In Defense of Flogging

Peter Moskos. Basic, $20 (192p) ISBN 978-0-465-02148-2
Moskos, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who specializes in police and criminal science, debates with the utmost seriousness the merits of flogging as an alternative to incarceration. Whether it's called caning or lashing, he concludes flogging, which penetrates the flesh but is over quickly, is less cruel than depriving people of a chunk of their lives in "a barbaric, inhuman" institution where a record number of 2.3 million Americans endure insult and humiliation, with a high incidence of sexual aggression, rape, and a great risk of contracting a communicable disease. Moskos lists the long history of prison reforms in the U.S., but concludes that our penal system remains "an insidious marriage of entombment and torture." Presenting the Singapore and Malaysian models of flogging, the author draws on interviews and recommendations to boost his "thought experiment." Indeed, when Moskos mentions the possibility of electric shock as another option , readers will begin to wonder if the writer is poking outlandish fun and crafting a notion similar to Swift's 1729 classic "A Modest Proposal," using satire to call attention to the "shame" of our inhumane prison system. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Paperback - 183 pages - 978-0-465-03241-9
Open Ebook - 193 pages - 978-0-465-02379-0
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