Incarceration Nations by Baz Dreisinger [in Library Journal]
“No one said this global journey would be smooth,” writes Baz Dreisinger with controlled understatement. Covering two years and nine countries in her pilgrimage to prisons worldwide, Dreisinger – a self-described “white English professor specializing in African-American cultural studies,” as well as prison educator and criminal justice activist – begins her research at home, where “America is the world’s largest jailer.”
Her instinct that “something is very, very wrong” with the U.S. system sends her to experience reconciliation in Rwanda and South Africa, arts education in Uganda and Jamaica, imprisonment of women in Thailand, solitary confinement in the “supermaxes” of Brazil, private prisons in Australia, “reentry” in Singapore, and the “humane” model prisons of Norway.
Determined to “minimize the inevitable anthropological rubbernecking,” Dreisinger goes into the prisons as volunteer, teacher, or mentor to collect “Human stories.” More than just an observer, Dreisinger brings home alternative methods that could change America’s “bereft system.” Narrator Christina Delaine gives earnest voice to Dreisinger’s odyssey, moving seamlessly between frustration and joy, setback and progress, recidivism and triumph.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, May 1, 2016