Punishment and Society

(First Edition)
Edited by Breea Willingham
©2021, 276 pages

Paperback list price: $ 96.95

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Punishment and Society

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    Punishment and Society features a distinct focus on the societal impact of incarceration, rather than the institutions of prison and jail. The anthology provides students with diverse perspectives regarding imprisonment from those who are experiencing and directly affected by incarceration. Readers learn about the widespread impact of punishment and incarceration not only from those who are imprisoned, but from the people they know and the communities to which they belong on the outside.

    The collection includes 13 readings that examine the nuances of incarceration, including its intersection with race and gender, the financial and emotional impact on families and children, and the impact on communities most affected by mass incarceration. The readings identify incarceration as a form of social control and underscore the dire consequences of the system on individuals, families, and communities. Following each reading, discussion questions inspire critical thinking about the broader context of how incarceration and punishment influence society.

    Written to challenge students to rethink what it means to punish people in society and consider its holistic ramifications, Punishment and Society is an ideal primary or supplementary resource for courses in criminal justice.

    Breea Willingham is a tenured associate professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She earned her Ph.D. in American studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Willingham’s research and teaching examine the intersections of race, gender, higher education, and the criminal legal system. Influenced by her experiences as a sister and aunt of two men serving life sentences, Dr. Willingham’s research also focuses on the societal ramifications of mass incarceration, especially its impact on families. Her research goes beyond a critique of the institution of prison to include the narratives of the people marginalized by mass incarceration. Dr. Willingham has presented her research at academic conferences nationally and internationally, given lectures at universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, and led writing and reentry workshops in women’s and men’s prisons. She has also appeared on numerous webinars and podcasts sharing her expertise on race, gender, and crime, and higher education in prison.
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    In 2018, Dr. Breea Willingham taught a special-topics course in which students examined what role education has and why higher education should be included in all prisons. In 2020, their research was displayed in the Burke Gallery at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum as part of “States of Incarceration,” a traveling exhibit that looks at mass incarceration in our communities.

    Read the article “Local Professor, Students Participate in National Exhibit on Incarceration” to learn more about the project, Dr. Willingham’s scholarship, and the “States of Incarceration” exhibit.