Ann Campbell. (Forthcoming). The Power of Attitude: The Role of Police Culture and Receptivity of Risk Assessment Tools in IPV Calls. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.

Jiang, Jize. (2017). Book Review: From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America, by Patrisia Macías-Rojas. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517699727

Hatton, Erin. (2017). When Work is Punishment: Penal Subjectivities in Punitive Labor Regimes. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517690001

Laniyonu, Ayobami. (2017). Coffee Shop and Street Stops: Policing Practices in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review. DOI: 10.1177/1078087416689728

Lewis, Myrisha. (2017). Criminalizing Substance Abuse and Undermining Roe v. Wade: The Tension Between Abortion Doctrine and the Criminalization of Prenatal Substance Abuse. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 23(2), 185-217.

Schoenfeld, Heather. (2017, March 23). On race and criminal sentencing, prosecutors escape blame. Tampa Bay Times. [Available online:]

Verma, Anjuli. (2017). Book Review: Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion, by Judah Schept. British Journal of Criminology. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azx001

Welsh, Megan. (2017). How Formerly Incarcerated Women Confront the Limits of Caring and the Burdens of Control Amidst California’s Carceral Realignment. Feminist Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/1557085117698751


Borchert, Jay. (2017). “A New Iron Closet: Failing to Extend the Spirit of Lawrence v. Texas to Prisons and Prisoners.” In David M. Halperin and Trevor Hoppe (Eds.), The War on Sex. Durham: Duke University Press.

February 2017


Corda, Alessandro. (2016). More Justice and Less Harm: Reinventing Access to Criminal History Records. Howard Law Journal, 60(1), 101-160.

Corda, Alessandro. (2016). Sentencing and Penal Policies in Italy, 1985-2015: The Tale of a Troubled Country. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 45, 107-173.

Garland, David. (2017). Penal Power in America: Forms, Functions and Foundations. Journal of the British Academy, 5, 1-35. [Open access:]

Jiang, Jize. (2016). Bringing Parental Subjectivity Back In: Examining the Impact of Parents’ Family Experiences on Delinquency. Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society, 17(3), 35-56.

Kaufman, Nicole, Joshua Kaiser, and Cesraea Rumpf. (2017, Forthcoming). Beyond Punishment: The Penal State’s Interventionist, Covert, and Negligent Modalities of Control. Law & Social Inquiry.

Lageson, Sarah. (2017, Forthcoming). Crime Data, the Internet, and Free Speech: An Evolving Legal Consciousness. Law & Society Review.

Longazel, Jamie, Jake Berman, and Benjamin FleurySteiner. (2016). The Pains of Immigrant Imprisonment. Sociology Compass, 10(11), 989-998.

Lynch, Mona. (2017). Backpacking the Border: The Intersection of Drug and Immigration Prosecutions in a High-Volume US Court. British Journal of Criminology, 57(1), 112-131.

Maurutto, Paula, and Hannah-Moffat, Kelly. (2016). Aboriginal Knowledges in Specialized Courts: Emerging Practices in Gladue Courts. Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 31(3), 451-471.

Omori, Marisa. (2017). Spatial Dimensions of Racial Inequality. Race and Justice, 7(1), 35-58.

Phelps, Michelle S. (2017). Mass Probation: Toward a More Robust Theory of State Variation in Punishment. Punishment & Society, 19(1), 53-73.

Phelps, Michelle S. (2016). Possibilities and Contestation in Twenty-First-Century US Criminal Justice Downsizing. Annual Review of Law & Social Science, 12, 153-170.

Quirouette, Marianne, Tyler Frederick, Jean Hughes, Jeff Karabanow, and Sean Kidd. (2016). Conflict with the Law: Regulation & Homeless Youth Trajectories toward Stability. Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 31(3), 383-404.

Rubin, Ashley T. (2017). The Prehistory of Innovation: A Longer View of Penal Change. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517690522

Schoenfeld, Heather. (2017, January 6). Reforming Criminal Justice: The Real Impact of a Law & Order Administration. The Hill. [Available online:]

Steele, Linda. (2016). Disabling Forensic Mental Health Detention: The Carcerality of the Disabled Body. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474516680204

Vuolo, Mike, Sarah Lageson, and Chris Uggen. (2017, Forthcoming). Criminal Record Questions in the Era of “Ban the Box.” Criminology & Public Policy.

Xenakis, Sappho, and Leonidas K. Cheliotis. (2017, Forthcoming). Carceral Moderation and the Janus Face of International Pressure: A Long View of Greece’s Engagement with the European Convention of Human Rights. Crime, Law and Social Change.


Cheliotis, Leonidas K. (2017, In Press). “Inclusion’s Dark Side: The Political Economy of Irregular Migration in Greece.” In Dario Melossi, Máximo Sozzo, and José A. Brandaríz García (Eds.). The Political Economy of Punishment Today: Visions, Debates and Challenges. London: Routledge.

Cheliotis, Leonidas K. (2017, In Press). “Penology.” In Avi Brisman, Eamonn Carrabine, and Nigel South (Eds.). The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts. London: Routledge.

Goodman, Philip, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps. (2017, In Press). Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reiter, Keramet. (2016). 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Social Justice: A Journal of Crime Conflict & World Order. (2017). What Now? The Possible Futures of the US Under Trump. San Francisco: Social Justice. [Available online:]

Van Cleve, Nicole Gonzalez. (2016). Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Xenakis, Sappho, and Leonidas K. Cheliotis. (2017, In Press). “Neoliberalism and the Politics of Imprisonment.” In Walter S. DeKeseredy and Molly Dragiewicz (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Critical Criminology, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

If you would like your recently published book or article to be included in the next digest,
please send your citation information to Miltonette Craig ( by July 31.