The Prison Problem

Prisoner Activist

Freedom-prisonElizabeth Gudrais provides a good description of the dysfunctional state of US prisons in the following article, which was published in Harvard Magazine. In it, she points out the alarming rates of incarceration (2.2 million) and recidivism (half of offenders return to prison). Gudrais also discusses the connection between incarceration and certain sociological factors, including race, education and socioeconomic status. Last, she touches on the difficulties of re-entry into society following incarceration.

March – April 2013 | Elizabeth Gudrais | Harvard Magazine

When Jerry enters the pizza place next to Boston’s Government Center, he shakes Bruce Western’s hand heartily. Jerry, who has served 25 years for armed robbery and aggravated rape, was released two months ago. Western is studying what happens to prisoners after their release and has come to interview Jerry about his experience.

After ordering them coffees, Western, a sociology professor and faculty chair of the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Program in Criminal…

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