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Policing the poor : from slave plantation to public housing

by Websdale, Neil.

Format: Print Book 2001
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction HV8148.N27 W43 2001
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  HV8148.N27 W43 2001
While many applaud the apparent successes of community and saturation policing, Neil Websdale contends Instead that such law enforcement initiatives oppress rather than protect the poor, particularly African Americans in large urban centers. Based on a groundbreaking ethnographic study of public housing projects in Nashville, Tennessee, he argues persuasively that community policing is a critical component of a criminal justice juggernaut designed to manage or regulate stigmatized populations, much like slave patrols served as agents for social control on Southern plantations. In a work that is sure to stir controversy and heated debate, Websdale draws on extensive field research, documentary sources, and interviews to illuminate how a criminal justice system deeply rooted in racism and siavery destroys the black family, creates a form of selective breeding, and undermines the civil rights gains of the 1960s. Unlike previous studies of community policing, which analyze programs through the lens of law enforcement, this book focuses on the history, experiences, and perspectives of the people whose lives are most affected by today's policing strategies. Skillfully blending the voices
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Contrary to the image of community policing as an effective strategy for law enforcement, Websdale asserts that it is an oppressive means of regulating the urban poor, primarily black youth. He spent one year studying the "policed" and the police in the environs of a Nashville public housing project. Blending his observations with both contemporary and historical research, the author places community policing at the heart of postindustrial apartheid, part of a "criminal justice juggernaut" that regulates the lives of the poor to an extraordinary degree. Websdale, a British professor, criticizes analysis of community policing that doesn't put it into context with ghetto life, the superstigmatization of blacks, the history of the slave trade, or the rise of global capitalism. The social-control network developed in the postindustrial U.S. serves to stigmatize and scapegoat its surplus populations, especially young urban blacks, Websdale concludes. He contrasts this punitive approach with the methods used in most western European societies. This is an excellent critical analysis of modern American policing strategies and racial politics. --Vernon Ford"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Discrimination in law enforcement -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Community policing -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Police-community relations -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Racism -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
African Americans -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Race relations.
Publisher Boston :Northeastern University Press,2001
Language English
Description x, 278 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-266) and index.
ISBN 155553497X (cloth : alk. paper)
1555534961 (pbk. : alk. paper)
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