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The big house in a small town 1 edition

The big house in a small town
Eric J. Williams

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The big house in a small town
prisons, communities, and economics in rural America
Eric J. Williams

Published 2011 by Praeger in Santa Barbara, Calif .
Written in English.

About the Book

This work is an examination of how prisons impact rural communities, including a revealing study of two rural communities that have chosen prisons as an economic development strategy. The prison boom of the 1980s and 1990s, combined with the recent economic decline, has led to an interesting phenomenon: where towns once fought against becoming the home of a prison, they now fight to land one, even maximum security prisons. Some towns have put together lobbying packages, such as land, utility upgrades, and even cash, to convince corrections departments to build prisons on their land. A recent study by the Urban Institute estimates that one-third of all counties in the United States house a prison, and that our prison and jail population is now over 2.1 million. Another report indicates that more than 97 percent of all U.S. prisoners are eventually released, and communities are absorbing nearly 650,000 formerly incarcerated individuals each year. These figures are particularly alarming considering the fact that rural communities are using prisons as economic development vehicles without fully understanding the effects of these jails on the area. This book is the result of the author's ground-level research about the effects of prisons upon two rural American communities that lobbied to host maximum security prisons. Through hundreds of interviews conducted while living in Florence, Colorado, and Beeville, Texas, he offers the perspective of local residents on all sides of the issue, as well as a social history told mainly from the standpoint of those who lobbied for the prisons.

Table of Contents

Moving in, walking, and talking: gathering information
History and geography
Citizens and hermits
The community's story
Cops and corrections

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. [139]-149) and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
HV9466 .W55 2011

The Physical Object

xi, 155 p. ;
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
0313383650, 0313383669
9780313383656, 9780313383663
LC Control Number


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