The Resistable Rise and Predictable Fall of the U.S. Supermax
Published in Monthly Review Volume 61, Number 6 - November 2009

Eisenman, Stephen F.

Publisher:  Monthly Review
Date Written:  01/11/2009
Year Published:  2009  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX12517

The modern supermax regime is an aberration in American corrections. Based upon a penitentiary model that was dismissed as unsound more than 150 years ago, it was resurrected in the late 1970s and ’80s during the greatest period of growth of the penal state, and at a time of government anxiety about the rise of radical political movements, both in and out of prison. However, the enormous expense of supermax-style solitary confinement and its evident failure to decrease prison violence or recidivism, combined with lawsuits alleging abuse and a rising tide of public anger at U.S. complicity in torture, predicts its eventual demise.

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