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Too Easy to Keep – Life-Sentenced Prisoners and the Future of Mass Incarceration - California Scholarship Online
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Too Easy to Keep: Life-Sentenced Prisoners and the Future of Mass Incarceration

Steve Herbert


Life-sentenced prisoners are a growing proportion of America’s incarcerated population. Too Easy to Keep provides a thorough assessment of the consequences of this monumental shift. It examines the implications of growing numbers of life sentences for both prisoners serving that sentence and the prisons that house them. It draws upon extensive interviews with life-sentenced prisoners and prison staff in two Washington facilities. The data demonstrate that many lifers build lives of considerable purpose and meaning, and devote themselves to improving the circumstances of others. They become, in ... More

Keywords: Aging prisoners, atonement, life sentences, prisons, punishment, redemption, rehabilitation, retribution, sentencing policy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780520300507
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520300507.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steve Herbert, author
University of Washington