Hallinan, Joseph T. Going up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation. Random House, 2001.

Hallinan looks at prisons that were built “not because it was needed but because it was wanted-by politicians who thought it would bring them votes, by voters who hoped it would bring them jobs, and by a corrections establishment that no longer believed in correction.” He addresses the prison boom: facilities quickly built for economic reasons, resulting in poor prison conditions and a system so lucrative that its founders have become rich. The author also looks at the stories of current wardens, guards, inmates and townspeople living in the shadow of a prison.