Michael T. Cahill (Brooklyn): Punishment Pluralism. Keramet Reiter (UC-Berkley): Parole, Snitch, or Die: California’s Supermax Prisons & Prisoners, 1987-2007. Do police need book smarts? Better-educated police officers resort less often to using force, research shows. More democracy, more incarceration: Radley Balko on the devastating mix of politics and crime policy. Sherry Colb on evaluating the Eighth Amendment's ban on only cruel and unusual punishments. Confessing to crime, but innocent: New research shows how people who were apparently innocent could provide a detailed account of a crime. True crime costs: Does every murder in the United States really cost society $17 million? From Good, a look at which inmates get abused in prison. From The Texas Observer, most Texans avert their eyes from the state's machinery of death — but at what cost? Too many laws, too many prisoners: Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little. The UN votes on a death penalty moratorium — guess where the USA stands? A review of One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. Toxic Persons: New research shows precisely how the prison-to-poverty cycle does its damage. Unforgiven: After paying their debt to society, millions are still branded by their felony records. British author Alan Shadrake sentenced to six weeks in prison and fined for contempt over claims in his book about Singapore's death penalty. The number-one reason whites join prison gangs has nothing to do with criminal intent, ideology, or even racial views — they join for survival. Keeping America's prisons overcrowded: In a case before the Supreme Court, California Gov. Schwarzenegger is arguing that judges have no right to tell states to reduce their prison populations.

Paul H. Robinson (Penn): "Life Without Parole" Under Modern Theories of Punishment. Thomas H. Koenig (Northeastern) and Michael L. Rustad (Suffolk): Deciding Whether the Death Penalty Should Be Abolished. From The Washington Monthly, California is not just deciding whether pot should be legal — it’s determining the shape of a major new American industry. Could economics solve the prison crisis in Great Britain? An excerpt from Trophy Kill: The Shall We Dance Murder by Dan Zupansky. Prison Break: How Michigan managed to empty its penitentiaries while lowering its crime rate. The first chapter from Who Are the Criminals? The Politics of Crime Policy from the Age of Roosevelt to the Age of Reagan by John Hagan. A review of Prisons of Poverty by Loic Wacquant (and more). Family members' DNA may lead investigators to the answers, but using it as a forensic technique brings up some troubling questions. Randolph Roth on his book American Homicide. Whether volunteers are welcomed or rebuffed can tell you a lot about whether inmates at your local correctional facility are being treated like human beings or live in fear. Celebrities Behind Bars! A comprehensive study of bad behavior and forgiveness. From The Texas Observer, a cover story on how DNA tests undermine the evidence in a Texas execution: New results show Claude Jones was put to death on flawed evidence. A review of Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons by Megan Sweeney. At Death’s Door: Sister Helen Prejean ruminates on America’s obsession with retribution and prays for an end to state-sanctioned murder. A review of Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States. The introduction to The Hoods: Crime and Punishment in Belfast by Heather Hamill.

Robert Blecker (New York Law School): Killing Them Softly: Meditations on a Painful Punishment of Death. Alafair S. Burke (Hofstra): I Got the Shotgun: Reflections on The Wire, Prosecutors and Omar Little. Susan A. Bandes (DePaul): And All the Pieces Matter: Thoughts on The Wire and the Criminal Justice System. When did prisoners start dressing in orange? From The American Interest, Charles Lane on the death penalty and racism: The times have changed. Kenneth Hartman on 8 accurate books to read about life in prison. From 4strugglemag, a review of The Greatest Threat: The Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO by Marshall Edward Conway. Men with quilts: Prisoners piece together their lives one square at a time. John Paul Stevens reviews Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (and more and more). Are autistic people natural born criminals? From 4strugglemag: Views, Thoughts, and Analysis from the Hearts and Minds of North American Political Prisoners and Friends, Russell "Maroon" Shoats on the Dragon and the Hydra: A Historical Study of Organizational Methods; an excerpt from Survivors Manual: Surviving in Solitary — A Manual Written by and for People Living in Control Units; and a review of Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners. If less intelligent individuals are more likely to commit crimes, why are they less likely to use illegal substances? A review of Inside America's Concentration Camps: Two Centuries of Internment and Torture by James L. Dickerson. A review of "How (not) to Think Like a Punisher" by Alice Ristroph. Should prisons have government-sanctioned tattoo shops? Nathan Hegedus on the death penalty in Oklahoma: A study in bureaucratic horror.

Neelum Arya (CYJ): Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America. Baris Cayli (Oxford): Social Networks of the Italian Mafia: The Strong and Weak Parts. In Sicily, defying the Mafia: Fed up with extortion and violent crime, ordinary citizens are rising up against organized crime (and more). Sentenced to Life: A man grows old in prison and outlives society’s fears. From Jesus Radicals, Jenny Truax on the U.S. system of punishment: An expanding balloon of wealth, racism and greed. New York’s prison turnaround: The population behind bars is falling, even as crime stays low. America's most successful stop snitchin' campaign: The failure to protect whistle-blowing cops is inexcusable. For Theodore Dalrymple, the high imprisonment rate in the United States is a sign of social health, not of social disease (and more). Why don’t conservatives oppose the war on drugs? Barely a teenager and marked for life: Federal law requiring juvenile sex offenders to register as predators for life does more harm than good. Should prisoners have a right to vote? From Reason, why letting ex-cons vote is no crime. Whether your interest in executions (you can’t really sugarcoat that word) is fueled by moral outrage or purely voyeuristic curiosity, the internet offers all sorts of resources, history, and creepy diversions. A review of Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg (and more and more and more). Behind Bars: On Rikers Island, a painter reclaims her work. A review of Execution's Doorstep: True Stories of the Innocent and Near Damned by Leslie Lytle. Rush to Judgment: An article on the dubious trend of trying kids as adults. Filling up prisons without fighting crime: An interview with Mark Kleiman on America's criminal justice system.

From Daedalus, a special issue on the challenge of mass incarceration in America. From the Journal of Social History, Julilly Kohler-Hausmann (Illinois): "The Attila the Hun Law": New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Making of a Punitive State; and a review of Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America by Anne-Marie Cusac. With prisons stretched to the breaking point, some cities are trying a radical new idea: letting convicts roam free, under constant electronic surveillance. John Thompson was sentenced to death after the New Orleans DA's office hid evidence that could have saved him — now, the Supreme Court will decide whether to make the DA pay. The scandal that wasn't: Stephen F. Eisenman on how not to reform the prison system in Illinois. From Crime magazine, Denise Noe on her friendship with Charles Manson. “I Did It”: Why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit? The introduction to Games Prisoners Play: The Tragicomic Worlds of Polish Prison by Marek M. Kaminski. The science of deduction: Developments in the field of forensics should make crimes easier to solve, but a lack of funding threatens progress. A review of False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent by Jim Petro. If mobile phones can’t be kept out of prisons, can they be made useless? Barry Scheck on how there are more wrongful convictions than you think. A review of Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate by Diego Gambetta. Justice John Paul Stevens said that he found the death penalty unconstitutional because the system is shot through with racism, politics and hysteria. From NYRB, Lovisa Stannow and David Kaiser on prison rape, Eric Holder's unfinished business. An interview with R. Dwayne Betts, author of A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison.