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Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration
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Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration (Paperback)

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A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

A CounterPunch Best Book of the Year

A Lone Star Policy Institute Recommended Book

"A critically important exploration of the political dynamics that have made us one of the most punitive societies in human history. A must-read by one of our most thoughtful scholars of crime and punishment."

-Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

"A cogent and provocative argument about how to achieve true institutional reform and fix our broken system."

-Emily Bazelon, author of Charged

"If you care, as I do, about disrupting the perverse politics of criminal justice, there is no better place to start than Prisoners of Politics."

-James Forman, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Locking Up Our Own

The United States has the world's highest rate of incarceration in the world. As awful as that truth is, its social consequences-recycling offenders through an overwhelmed criminal justice system, ever-mounting costs, and a growing class of permanently criminalized citizens-are even more devastating. With the authority of a prominent legal scholar and the practical insights gained through her work on criminal justice reform, Rachel Barkow reveals how dangerous it is to base criminal justice policy on the whims of the electorate and argues for a transformative shift toward data and expertise.

Rachel Elise Barkow is the Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and the Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University. She has been a member of the United States Sentencing Commission since 2013 and is also a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel. Barkow served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, and is the recipient of NYU's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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