Punishment and Society

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

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Punishment and Society

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Summary
    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 an associate professor of criminal justice at SUNY Plattsburgh. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies from State University of New York at Buffalo. Her teaching and research areas include women’s pathways to incarceration, black women’s prison writing, the impact of incarceration on families, and higher education in prison. Dr. Willingham has presented research at academic conferences nationally and internationally, lectured at universities in the U.S. and U.K., and led workshops in women’s and men’s prisons. Her research has been published in academic journals and edited collections.
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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.