Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America

The UW’ s Simpson Center For the Humanities is offering a special session on the recently-published Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America,by Geography’s Steve Herbert and Sociology’s Katherine Beckett.  The session will be on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 4:00 in Communications 202. The book has been described as

the first exploration of the “zero-tolerance” or “broken window” tactics that dramatically enhance the power of the police to monitor and arrest thousands of city dwellers. Drawing upon an extensive body of data, the authors chart the rise of banishment in Seattle, a city on the leading edge of this emerging trend, to establish how it works and explore its ramifications. They demonstrate that, although the practice allows police and public officials to appear responsive to concerns about urban disorder, it is a highly questionable policy: it is expensive, does not reduce crime, and does not address the underlying conditions that generate urban poverty. Moreover, interviews with the banished themselves reveal that exclusion makes their lives and their path to self-sufficiency immeasurably more difficult.

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