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Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (New Perspectives in Crime, Deviance, and Law) Paperback – June 27, 2011
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In this compelling sociological narrative, Rios describes the problems facing black and Latino youth as they come of age. A former gang member who went on to earn a Ph.D. at Berkeley, Rios returned to his old Oakland neighborhood to shadow 40 young men as they dealt with poverty, violence, and institutionalized racism. As he recounts their life stories, Rios deftly balances analysis with vivid anecdotes about uninterested educators, struggling parents, police brutality, and gang victimization. From elementary school on, teachers and law enforcement mark these boys as "dangerous" or "difficult," and harshly punish them for petty infractions. Once they accumulate "negative credentials," the young men are subject to increased surveillance—and are consequently more likely to end up in prison. Rios terms this criminalization "the youth control complex," and explains how it systematically deprives boys of their dignity and their ability to succeed at school or in the job market. He examines how the culture of punishment pushes young men into the very criminality that the punishment is meant to deter, and makes a compelling argument that better financed social programs and positive reinforcement could make all the difference. (July)
"Rios provides numerous conceptual innovations, noted below in italics, that should soon find their way into all of our introductory, deviance, and race/ethnicity texts.... A book bristling with insight."-Robert Garot,American Journal of Sociology
“This analysis gives great context to the lives of career criminals….Rios’ work suggests that people drop out, commit crimes, and adapt themselves to a ‘fugitive life’ because they are unable to find an institution that grants them the acknowledgment and dignity that they are systematically denied.”-Du Bois Review
"Accessible, engaging and thought provoking, Punished presents unique data and compelling analytical insights, opening what should prove to be a fruitful line of research. For this reason and other reasons…this important book is a worthwhile read for anyone within or outside the academy who is looking to understand the punitive turn in American society from the perspective of those who are most heavily policed, punished and criminalized.”-Social Forces
"This is a well overdue and important contribution to our understanding of urban street youth and gangs. Rios turns the table on traditional gang researchers by showing how the process of criminalization and the youth control complex is biased against young boys of color."-Diego Vigil,author of The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles
"Rios's book is a valuable contribution to the field because it is an interdisciplinary work that addresses fundamental and ongoing concepts of juvenile delinquency and gang participation."-Madeleine Novich,Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review
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This study, conducted by author Victor M. Rios, focuses on the institutional injustices faced by Black and Latino male youth. Although, as a minority, I was already aware of such injustices, Rios' work provided me with the vocabulary necessary to further comprehend "the system." Overall, my opinions were changed. I once dubbed my low-achieving, male peers as lazy wanna-be delinquents. After reading "Punished," I realized these boys are not to blame. There are so many outer forces prohibiting these boys from realizing their full potential.
Everyone should give this book a read! It'll definitely teach you something new.
Most recent customer reviews
You think you would be getting some biopic about this guys life in oakland but you don't. Or at least you get 10 pages of it.Read more