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on March 27, 2010
Banished explores geographic restrictions that are placed on people in the city -- often homeless people and people of color. The authors use a variety of sources: records from the police and the courts, archives from the city council, interviews with prosecutors, defenders, and judges, and -- most vividly -- interviews with people who are subject to the restrictions.

The book focuses on Seattle, which uses a number of geographic restrictions. It should interest anyone concerned about poverty, homelessness, criminal justice, and civil liberties.

Very often probation (or a deferred sentence) for a minor offense includes an order to Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution (SOAP) or to Stay Out of Drug Areas (SODA). Hundreds of people are also given trespass admonishments, with orders not to go to one or many parks or not to go to one or many businesses.

Violating these orders subjects a person to arrest, trial, and jail. And yet obeying the orders often isolates the person from his or her community and makes it difficult to get social services, and so most people covered by the orders do not obey them.

The scope of the system is large (and therefore costly). In Seattle, for example, criminal trespass charges led to over 10,000 jail days in 2005. And the city attorney estimated that jailing SODA violators cost the city about $1 million from March 2006 to December 2007.

Thoroughly researched and eye-opening.
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on April 1, 2014
This is a very readable book about a social problem being faced -- and dealt with badly -- by cities all over the country. The authors explain that homeless and street people are being effectively banished from cities and parts of cities at great cost and little social benefit. This is clearly a book worth reading for anyone interested in this issue.
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on February 18, 2014
I didn't think it would have lots of highlighting but then again the price I paid says it all. Thank you for the details & honesty, I would re-purchase again!
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on January 2, 2014
Had to read this for a class at the UW but enjoyed it a lot. Being from Seattle I found it very valuable to know about this social problem that is occurring here and all over the United States.
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on October 29, 2011
This is a great book if you are at all interested in legal/political issues, homelessness, poverty, and of course the main topic of the book - 'banishment', or the (legal) exclusion of individuals from certain places.

The book is about the city of Seattle, and being from Seattle myself, I thought that was very cool.
It's well written, interesting, educational, plenty of first-hand interviews, and easy to read.

The only reason I give it 4/5 stars is because I can't say I 'love' it - I wouldn't have picked this up and read it unless it was assigned by a teacher (which for me, it was)...but I enjoyed it nonetheless :)
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on December 9, 2013
The only reason I purchased this book was for a college course; it was required. It was complete crap!!! The entire book was the same story told over and over and over like a remake (meaning The Evil Dead has been remade twice, which equals 3 versions and the original did NOT need one remake, let alone two remakes). It was a 'poor me' for those who got into trouble with the law and how they had no recourse for action to right the wrong. That is unfair but so is life. You know what else is unfair? That not only did I have to read this book but I had to write a 900 word book report - for a senior college course (capstone). Seriously, the book title Banished tells you everything you need to know...
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