Monday, March 7, 2011

Bubbles Do Burst

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.

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