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From Gulag to Guantanamo

From Gulag to Guantanamo

Wesley Kendall


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This book offers the reader an incisive view into the political, social and economic evolutions of mass incarceration across the globe. It examines the different political and social contexts that combine with free market mechanisms of mass incarceration to ascertain how economic incentives shape penal policy.

Using qualitative analysis of a wide variety of incarceration forms, each chapter compares a US example with a non-US case study, showing how first world countries that occupy the economic forefront of prison privatization are exporting new models of penal institutionalization to developing countries. The chapters examine issues such as the privatization of asylum detention centres, the economic impacts of maintaining vast forced labour camps, the social consequences of imprisoning journalists, and the use of state sanctioned torture.

Capturing a nascent international trend through an interdisciplinary lens, this book questions why so many languish in prison, whether the incarceration of thousands benefits society as a whole, and how these penal policies might be roundly reconsidered.
This book explores how and why the majority of Americans has accepted uncritically the need for policies of mass incarceration and how corporate interests have cultivated the fear harnessing it to the engine of entrepreneurial exploitation to generate immense profits. . . .Kendall offers the reader an insightful view into the political, social, and economic evolutions of mass incarceration across the globe. But most important, Kendall calls attention to an important issue—privatized prisons and whether society should continue placing inmates in them.
This book is a hugely impressive commentary on the basic elements that have influenced policies of mass incarceration. The result is an eminently readable, carefully crafted, and ultimately satisfying account of one of the most important issues in America today: all politicians and their advisers should give this study a careful read as they consider how their policies will enhance or inhibit the development of a fairer, more stable society.
Joseph M. Siracusa, Deputy Dean of Global Studies, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University
Wesley Kendall is a Law Lecturer at the University of the South Pacific. He is author of The U.S. Death Penalty and Diplomacy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013) and Language of Terror (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015).
This is a passionate book. Wesley Kendall does not cloak his apprehension about the current policy direction in Western democracies and argues that too close a relationship between government and parts of the private sector is a significant driver of incarceration policies. Perhaps that is not the whole story but Dr Kendall assembles a case that it is part of the story.
Darryn Jensen, Senior Lecturer in Law, The University of the South Pacific
Dr. Kendall has given us a fine study on the failed incarceration policies of the United States that will jolt both law maker and reader. With recidivism rates in the US coming in at 70 percent; with an incarcerated population amongst the largest on earth, this study forcefully argues for a revaluation of policies that prevent suitable, adjusted re-integration of felons after prison.
Binoy Kampmark, Senior Lecturer in Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University