A Sin Against the Future: Imprisonment in the World by Vivien Stern
Imprisonment is the almost unquestioned response to crime the world over, even though as a systematic form of punishment its history goes back over 150 years or so. Although there may be superficial differences between different countries' systems, the experience of imprisonment is universal: prisoners engender violence within themselves, prisoners revolt violently against the prison system, young prisoners who are abused are "educated" into the values of the prison world, women's problems outside prison are exacerbated by the prison environment. Unfortunately, this suffering does nothing to reduce crime. The book examines the prison experience throughout the world, considers international efforts to regulate the system, and asks whether a better answer should be found.