In the prison business, all roads lead to Texas. A pioneer in criminal justice severity from assembly-line executions to supermax isolation, from mandatory sentencing to prison privatization Texas is the most locked-down state in the most incarcerated country in the world. Texas Tough, a sweeping history of American imprisonment from the days of slavery to the present, explains how a plantation-based penal system once dismissed as barbaric became a template for the nation. Drawing on the individual stories as well as authoritative research, Texas Tough reveals the true origins of America's prison juggernaut and points toward a more just and humane future.
Robert Perkinson is a professor of American studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He lives in Honolulu, Hawai'i.