Hard Time:

A Fresh Look at Understanding and Reforming the Prison

4th Edition

By Robert Johnson, Ann Marie Rocheleau, and Alison B. Martin

Forward by Francis T. Cullen
Afterword by Alison Liebling


Revised and updated, this new edition of the highly successful text addresses the origins, evolution, and promise of America’s penal system. Along with extensive revisions to all chapters, changes for this new edition include:

  • greatly expanded coverage of the types of hardships experienced in prison
  • completely rewritten chapters on prisoner violence and suggested reforms
  • a new chapter on “supermax” prison facilities with an assessment of the efficiency of long-term segregation

The text retains the popular previous edition’s vivid and often poignant ethnographic accounts drawn from male and female inmates along with prison staff, giving voice to the complexities of contemporary prison life- and greatly enhances our understanding on the prison experience and urgent need to reform. More timely and important than ever, Hard Time, 4th Edition offers illuminating insights into life behind and beyond the prison bars in America- a nation whose criminal justice system incarcerates more of its citizens than anywhere else in the world.

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