When Hard Time first came out, it was the best book on the market about prison life for people who live and work there. It still is. This edition, with new data and new insights, is the best place to start for anyone who wants an understanding of the prison experience today.
This book is both a fine and scholarly introductions to prisons in America and a warning to those outside the United States about the tragic consequences of a lack of compassion or fairness in criminal justice. The authors are following in the fine tradition established by Hans Toch and others when they draw on individual and scholarly empirical accounts of prison life to make us think again about the meaning and effects of hard time.
With the authors as their tour guides and individual chapters as important points of destination, readers are about to embark on an exciting correctional adventure. It is a trip worth taking. Indeed, those emerging from this excursion will be rewarded with a sober but ultimately encouraging view of what the American prison can become. I know that I did.
No other textbook on the subject of imprisonment has comparable depth and breadth, reflects comparable knowledge of history and love of literature, shows as much intimate familiarity with life behind the walls, and offers as many insightful and practical suggestions for reform as this new edition of Hard Time. And I know no other textbook in the field that is as much of a pleasure to read and study.
This is an immensely impressive volume: detailed, balanced and extremely comprehensive. It should be the starting point for anyone trying to understand prisons and imprisonment in the US and beyond.
Order New 4th Edition
Just Published: Hard Time: A Fresh Look at Understanding and Reforming the Prison Revised and updated, this new 4th edition of the highly successful text addresses the origins, evolution, and promise of America’s penal system. by Robert Johnson, Ann Marie Rocheleau, and Alison B. Martin Foreword by Francis T. Cullen, Afterword by Alison Liebling
Meet the Authors
Drawing on the latest research, often rendered in the words of inmates and staff, Hard Time offers a fresh and vivid portrait of the prison world. That world, more than ever, holds a large and growing number of mentally ill inmates, features prominent subcultures of violence, and offers settings of extreme confinement typified by the supermax prison regime.
Explore the Book
Along with extensive revisions to all chapters, the new edition includes: greatly of the types of hardships experienced in prison, completely rewritten chapters on prisoner violence and suggested reforms, and a new chapter on “supermax” prison facilities with an assessment of the efficacy of long-term segregation.