On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City Author Alice Goffman
ISBN-10 1250065666
ISBN-13 9781250065667
Year 2015-04-07
Pages 304
Language English
Publisher Picador
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A RIVETING GROUNDBREAKING ACCOUNT OF HOW THE WAR ON CRIME HASTORN APART INNER CITY COMMUNITIESForty years in the tough on crime turn in American politics has spurred a prison boom of historic proportions that disproportionately affects Black communities It has also torn at the lives of those on the outside As arrest quotas and high tech surveillance criminalize entire blocks a climate of fear and suspicion pervades daily life not only for young men entangled in the legal system but for their family members and working neighbors Alice Goffman spent six years in one Philadelphia neighborhood documenting the routine stops searches raids and beatings that young men navigate as they come of age In the course of her research she became roommates with Mike and Chuck two friends trying to make ends meet between low wage jobs and the drug trade Like many in the neighborhood Mike and Chuck were caught up in a cycle of court cases probation sentences and low level warrants with no clear way out We observe their girlfriends and mothers enduring raids and interrogations clean residents struggling to go to school and work every day as the cops chase down neighbors in the streets and others eking out a living by providing clean urine fake documents and off the books medical care This fugitive world is the hidden counterpoint to mass incarceration the grim underside of our nation s social experiment in punishing Black men and their families While recognizing the drug trade s damage On The Run reveals a justice system gone awry it is an exemplary work of scholarship highlighting the failures of the War on Crime and a compassionate chronicle of the families caught in the midst of it A remarkable feat of reporting The level of detail in this book and Goffman s ability to understand her subjects motivations are astonishingand riveting The New York Times Book Review

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