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Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation Hardcover – May 22, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Required reading for anyone interested in violence against women, black feminist theory, mass incarceration, or the welfare state. Essential for all levels/libraries."-Choice

“A powerful and insightful call to action. Richie offers us a richly complex yet deeply usable analysis, rooted in a passionate commitment to producing knowledge that can change us and transform the world. Richie challenges us to ask ourselves what it would mean if we were to put the lives of the most stigmatized and the most violated at the center of our social justice work. The stories of injustice, survival and courage in these pages will stay with the reader long after turning the last page.” -Julia C. Oparah,editor of Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex

“No one writes with passion like Beth Richie to convey the degree of danger the most marginalized women in our country are in. If there is one book you read to understand better why poor Black women are in continual danger—and several suggested ways of thinking about changing these conditions, then this is the book to read.”-Natalie J. Sokoloff,editor of The Criminal Justice System and Women

"Her new book, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation, is a critical examination and re-examination of several of the issues Richie has been writing about and working on for many years: prisons, the criminal legal/justice system, and the particular vulnerabilities of women and African-American women in particular as they operate at the intersection of what Richie and many other scholars point to as a profoundly racist and misogynistic system."-Yasmin Nair,Windy City Times

"Beth E. Richie...uses her expertise to reveal the hidden experience of black women living in marginalized communities. With over 25 years of work as a black feminist scholar and anti-violence activist, Richie tackles the extremely complicated interplay of race, gender and class that is causing violence against black women."

"I hope all activists and scholars—women of color and white women, young and old—read this book and from it, learn how stacked the system is against women of color, especially poor women."-Women's Review of Books

"By narrowing the scope of gender, violence, and crime more specifically to the U.S. case, she assesses both national and localized stories that reveal the fragility of black female lives in a nation driven by securing and maintaining prison profits...Even more profound, however, is the engagement Richie enforces with uncomfortable and long-avoided topics, including stalking, neighborhood assaults, incest, intimate partner abuse, rape, and even pervasive sexual harassment committed by the police in poor communities."-WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly

"This book provokes outrage and affords insight."-American Studies

“Richie expertly and chillingly documents the convergence of individual and structural racism, economic exploitation, and political disenfranchisement in the devastating gendered violence against the most disadvantaged Black women and girls. Arrested Justice represents the intersections of oppression at their most extreme. The book is frightening, enraging, and should be read by everyone.”-Joanne Belknap,author of The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice

About the Author

Beth E. Richie is Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, Professor of African American Studies and Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814776221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814776223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,716,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christie Billups, D.Min. on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading The New Jim Crow, a colleague recommended this as a next read. Both books undertake a critique of the prison system that diminishes our nation and disproportionately oppresses our Black sisters and brothers. Arrested Justice raises awareness of the unheard voices of Black women who suffer at the hands of their neighbors and those who are charged to serve and protect all citizens and residents of our cities and towns. Dr. Beth Richie eloquently dissects the complicated terrain of Black women's experiences of violence,the complicity of the prison nation, and problematizes looking at any one social descriptor in isolation (e.g. race, gender or economic status). She engages the issues, such as poverty, loyalty within the Black community, sexual orientation, and violence at the hands of family, community, and strangers, with depth and insight. In particular, the painful narratives that she shares will leave you disturbed but hungry for insight into how these realities can be diffused and dismantled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joel on March 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is serious s*** here people. Women are getting tortured and raped and especially women of color...they are victims of a prison-industrial complex that isn't out to serve anything or anybody except the white male phallocracy that remains in power even until now.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richie's argument is composed largely of a few shocking cases, avoiding data and statistics throughout the book. This makes her thesis even less convincing and serves to bore the reader once the initial shock factor has worn off. In particular, she focuses on a handful of cases though the majority of the book which, while disturbing, provide very few actual details. It feels as though Richie was very selective with which cases she used in her writing to lend legitimacy to her argument. She does, at the very least, bring up an interesting point, but it is also one that could be explored in a more objective manner. In Richie’s novel, she successfully convinces the reader that she believes in her thesis, but I doubt it would convince many others to join her in her beliefs.
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