A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration by Ernest Drucker PDF

By Ernest Drucker

ISBN-10: 1595588795

ISBN-13: 9781595588791

While Dr. John Snow first traced a plague of cholera to a water pump within the Soho district of London in 1854, the sphere of epidemiology was once born. Taking an identical public future health ways and instruments that experience effectively tracked epidemics of flu, tuberculosis, and AIDS over the intervening 100 and fifty years, Ernest Drucker makes the case that our present remarkable point of imprisonment has turn into an epidemic—a plague upon our physique politic.

Drucker, an across the world well-known public healthiness student and Soros Justice Fellow, spent two decades treating drug dependancy and one other twenty learning AIDS in a number of the poorest neighborhoods of the South Bronx and around the world. He
compares mass incarceration to different, well-recognized epidemics utilizing simple public overall healthiness techniques: “prevalence and incidence,” “outbreaks,” “contagion,” “transmission,” and “potential years of existence lost.”

He argues that imprisonment—originally conceived as a reaction to individuals’ crimes—has develop into mass incarceration: a destabilizing strength that undermines the households and groups it goals, harmful the very social buildings that hinder crime.

Sure to impress debate, this ebook shifts the paradigm of ways we predict approximately punishment by way of demonstrating that our exceptional charges of incarceration have the contagious and self-perpetuating positive aspects of the plagues of past centuries.

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Extra resources for A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America

Example text

Like politics, most epidemic outbreaks are local—­they start in a certain place and affect a certain group of people, beginning at a certain time. One of the earliest outbreaks of AIDS cases in America took place in the Bronx, New York. In 1985, the fourth year of the AIDS epidemic in New York City, I began to map the first AIDS cases in the Bronx. Plotting these early cases of AIDS in all three epidemiological dimensions—­time, person, and place. This approach offered critical initial information about this new epidemic, even though all the big questions about what caused AIDS, how it was spread from person to person, and, crucially, what could be done to contain its spread, remained unanswered.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning,” announced sportscaster Howard Cosell on national TV while covering the Bronx-based Yankees in the 1977 World Series. Beginning in 1969, I ran a drug treatment program that served many of these areas of the Bronx. In the years represented on our AIDS map, almost 50 percent of my patients became infected. Could drug use be a source of AIDS? 28 A PLAGUE OF PRISONS While we now know that heroin addiction and injections were a crucial driver of the AIDS epidemic in New York City, we were initially met with skepticism when we advanced this idea to our colleagues.

If waterborne cholera from a particular contaminated pump on Broad Street was the source of that infection, what was the source of so many AIDS cases in the South Bronx? All epidemiologists begin with the same set of questions—­ about time, person, and place. I started with place: What was special about the areas of the Bronx where the AIDS cases are so concentrated? How did they differ from areas where the cases were absent or fewer in number? Maybe it was an artifact; perhaps there were just more people living there.

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A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America by Ernest Drucker


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