Gates of Injustice

The Crisis in America's Prisons


Gates of Injustice is a compelling exposé of the U.S. prison system: it tells how more than 2 million Americans came to be incarcerated … what it's really like on the inside … and how a giant "prison-industrial complex" promotes imprisonment over other solutions.


Alan Elsner paints a terrifying picture of how our prisons really work. You'll hear how race-based gangs control institutions and prey on the weak–and how a rape epidemic has swept the U.S. prison system. You'll discover the plight of 300,000 mentally ill prisoners, many abandoned to suffer with grossly inadequate medical care.


Elsner takes you inside "supermax" prisons that deny inmates human contact and reveals official corruption and brutality within U.S. jails. You'll also learn how prisons help to spread infectious diseases throughout society … one of the ways the prison crisis touches you, even if you've never had a brush with the law.

  • 2 million prisoners: how it happened and why. Why the United States locks away 6-10 times more people than other Western societies.
  • The other victims. What it's like for convicts' families left on the outside.
  • No place for the sick or weak. Prison medical care: varying from substandard to shocking.
  • Life after prison: the realities of parole. What's supposed to happen … and what really happens.
  • The "prison-industrial" complex: The hidden politics of imprisonment.
  • Pearson Education; April 2004
  • ISBN 9780132044974
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Gates of Injustice
  • Author: Alan Elsner
  • Imprint: FT Press

About The Author

Alan Elsner has written extensively about conditions in jails and prisons, visiting institutions in a dozen states to meet with inmates, lawyers, corrections officers, medical staff, religious volunteers, family members and law enforcement. He has 25 years' experience in journalism, covering stories ranging from the September 11, 2001 attacks on America and the Arab-Israeli conflict to the 2000 presidential election and the end of the Cold War. Elsner is currently National Correspondent for Reuters news agency. For more information, visit .