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Controlling Risk Through Solitary Confinement

Supermax by Sharon Shalev
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This book examines the rise and proliferation of 'Supermaxes', large prisons dedicated to holding prisoners in prolonged and strict solitary confinement, in the United States since the late 1980s.

Drawing on unique access to two Supermax prisons and on in-depth interviews with prison officials, prison architects, current and former prisoners, mental health professionals, penal, legal, and human rights experts, it provides a holistic view of the theory, practice and consequences of these prisons. Given the historic uses of solitary confinement, the book also traces continuities and discontinuities in its use on both sides of the Atlantic over the last two centuries.

It argues that rather than being an entirely 'new' form of imprisonment, Supermax prisons draw on principles of architecture, surveillance and control which were set out in the early 19th century but which are now enhanced by the most advanced technologies available to current day prison planners and administrators. It asks why a form of confinement which had been discredited in the past is now proposed as the best solution for dealing with 'difficult', 'dangerous' or 'disruptive' prisoners, and assesses the true costs of Supermax confinement.

Taylor and Francis; May 2013
256 pages; ISBN 9781134026746
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Title: Supermax
Author: Sharon Shalev
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Supermax Prisons: Views from Above - Creative Time Reports
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:22:13 -0800
Supermax Prisons: Views from AboveCreative Time ReportsWith this work I want to expose the prevailing trends—documented in ...
Inside the American Supermax - Solitary Watch (blog)
Fri, 21 Jan 2011 14:31:56 -0800
Solitary Watch (blog)Inside the American SupermaxSolitary Watch (blog)An article by Sharon Shalev in the latest issue of the ...
Are supermax prisons a necessary evil or a violation of human rights? - Metro
Mon, 05 Nov 2012 00:53:32 -0800
MetroAre supermax prisons a necessary evil or a violation of human rights?MetroAccess to books and magazines varies but many ...