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James B. Jacobs

Bio: James B. Jacobs is an academic researcher from New York University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Prison & Corruption. The author has an hindex of 29, co-authored 142 publications receiving 3388 citations. Previous affiliations of James B. Jacobs include University of Chicago & Macomb Community College.


Papers
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Book
15 Sep 1978
TL;DR: Stateville penitentiary in Illinois has been one of the most notorious maximum security prisons in the United States as discussed by the authors, with a reputation of being "the world's toughest prison".
Abstract: Stateville penitentiary in Illinois has housed some of Chicago's most infamous criminals and was proclaimed to be "the world's toughest prison" by Joseph Ragen, Stateville's powerful warden from 1936 to 1961. It shares with Attica, San Quentin, and Jackson the notoriety of being one of the maximum security prisons that has shaped the public's conception of imprisonment. In "Stateville" James B. Jacobs, a sociologist and legal scholar, presents the first historical examination of a total prison organization-administrators, guards, prisoners, and special interest groups. Jacobs applies Edward Shils's interpretation of the dynamics of mass society in order to explain the dramatic events of the past quarter century that have permanently altered Stateville's structure. With the extension of civil rights to previously marginal groups such as racial minorities, the poor, and, ultimately, the incarcerated, prisons have moved from society's periphery toward its center. Accordingly Stateville's control mechanisms became less authoritarian and more legalistic and bureaucratic. As prisoners' rights increased, the preogatives of the staff were sharply curtailed. By the early 1970s the administration proved incapable of dealing with politicized gangs, proliferating interest groups, unionized guards, and interventionist courts. In addition to extensive archival research, Jacobs spent many months freely interacting with the prisoners, guards, and administrators at Stateville. His lucid presentation of Stateville's troubled history will provide fascinating reading for a wide audience of concerned readers. ." . . [an] impressive study of a complex social system."-Isidore Silver, "Library Journal"

437 citations

Book
01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the proliferation of regulations and oversight mechanisms designed to prevent or root out corruption seriously undermine the ability to govern, by constraining decision makers' discretion, shaping priorities, and causing delays.
Abstract: Anticorruption reforms provide political cover for public officials, but do they really work? This text seeks to show how the proliferating regulations and oversight mechanisms designed to prevent or root out corruption seriously undermine the ability to govern. Over the last century, the authors argue, society has become enmeshed in alternating cycles of corruption and reform. Governments attribute the absence of scandal to existing regulations, and see their reoccurrence as proof of the need of additional laws. Using the anti-corruption efforts in New York City to illustrate their argument, the authors seeks to deomonstrate the costly inefficiencies of pursuing absolute integrity. They assert that by constraining decision makers' discretion, shaping priorities, and causing delays, corruption control - no less than corruption itself - has contributed to the contemporary crisis in public administration.

318 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The most significant reality behind Stateville's walls is the existence of four lower class Chicago street gangs which have brought into the prison their street activities, hierarchies, rivalries, and ideologies as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: This paper reports on a participant observation study carried out at Stateville Penitentiary, a maximum security prison, during the summer of 1972. The social organization of the prison has been a topic of frequent sociological attention. Efforts have been made to explain “inmate culture” and the often referred to “inmate code.” Contrary to the traditional structural-functional explanation for inmate organization which focuses upon situational variables, this analysis supports the Irwin-Cressey (1964) position that much of what has been termed inmate culture is actually imported from outside the prison. The most significant reality behind Stateville's walls is the existence of four lower class Chicago street gangs which have brought into the prison their street activities, hierarchies, rivalries, and ideologies. The purpose here is to describe the social organization which has emerged as a result of this phenomenon and to relate this development to the traditional literature.

156 citations

Book
09 Feb 2015

117 citations

Book
01 Jan 1998
TL;DR: The authors of as mentioned in this paper argue that hate crime as a socio-legal category represents the elaboration of an identity politics now manifesting itself in many areas of the law and argue that the effort to single out hate crime for greater punishment is, in effect, an effort to punish some offenders more seriously simply because of their beliefs, opinions, or values, thus implicating the First Amendment.
Abstract: In the early 1980s, a new category of crime appeared in the criminal law lexicon. In response to concerted advocacy-group lobbying, Congress and many state legislatures passed a wave of "hate crime" laws requiring the collection of statistics on, and enhancing the punishment for, crimes motivated by certain prejudices. This book places the evolution of the hate crime concept in socio-legal perspective. James B. Jacobs and Kimberly Potter adopt a skeptical if not critical stance, maintaining that legal definitions of hate crime are riddled with ambiguity and subjectivity. No matter how hate crime is defined, and despite an apparent media consensus to the contrary, the authors find no evidence to support the claim that the United States is experiencing a hate crime epidemic-instead, they cast doubt on whether the number of hate crimes is even increasing. The authors further assert that, while the federal effort to establish a reliable hate crime accounting system has failed, data collected for this purpose have led to widespread misinterpretation of the state of intergroup relations in this country. The book contends that hate crime as a socio-legal category represents the elaboration of an identity politics now manifesting itself in many areas of the law. But the attempt to apply the anti-discrimination paradigm to criminal law generates problems and anomalies. For one thing, members of minority groups are frequently hate crime perpetrators. Moreover, the underlying conduct prohibited by hate crime law is already subject to criminal punishment. Jacobs and Potter question whether hate crimes are worse or more serious than similar crimes attributable to other anti-social motivations. They also argue that the effort to single out hate crime for greater punishment is, in effect, an effort to punish some offenders more seriously simply because of their beliefs, opinions, or values, thus implicating the First Amendment. Advancing a provocative argument in clear and persuasive terms, Jacobs and Potter show how the recriminalization of hate crime has little (if any) value with respect to law enforcement or criminal justice. Indeed, enforcement of such laws may exacerbate intergroup tensions rather than eradicate prejudice.

115 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: GARLAND, 2001, p. 2, the authors argues that a modernidade tardia, esse distintivo padrão de relações sociais, econômicas e culturais, trouxe consigo um conjunto de riscos, inseguranças, and problemas de controle social that deram uma configuração específica às nossas respostas ao crime, ao garantir os altos custos das
Abstract: Nos últimos trinta trinta anos, houve profundas mudanças na forma como compreendemos o crime e a justiça criminal. O crime tornou-se um evento simbólico, um verdadeiro teste para a ordem social e para as políticas governamentais, um desafio para a sociedade civil, para a democracia e para os direitos humanos. Segundo David Garland, professor da Faculdade de Direito da New York University, um dos principais autores no campo da Sociologia da Punição e com artigo publicado na Revista de Sociologia e Política , número 13, na modernidade tardia houve uma verdadeira obsessão securitária, direcionando as políticas criminais para um maior rigor em relação às penas e maior intolerância com o criminoso. Há trinta anos, nos EUA e na Inglaterra essa tendência era insuspeita. O livro mostra que os dois países compartilham intrigantes similaridades em suas práticas criminais, a despeito da divisão racial, das desigualdades econômicas e da letalidade violenta que marcam fortemente o cenário americano. Segundo David Garland, encontram-se nos dois países os “mesmos tipos de riscos e inseguranças, a mesma percepção a respeito dos problemas de um controle social não-efetivo, as mesmas críticas da justiça criminal tradicional, e as mesmas ansiedades recorrentes sobre mudança e ordem sociais”1 (GARLAND, 2001, p. 2). O argumento principal da obra é o seguinte: a modernidade tardia, esse distintivo padrão de relações sociais, econômicas e culturais, trouxe consigo um conjunto de riscos, inseguranças e problemas de controle social que deram uma configuração específica às nossas respostas ao crime, ao garantir os altos custos das políticas criminais, o grau máximo de duração das penas e a excessivas taxas de encarceramento.

2,183 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that an important new language of penology is emerging, which shifts focus away from the traditional concerns of the criminal law and criminology, which have focused on the individual, and redirects it to actuarial consideration of aggregates.
Abstract: The new penology argues that an important new language of penology is emerging. This new language, which has its counterparts in other areas of the law as well, shifts focus away from the traditional concerns of the criminal law and criminology, which have focused on the individual, and redirects it to actuarial consideration of aggregates. This shift has a number of important implications: It facilitates development of a vision or model of a new type of criminal process that embraces increased reliance on imprisonment and that merges concerns for surveillance and custody, that shifts away from a concern with punishing individuals to managing aggregates of dangerous groups, and that affects the training and practice of criminologists.

1,938 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The potential impacts of information and ICTs – especially e-government and social media – on cultural attitudes about transparency are explored.

1,850 citations