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Upper Bunkies Unite

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In Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration author Andrea James takes a critical look at the politics and policies resulting in mass incarceration within the United States. From her professional experience as a former criminal defense lawyer, and her personal experience as a formerly incarcerated woman, James provides a more accurate po In Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration author Andrea James takes a critical look at the politics and policies resulting in mass incarceration within the United States. From her professional experience as a former criminal defense lawyer, and her personal experience as a formerly incarcerated woman, James provides a more accurate portrait of who is in our prisons and the destructive outcome of politics that support a failed drug war and exhaust resources on law enforcement and incarceration. James demonstrates the need for a shift toward community wellness initiatives to replace incarceration and a complete overhaul of the current U.S. criminal justice framework from one of punishment and wasted human potential, to a system focused on social justice and healing.


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In Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration author Andrea James takes a critical look at the politics and policies resulting in mass incarceration within the United States. From her professional experience as a former criminal defense lawyer, and her personal experience as a formerly incarcerated woman, James provides a more accurate po In Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration author Andrea James takes a critical look at the politics and policies resulting in mass incarceration within the United States. From her professional experience as a former criminal defense lawyer, and her personal experience as a formerly incarcerated woman, James provides a more accurate portrait of who is in our prisons and the destructive outcome of politics that support a failed drug war and exhaust resources on law enforcement and incarceration. James demonstrates the need for a shift toward community wellness initiatives to replace incarceration and a complete overhaul of the current U.S. criminal justice framework from one of punishment and wasted human potential, to a system focused on social justice and healing.

46 review for Upper Bunkies Unite

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alan Mills

    NOTE: all references her to Orange Is the New Black are to Piper's book, not the TV show. Starting with the same premise as Orange is the New Black--a middle class woman serves a short time in prison for a non-violent crime, sent to Danberry--one of the minimum security federal women's prisons--and keeps a diary. However, the two books end up being very different. OITNB is intensely personal, framing the entire narrative around the author's experiences in prison, and using those to riff on the abs NOTE: all references her to Orange Is the New Black are to Piper's book, not the TV show. Starting with the same premise as Orange is the New Black--a middle class woman serves a short time in prison for a non-violent crime, sent to Danberry--one of the minimum security federal women's prisons--and keeps a diary. However, the two books end up being very different. OITNB is intensely personal, framing the entire narrative around the author's experiences in prison, and using those to riff on the absurdities of the system. Here, the author spends far less time on her own experience in prison--she occasionally mentions her situation, but as an example, more than as a narrative device. Her focus is broader--on the injustices of the entire system, from which crimes we chose to prosecute to discriminatory half-way house assignments. In some ways this difference in focus makes this book more cerebral than OITNB, but in other ways, it allows the author to take a broader look...while still using the people she met as examples to illustrate her points. In the end, both are valuable additions to our understanding of prisons, who is there, how they are treated, and most of all, just how disfunction all the entire system is.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carmilla Voiez

    A look at the explicit racism and waste of human resource involved in mass incarceration in the USA. It goes further at looks at the reasons people accept such a flawed system (mirror neurons and the mass media). Well worth a read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This book wasn't particularly well written and could have benefited greatly from a better editor. However, it does have the uniqueness of perspective from someone who has been incarcerated and her point that we should listen to the people who have experienced it is salient. This book wasn't particularly well written and could have benefited greatly from a better editor. However, it does have the uniqueness of perspective from someone who has been incarcerated and her point that we should listen to the people who have experienced it is salient.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

    You will learn more about life inside a women's prison from reading this book than you will grasp by watching all episodes of Orange is the New Black. Plus, you will find out where the trapdoors are through which so many women of color fall and land in prison, and you'll get a sense of how our society is built to make that happen. The various strands of the book are loosely woven together, and the political analysis starts off a little jargon-y and preachy. The book hits its stride in the second You will learn more about life inside a women's prison from reading this book than you will grasp by watching all episodes of Orange is the New Black. Plus, you will find out where the trapdoors are through which so many women of color fall and land in prison, and you'll get a sense of how our society is built to make that happen. The various strands of the book are loosely woven together, and the political analysis starts off a little jargon-y and preachy. The book hits its stride in the second half, so be patient, or read the middle chapters first and go to the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    As an upper bunky, I thought I might be able to relate, but I couldn't. I felt like the author shifted too much blame to "society" and not enough to individuals. As an upper bunky, I thought I might be able to relate, but I couldn't. I felt like the author shifted too much blame to "society" and not enough to individuals.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosemari

    Important read about the current travesty of mass incarceration, the horrific warehousing of people akin to slavery from a woman who experienced imprisonment, Andrea C. James.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrea James

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maya Schenwar

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diane Haskamp

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mfalco65

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  15. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Price

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jed

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ash

  22. 5 out of 5

    Saundra Robinson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn Klein

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Law

  25. 4 out of 5

    AM dial

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ty

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cari

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  31. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

  32. 5 out of 5

    Konner

  33. 4 out of 5

    Kirstyn

  34. 5 out of 5

    pattrice

  35. 5 out of 5

    Corrie Side

  36. 5 out of 5

    Maryc

  37. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

  38. 5 out of 5

    Mel

  39. 4 out of 5

    Broadsnark

  40. 4 out of 5

    Tracy R Nichols

  41. 4 out of 5

    Regina

  42. 5 out of 5

    Eunice

  43. 5 out of 5

    Aviva

  44. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  45. 4 out of 5

    Charlene Huss

  46. 5 out of 5

    Holly

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