Duck Duck Book


1 – history of prison
06.13.2004, 12:02 am
Filed under: social sciences

A history of prison and confinement in Africa / edited by Florence Bernault ; translated by Janet Roitman.
Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann, c2003.
[MCL call number: 365.96 B524h 2003; 1 copy, no holds]

This is a book of academic essays on prisons in Africa, with a focus on the colonial introduction of formalized penal systems, and the various adaptations those systems have taken in post-colonial societies. There is also some discussion of punishment in pre-colonial societies (termed “customary law” by the book’s index). Most of the book discusses punishment and penal systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

I haven’t read the whole book, but the introduction and the bits and pieces that caught my eye were clear and reasonably well-written — many of you are familiar with my impatience with academic writing, but for those of you who are not, you should know this is fairly high praise. Six of the authors are at universities in the United States, three in France, one in Cameroon, one in Britain, and one in Senegal.

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