Commonsense Choices from Uncommon Voices: Rethinking America's Correctional Policies brings together the experiences of men who served time in prison with contemporary research on correctional policy. This work combines a voyeuristic desire to observe "evil" and the consequences of the system of punishment, with detached consideration of what those stories can tell us about who we are as a nation and how we treat those who have betrayed the social trust. The authors simultaneously examine first-person accounts of inmate experiences with the correctional system and what actually, works, in operation, to promote the rehabilitative and restorative models of justice so many of our policymakers espouse. Each chapter opens with a vignette, a recollection of an event or series of events, about an inmate's experience during the various phases of correctional processing. These first-hand accounts have been collected from men who served time in prison. These men's stories are examined in their own right, then extrapolated to a broader analysis of the underlying social and policy issues to which that vignette speaks. All chapters follow the same structure: (a) opening vignette about a former inmate; (b) analysis, which includes (i) identification of the underlying issue; (ii) reflection; and (iii) extrapolation to a larger policy issue; and (c) recommendations from the field for enacting practice and crafting policy more responsive to the identified issue.
Introduction Section I: Pre-Incarceration Chapter One: Plea Bargaining and Using Children to Coerce Cooperation Chapter Two: Children at Arrest Chapter Three: An Alford Plea Conundrum Section II: Incarceration Chapter Four: Time Fades to Grey Chapter Five. The Yard Ball Paradox - Before Time Turns Grey Chapter Six. Vernon Can't Read: Prison Education Chapter Seven: Doing the Schizophrenic Shuffle: Mental Health and Psychopharmacology Chapter Eight: Abe's Abscess Chapter Nine: Deliberate Indifference or Indifferently Deliberate: How the Slow Pace of Prison Health Care Killed Matthew Chapter Ten: End of Life Care Section III: Post-Incarceration Chapter Eleven: Walking Around Money and the Bus to Nowhere Chapter Twelve: Get a J-O-B Chapter Thirteen: Burned Bridges Conclusion: RAP'ing Up