Cloth $85.00 ISBN: 9780226137667 Published June 2014
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226137834 Published June 2014
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226137971 Published June 2014

Arresting Citizenship

The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control

Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver

Arresting Citizenship
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Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver

312 pages | 22 figures, 5 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $85.00 ISBN: 9780226137667 Published June 2014
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226137834 Published June 2014
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226137971 Published June 2014
The numbers are staggering: One-third of America’s adult population has passed through the criminal justice system and now has a criminal record. Many more were never convicted, but are nonetheless subject to surveillance by the state. Never before has the American government maintained so vast a network of institutions dedicated solely to the control and confinement of its citizens.
A provocative assessment of the contemporary carceral state for American democracy, Arresting Citizenship argues that the broad reach of the criminal justice system has fundamentally recast the relation between citizen and state, resulting in a sizable—and growing—group of second-class citizens. From police stops to court cases and incarceration, at each stage of the criminal justice system individuals belonging to this disempowered group come to experience a state-within-a-state that reflects few of the country’s core democratic values. Through scores of interviews, along with analyses of survey data, Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver show how this contact with police, courts, and prisons decreases faith in the capacity of American political institutions to respond to citizens’ concerns and diminishes the sense of full and equal citizenship—even for those who have not been found guilty of any crime. The effects of this increasingly frequent contact with the criminal justice system are wide-ranging—and pernicious—and Lerman and Weaver go on to offer concrete proposals for reforms to reincorporate this large group of citizens as active participants in American civic and political life.
Joe Soss, author of Disciplining the Poor
Arresting Citizenship is a landmark book. It shines a bright light on the myriad ways that criminal justice policies are undermining American democracy. It is also an exemplary piece of social science research that combines coherent and powerful empirical analysis with impassioned calls to recognize injustice in our midst. This book will be tremendously important and a must-read for scholars working in relevant areas of the social sciences.”
Jeff Manza, New York University
“Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver have written a fabulous book that makes the original and important argument that the criminal justice system is rife with racial and economic inequalities and strips those who enter it of many basic rights of citizenship. In doing so, they address a breathtaking range of issues concerning contemporary criminal justice and connect these issues brilliantly to give a clear and compelling discussion of how institutions have helped create a new class of disempowered citizens.”
Prison Policy Initiative
Arresting Citizenship is a powerful reminder of the work that needs to be done to preserve and expand the democratic principles of voice, responsiveness, and accountability.”
Chapter 1. Arresting Citizenship
Chapter 2. Thinking about Crime and the Custodial Citizen
Chapter 3. Democratic Ideals and Institutional Design
Chapter 4. Assessing the Effects of Criminal Justice
Chapter 5. “Democracy don’t get you a second chance”: (Un)Learning Citizenship
Chapter 6. “You in their house now”: Learning about the State and Control
Chapter 7. “We’re free, but we’re not free”: Black Custodial Citizenship and Complex Racial Narratives
Chapter 8. “I better stay below the radar”: Fear, Alienation, and Withdrawal
Chapter 9. Where We Go from Here
Appendix A Quantitative Data
Appendix B Qualitative Data
Appendix C Three Strategies to Address Causality
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