Critical Criminology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 203–209 | Cite as

John Irwin, The warehouse prison: Disposal of the new dangerous class

Roxbury Publishing, Los Angeles, 2005, 318 pp, $38.95, ISBN 1-931719-35-7
  • Joshua Meisel
Book Review

The American public is growing more dubious of the seemingly runaway prison expansion initiated in the early 1990s. This growth is a product, in part, from more punitive criminal sentencing enacted during the late 1980s. According to recent Gallup Poll data, Americans are becoming less supportive of reactive crime control strategies (e.g., more punitive sentences, prisons, police and judges) and more proscriptive in their support for policies which target the underlying social and economic conditions that give rise to crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2006). Additionally, related to what Simon (1993) termed the narrative of “penological modernism,” crime rates have dropped while incarceration rates continue to rise. The very “idea that punishment is to be seen primarily as a useful tool of state policy” (1993: 7) is under scrutiny. How can continued expansion of law enforcement systems be maintained when crime is dropping? What are the societal costs of maintaining this level of...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA

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