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Close Control: Managing a Maximum Security Prison: The Story of Ragen's Stateville Penitentiary

Length: 427 pages7 hours


This has to be the most interesting and provocative book on prisons for many a decade. Not only is it a fascinating account of why firm prison control is needed, and how it works, but it is a history, of sorts, of how Warden Ragen controlled the Stateville-Joliet prison back in the 1960's. In fact, the original manuscript of this book was written by Kantrowitz when he was the resident sociologist in that prison. But he could never get it published because it was, for that time (the era of "treatment and corrections") politically incorrect to advocate firm discipline and control in a prison. Some of the leading university presses, advised by liberal academics, rejected the manuscript. Kantrowitz has now revised the book to bring it into line with the latest writings on "corrections" - though the history and analysis itself is largely as it was written 30 years ago.

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