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Articles by Marie Gottschalk

Tougher Than the Rest: No Criminal Justice Reform “Miracle” in Texas

Incorrigible: The First Step Act and the Carceral State

by Marie Gottschalk

With much fanfare, President Donald Trump signed the First Step Act into law in December 2018. New Jersey senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker hailed the legislation as a milestone that marked a “meaningful break from decades of failed policies that led to mass incarceration.” Other supporters ...

Kamala Harris’ Disturbing Brand of Criminal Justice Reform

By Marie Gottschalk, In These Times

The sad reality is that Harris is in step with a troubling Washington consensus on criminal justice reform.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) released a new autobiography in January, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, to coincide with her presidential bid. It opens ...

Are We There Yet? The Promise, Perils and Politics of Penal Reform

Fifteen years ago, mass imprisonment was largely an invisible issue in the United States. Since then, criticism of the country’s extraordinary incarceration rate has become widespread across the political spectrum. The huge prison buildup of the past four decades has few ardent defenders today. But reforms to reduce the number ...

Days Without End: Life Sentences and Penal Reform

Death fades into insignificance when compared with life imprisonment. To spend each night in jail, day after day, year after year, gazing at the bars and longing for freedom, is indeed expiation.

—Lewis E. Lawes, warden of Sing Sing prison, 1920–41

The Great Recession has spurred the reexamination of many ...

Welcome to Fun Day: Crime and Punishment in the United States

Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison. By Megan Comfort. University of Chicago Press. 256 pp. $55.00 cloth. $22.00 paper.

Race, Incarceration, and American Values. By Glenn C. Loury with Pamela Karlan, Tommie Shelby, and Löic Wacquant. MIT Press. 88 pp. $14.95.

A few years ...

Not the Usual Suspects: The Politics of the Prison Boom

Throughout American history, politicians and public officials have exploited public anxieties about crime and disorder for political gain. The difference today is that these political strategies and public anxieties have come together in the perfect storm. They have radically transformed U.S. penal policies, spurring an unprecedented prison boom. Since the ...