Rafter, Nicole Hahn.Prisons In America: A Reference Handbook. Abe Clio, 1999.

Rafter presents an overview of the prison system since colonial times with discussion on the debate over rehabilitation versus punishment; biographies of key figures; a chronology of notable events in penal history; current data on sentencing, prison system growth, and prisoner characteristics; information on prisoners? rights, famous legal gases, and policy changes; a directory of professional organizations and agencies; and lists of print and nonprint resources. The book also discusses critical prison problems today such as overcrowding, operational costs, three-strikes legislation, units for special populations such as inmates with AIDS and the criminally insane; and new penal trends, programs and services.