The problem with prisons in America

News
Layers of uniformity

Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions. By Mark Godsey. University of California Press; 264 pages; $29.95 and £24.95.

Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration. By Lauren-Brooke Eisen. Columbia University Press; 336 pages; $32. To be published in Britain in January; £26.95.

NO COUNTRY imprisons a larger share of its people than America. Its incarceration rate—693 of every 100,000—is nearly five times Britain’s, six times Canada’s and 15 times Japan’s. And that rate masks huge variations: Washington, DC, Louisiana and Georgia each lock up more than one in every 100 residents. Why?

“Blind Injustice” tries to answer that complex question from an unusual perspective. The author, Mark Godsey, used to be a federal prosecutor in New York. He went on to co-found the Ohio…Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico

News
Personal pronouns are changing fast

NOT so long ago a man could be jailed in Texas for sex with another man. In 2015 a county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for refusing to certify the marriage of two men. Gay rights in America proceeded at an extraordinary rate between Lawrence v Texas (2003), in which …

News
Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

Vasari made craftsmen into stars The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art. By Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney. Norton; 432 pages; $29.95 and £23.99. TOWARDS the end of his life Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, began burning his drawings. He did …

News
Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

Esther Kinsky goes with history’s flow River. By Esther Kinsky. Translated by Iain Galbraith. Fitzcarraldo; 368 pages; £12.99. To be published in America this autumn by Transit Books. IN HER post-war childhood beside the Rhine, the narrator of Esther Kinsky’s third novel learns that “every river is a border.” Flowing …