Beyond Bars: A Path Forward from 50 Years of Mass Incarceration in the United States

Featuring contributions from The Sentencing Project, The Society for the Study of Social Problems, and other leading experts, this book tackles the failed mass incarceration regime and offers realistic alternatives.

Related to: Incarceration, Sentencing Reform, Drug Policy

To mark the 50-year mass incarceration crisis in the United States, a new book, “Beyond Bars: A Path Forward from 50 Years of Mass Incarceration in the United States,” has been released, offering a compelling vision for criminal legal reform. The book delves deeply into the roots of the American criminal legal system as it meticulously examines one of the most critical issues of our time and presents practical solutions for a more just and equitable future.

Written in the wake of the global 2020 protests for racial justice and criminal legal reform, “Beyond Bars” examines the devastating impact of mass incarceration which has only exacerbated racial inequality.

Supported by up-to-date research and analyses from leading legal scholars and experts, the book offers insightful and practical solutions for advocates, lawmakers, and policy experts to bring an end to the scourge of mass incarceration and create a just and fair society for all.

“Beyond Bars” features a chapter on the proliferation of life sentences in the United States by The Sentencing Project’s own Ashley Nellis, Ph.D., Co-Director of Research, and was edited by Kristen M. Budd, Ph.D, Research Analyst at The Sentencing Project.

David C. Lane, Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University, Glenn W. Muschert, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and Jason A. Smith, Research Affiliate at the Center for Social Science Research at George Mason University, also served as co-editors for this important book.

Click here to download the book.