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Reading about prisons: Substance over sensationalism

Manson, Allan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice / Revue canadienne de criminologie et de justice pénale. 44(4): 491-501.

A member of the faculty of law at Queens’ University in Kingston, Ontario, Allan Manson reviews professor Michael Jackson’s book Justice Behind the Walls: Human Rights in Canadian Prisons (2002). Manson begins by pointing out how much that is written about prisons is largely sensationalistic in tone and content. Jackson’s book is another matter. In Manson’s opinion it is an extraordinary book. Writing on the basis of extensive access to the correctional institutions and their personnel, Jackson provides a detailed account of Canadian penitentiaries that, according to Manson, puts a human face on the system’s failure to operate in conformity with its own legal framework. In his review, Manson highlights the chief features and arguments of Jackson’s book, and he explains why he considers it such an important book.


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