Veteran corrections scholar Joan Petersilia contributes the first essay to The Wilson Quarterly's examination of America’s bloated correctional system. WQ’s Winter 2011 issue features a gaggle of orange-clad inmates on the cover, with this headline:
The Seven Million: How to Shrink America’s Criminal Population
Petersilia, a law professor at Stanford, offers an essay entitled Beyond the Prison Bubble. She begins by noting that the national number of people behind bars has increased for 37 years in a row.
Yet the very title of her piece contains an element of hope. Bubbles, after all, do burst eventually. And when they do, it’s never the same again.