Penal Transformation

From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the U.S. experienced a profound transformation of penal practices, with an explosion in incarceration rates as the most visible indicator. This prompted a large literature on the “punitive turn” and post-modern punishment, which argued that that the penal pendulum had swung away from rehabilitation and toward a mass warehousing of bodies in prisons across the nation. Much of my research provides a revisionist critique of this account to clarify and extend our understanding of penal change.


Goodman, Page, & Phelps (2017). Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice. Oxford University Press.

*Book Reviews: Aviram (Law & Society Review); Piché (Social Justice); Jermstad (Federal Probation); Jiang (Social & Legal Studies); Buchan (Criminology & Criminal Justice); Appleby (Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books); Law & Social Inquiry Review Symposium (Rubin, Koehler, Ward, McNeill); Response by authors.