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Too Easy to KeepLife-Sentenced Prisoners and the Future of Mass Incarceration$
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Steve Herbert

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520300507

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520300507.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Being Easy Isn’t Easy

Being Easy Isn’t Easy

(p.40) Chapter Two Being Easy Isn’t Easy
Too Easy to Keep

Steve Herbert

University of California Press

Easy keepers arrive at that status through a maturation process that leads them to foster constructive relations with others. They do so despite a prison environment that poses considerable challenges for efforts at personal growth. This chapter reviews some of those challenges. More specifically, it emphasizes: the often fraught relations that lifers possess with prison staff, with members of their family, and with each other; the dearth of opportunities for work and education; and the difficulty they face in atoning directly for their crimes. These impediments to individual betterment make all the more remarkable the ability of lifers to become such stable and productive community members.

Keywords:   Easy keeper, life sentences, punishment, redemption, retribution, stigma

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