Prison City looks beneath the placid surface of Huntsville, Texas, execution capital of the world, and sheds light on controversial issues usually hidden behind penitentiary walls. The authors draw on a multitude of voices from the community surrounding the prison - from inmates and guards to neighboring residents and local politicians - to reflect on questions of crime and punishment, vengeance, and forgiveness. We see how the sophisticated communication techniques employed by inmates, information officers, and community leaders shape opinions in the small towns where prisons are a principal industry. The poignant, evocative stories that run throughout the book highlight the incarcerated population's increasing influence in the political, cultural, and ecomic landscape in the United States. Most of all, Prison City offers opportunities to understand why the Texas justice system has become a global metaphor for incarceration and capital punishment.
The Authors: Ruth Massingill is a professional communicator as well as a faculty member at Sam Houston State University in Texas. She regularly presents papers on communications topics at national and international conferences. She holds an M.A. in public relations from the University of Wyoming and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in social marketing from the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, England. Ardyth Broadrick Sohn is Professor and Director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She is the author or co-author of over a dozen books and chapters focused on media management and media agenda setting. She held a Fulbright Award in Ukraine and has been on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Butler University, and Ball State University.