Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own
Author: James Forman, Jr.
Publsiher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2017-04-18
ISBN 10: 0374712905
ISBN 13: 9780374712907
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Locking Up Our Own Book Review:

In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own
Author: James Forman, Jr.
Publsiher: Hachette UK
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2018-08-30
ISBN 10: 0349143676
ISBN 13: 9780349143675
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Locking Up Our Own Book Review:

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction Longlisted for the National Book Award One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2017 Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of colour. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation's urban centres. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness - and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighbourhoods. A former public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas - from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why American society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system.

Prisoners of Politics

Prisoners of Politics
Author: Rachel Elise Barkow
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2019-03-04
ISBN 10: 0674919238
ISBN 13: 9780674919235
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Prisoners of Politics Book Review:

America’s criminal justice system reflects irrational fears stoked by politicians seeking to win election. Pointing to specific policies that are morally problematic and have failed to end the cycle of recidivism, Rachel Barkow argues that reform guided by evidence, not politics and emotions, will reduce crime and reverse mass incarceration.

Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water
Author: Heather Ann Thompson
Publsiher: Vintage
Total Pages: 752
Release: 2016-08-23
ISBN 10: 1101871326
ISBN 13: 9781101871324
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Blood in the Water Book Review:

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • The definitive history of the infamous 1971 Attica Prison uprising, the state's violent response, and the victim's decades-long quest for justice. “Gripping ... deals with racial conflict, mass incarceration, police brutality and dissembling politicians ... Makes us understand why this one group of prisoners [rebelled], and how many others shared the cost.” —The New York Times On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed. On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men—hostages as well as prisoners—and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the ensuing hours, weeks, and months, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. And, ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath and neglecting to provide support to the survivors and the families of the men who had been killed. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century. (With black-and-white photos throughout)

Locked In

Locked In
Author: John Pfaff
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2017-02-07
ISBN 10: 0465096921
ISBN 13: 9780465096923
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Locked In Book Review:

"Pfaff, let there be no doubt, is a reformer...Nonetheless, he believes that the standard story--popularized in particular by Michelle Alexander, in her influential book, The New Jim Crow--is false. We are desperately in need of reform, he insists, but we must reform the right things, and address the true problem."--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reform In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point? Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place. An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

Punishment and Inequality in America

Punishment and Inequality in America
Author: Bruce Western
Publsiher: Russell Sage Foundation
Total Pages: 264
Release: 2006-05-25
ISBN 10: 1610445554
ISBN 13: 9781610445559
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Punishment and Inequality in America Book Review:

Over the last thirty years, the prison population in the United States has increased more than seven-fold to over two million people, including vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities and people with little education. For some racial and educational groups, incarceration has become a depressingly regular experience, and prison culture and influence pervade their communities. Almost 60 percent of black male high school drop-outs in their early thirties have spent time in prison. In Punishment and Inequality in America, sociologist Bruce Western explores the recent era of mass incarceration and the serious social and economic consequences it has wrought. Punishment and Inequality in America dispels many of the myths about the relationships among crime, imprisonment, and inequality. While many people support the increase in incarceration because of recent reductions in crime, Western shows that the decrease in crime rates in the 1990s was mostly fueled by growth in city police forces and the pacification of the drug trade. Getting "tough on crime" with longer sentences only explains about 10 percent of the fall in crime, but has come at a significant cost. Punishment and Inequality in America reveals a strong relationship between incarceration and severely dampened economic prospects for former inmates. Western finds that because of their involvement in the penal system, young black men hardly benefited from the economic boom of the 1990s. Those who spent time in prison had much lower wages and employment rates than did similar men without criminal records. The losses from mass incarceration spread to the social sphere as well, leaving one out of ten young black children with a father behind bars by the end of the 1990s, thereby helping perpetuate the damaging cycle of broken families, poverty, and crime. The recent explosion of imprisonment is exacting heavy costs on American society and exacerbating inequality. Whereas college or the military were once the formative institutions in young men's lives, prison has increasingly usurped that role in many communities. Punishment and Inequality in America profiles how the growth in incarceration came about and the toll it is taking on the social and economic fabric of many American communities.

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own
Author: James Forman Jr.
Publsiher: Abacus
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2018-08-30
ISBN 10: 0349143676
ISBN 13: 9780349143675
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Locking Up Our Own Book Review:

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction Longlisted for the National Book Award One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2017 Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of colour. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand the war on crime that began in the 1970s and why it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation's urban centres. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness - and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighbourhoods. A former public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas - from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why American society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system.

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow
Author: Michelle Alexander
Publsiher: The New Press
Total Pages: 434
Release: 2020-01-07
ISBN 10: 1620971941
ISBN 13: 9781620971949
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The New Jim Crow Book Review:

Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly‚ Slate‚ Chronicle of Higher Eduction‚ Literary Hub, Book Riot‚ and Zora A tenth-anniversary edition of the iconic bestseller—“one of the most influential books of the past 20 years,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education—with a new preface by the author “It is in no small part thanks to Alexander’s account that civil rights organizations such as Black Lives Matter have focused so much of their energy on the criminal justice system.” —Adam Shatz, London Review of Books Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is “undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.” Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.

Race Crime and the Law

Race  Crime  and the Law
Author: Randall Kennedy
Publsiher: Vintage
Total Pages: 560
Release: 2012-02-22
ISBN 10: 0307814653
ISBN 13: 9780307814654
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Race Crime and the Law Book Review:

In this powerfully reasoned, lucidly written work, Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy takes on the highly complex issues of race, crime, and the legal system, uncovering the long-standing failure of the justice system to protect blacks from criminals and revealing difficult truths about these factors in the United States.

Usual Cruelty

Usual Cruelty
Author: Alec Karakatsanis
Publsiher: The New Press
Total Pages: 231
Release: 2019-10-29
ISBN 10: 1620975289
ISBN 13: 9781620975282
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Usual Cruelty Book Review:

From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society’s normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating it Alec Karakatsanis is interested in what we choose to punish. For example, it is a crime in most of America for poor people to wager in the streets over dice; dice-wagerers can be seized, searched, have their assets forfeited, and be locked in cages. It’s perfectly fine, by contrast, for people to wager over international currencies, mortgages, or the global supply of wheat; wheat-wagerers become names on the wings of hospitals and museums. He is also troubled by how the legal system works when it is trying to punish people. The bail system, for example, is meant to ensure that people return for court dates. But it has morphed into a way to lock up poor people who have not been convicted of anything. He’s so concerned about this that he has personally sued court systems across the country, resulting in literally tens of thousands of people being released from jail when their money bail was found to be unconstitutional. Karakatsanis doesn’t think people who have gone to law school, passed the bar, and sworn to uphold the Constitution should be complicit in the mass caging of human beings—an everyday brutality inflicted disproportionately on the bodies and minds of poor people and people of color and for which the legal system has never offered sufficient justification. Usual Cruelty is a profoundly radical reconsideration of the American “injustice system” by someone who is actively, wildly successfully, challenging it.

A Colony in a Nation

A Colony in a Nation
Author: Chris Hayes
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2017-03-21
ISBN 10: 0393254232
ISBN 13: 9780393254235
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

A Colony in a Nation Book Review:

New York Times Bestseller New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice "An essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went so badly awry." —Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me In A Colony in a Nation, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes upends the national conversation on policing and democracy. Drawing on wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis, as well as deeply personal experiences with law enforcement, Hayes contends that our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, the law is venerated. In the Colony, fear and order undermine civil rights. With great empathy, Hayes seeks to understand this systemic divide, examining its ties to racial inequality, the omnipresent threat of guns, and the dangerous and unfortunate results of choices made by fear.

They Rule

They Rule
Author: Paul Street
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 252
Release: 2015-11-17
ISBN 10: 1317250591
ISBN 13: 9781317250593
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

They Rule Book Review:

They Rule reflects on key political questions raised by the Occupy movement, showing how similar questions have been raised by previous generations of radical activists: who really owns and rules the US? Does it matter that the nation is divided by stark class disparities and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few? Along the way, this book sharpens readers' sense of who the US oligarchy are, including how their fortunes have changed over the course of US history, how they live and think and how to detect and de-cloak them. They Rule is a masterful historical and political analysis, revealing what lies beneath the surface of US society and what ordinary people can do to bring about social change.

Race to Incarcerate

Race to Incarcerate
Author: Marc Mauer
Publsiher: ReadHowYouWant.com
Total Pages: 356
Release: 2010-11-29
ISBN 10: 1458722139
ISBN 13: 9781458722133
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Race to Incarcerate Book Review:

In this revised edition of his seminal book on race, class, and the criminal justice system, Marc Mauer, executive director of one of the United States leading criminal justice reform organizations, offers the most up-to-date look available at three decades of prison expansion in America. Including newly written material on recent developments under the Bush administration and updated statistics, graphs, and charts throughout, the book tells the tragic story of runaway growth in the number of prisons and jails and the overreliance on imprisonment to stem problems of economic and social development. Called ''sober and nuanced by Publishers Weekly, Race to Incarcerate documents the enormous financial and human toll of the ''get tough movement, and argues for more humane - and productive - alternatives.

Black Silent Majority

Black Silent Majority
Author: Michael Javen Fortner
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 350
Release: 2015-09-07
ISBN 10: 0674743997
ISBN 13: 9780674743991
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Black Silent Majority Book Review:

Aggressive policing and draconian sentencing have disproportionately imprisoned millions of African Americans for drug-related offenses. Michael Javen Fortner shows that in the 1970s these punitive policies toward addicts and pushers enjoyed the support of many working-class and middle-class blacks, angry about the chaos in their own neighborhoods.

Illusion of Order

Illusion of Order
Author: Bernard E. Harcourt
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2005-02-15
ISBN 10: 9780674038318
ISBN 13: 0674038312
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Illusion of Order Book Review:

This is the first book to challenge the broken-windows theory of crime, which argues that permitting minor misdemeanors, such as loitering and vagrancy, to go unpunished only encourages more serious crime. The theory has revolutionized policing in the United States and abroad, with its emphasis on policies that crack down on disorderly conduct and aggressively enforce misdemeanor laws. The problem, argues Bernard Harcourt, is that although the broken-windows theory has been around for nearly thirty years, it has never been empirically verified. Indeed, existing data suggest that it is false. Conceptually, it rests on unexamined categories of law abiders and disorderly people and of order and disorder, which have no intrinsic reality, independent of the techniques of punishment that we implement in our society. How did the new order-maintenance approach to criminal justice--a theory without solid empirical support, a theory that is conceptually flawed and results in aggressive detentions of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens--come to be one of the leading criminal justice theories embraced by progressive reformers, policymakers, and academics throughout the world? This book explores the reasons why. It also presents a new, more thoughtful vision of criminal justice.

Locked Up

Locked Up
Author: Cristy Watson
Publsiher: Lorimer SideStreets
Total Pages: 176
Release: 2019-08
ISBN 10: 1459414055
ISBN 13: 9781459414051
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Locked Up Book Review:

A teen fears that years in juvenile detention have made it impossible for him to make a life in the outside world.

Hands Up Don t Shoot

Hands Up  Don   t Shoot
Author: Jennifer E. Cobbina
Publsiher: NYU Press
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2019-07-30
ISBN 10: 1479862320
ISBN 13: 9781479862320
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Hands Up Don t Shoot Book Review:

Understanding the explosive protests over police killings and the legacy of racism Following the high-profile deaths of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, both cities erupted in protest over the unjustified homicides of unarmed black males at the hands of police officers. These local tragedies—and the protests surrounding them—assumed national significance, igniting fierce debate about the fairness and efficacy of the American criminal justice system. Yet, outside the gaze of mainstream attention, how do local residents and protestors in Ferguson and Baltimore understand their own experiences with race, place, and policing? In Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, Jennifer Cobbina draws on in-depth interviews with nearly two hundred residents of Ferguson and Baltimore, conducted within two months of the deaths of Brown and Gray. She examines how protestors in both cities understood their experiences with the police, how those experiences influenced their perceptions of policing, what galvanized Black Lives Matter as a social movement, and how policing tactics during demonstrations influenced subsequent mobilization decisions among protesters. Ultimately, she humanizes people’s deep and abiding anger, underscoring how a movement emerged to denounce both racial biases by police and the broader economic and social system that has stacked the deck against young black civilians. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is a remarkably current, on-the-ground assessment of the powerful, protestor-driven movement around race, justice, and policing in America.

The Rage of Innocence

The Rage of Innocence
Author: Kristin Henning
Publsiher: Pantheon
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2021-09-28
ISBN 10: 1524748919
ISBN 13: 9781524748913
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Rage of Innocence Book Review:

A brilliant analysis of the foundations of racist policing in America: the day-to-day brutalities, largely hidden from public view, endured by Black youth growing up under constant police surveillance and the persistent threat of physical and psychological abuse Drawing upon twenty-five years of experience rep­resenting Black youth in Washington, D.C.’s juve­nile courts, Kristin Henning confronts America’s irrational, manufactured fears of these young peo­ple and makes a powerfully compelling case that the crisis in racist American policing begins with its relationship to Black children. Henning explains how discriminatory and aggressive policing has socialized a generation of Black teenagers to fear, resent, and resist the police, and she details the long-term consequences of rac­ism that they experience at the hands of the police and their vigilante surrogates. She makes clear that unlike White youth, who are afforded the freedom to test boundaries, experiment with sex and drugs, and figure out who they are and who they want to be, Black youth are seen as a threat to White Amer­ica and are denied healthy adolescent development. She examines the criminalization of Black adoles­cent play and sexuality, and of Black fashion, hair, and music. She limns the effects of police presence in schools and the depth of police-induced trauma in Black adolescents. Especially in the wake of the recent unprece­dented, worldwide outrage at racial injustice and inequality, The Rage of Innocence is an essential book for our moment.

Migrating to Prison

Migrating to Prison
Author: César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández
Publsiher: The New Press
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2019-12-03
ISBN 10: 1620974215
ISBN 13: 9781620974216
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Migrating to Prison Book Review:

A leading scholar’s powerful, in-depth look at the imprisonment of immigrants addressing the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system For most of America’s history, we simply did not lock people up for migrating here. Yet over the last thirty years, the federal and state governments have increasingly tapped their powers to incarcerate people accused of violating immigration laws. As a result, almost 400,000 people annually now spend some time locked up pending the result of a civil or criminal immigration proceeding. In Migrating to Prison, leading scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández takes a hard look at the immigration prison system’s origins, how it currently operates, and why. He tackles the emergence of immigration imprisonment in the mid-1980s, with enforcement resources deployed disproportionately against Latinos, and he looks at both the outsized presence of private prisons and how those on the political right continue, disingenuously, to link immigration imprisonment with national security risks and threats to the rule of law. Interspersed with powerful stories of people caught up in the immigration imprisonment industry, including children who have spent most of their lives in immigrant detention, Migrating to Prison is an urgent call for the abolition of immigration prisons and a radical reimagining of the United States: who belongs and on what criteria is that determination made?

Charged

Charged
Author: Emily Bazelon
Publsiher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2020-05-05
ISBN 10: 039959003X
ISBN 13: 9780399590030
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Charged Book Review:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out. “An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy “This harrowing, often enraging book is a hopeful one, as well, profiling innovative new approaches and the frontline advocates who champion them.”—Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS BOOK PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The New York Public Library • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. That image of the law does not match the reality in the courtroom, however. Much of the time, it is prosecutors more than judges who control the outcome of a case, from choosing the charge to setting bail to determining the plea bargain. They often decide who goes free and who goes to prison, even who lives and who dies. In Charged, Emily Bazelon reveals how this kind of unchecked power is the underreported cause of enormous injustice—and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle. Charged follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system: Kevin, a twenty-year-old in Brooklyn who picked up his friend’s gun as the cops burst in and was charged with a serious violent felony, and Noura, a teenage girl in Memphis indicted for the murder of her mother. Bazelon tracks both cases—from arrest and charging to trial and sentencing—and, with her trademark blend of deeply reported narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, illustrates just how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don’t have to. Bazelon also details the second chances they prosecutors can extend, if they choose, to Kevin and Noura and so many others. She follows a wave of reform-minded D.A.s who have been elected in some of our biggest cities, as well as in rural areas in every region of the country, put in office to do nothing less than reinvent how their job is done. If they succeed, they can point the country toward a different and profoundly better future.