So far, it’s not clear whether the Texas chapter of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang is carrying out a systematic assassination campaign against criminal justice officials. What is clear is that America’s overcrowded, lawless prison systems are a machine for transforming apolitical white prisoners into committed violent racists by forcing them into neo-Nazi gangs for self-protection. Black and Latino prisoners are forced into their own gangs, but those tend to be purely criminal rather than political. This should be regarded as a crisis; currently it isn’t. And no, SuperMax is not a solution.

David Skarbek of University College London has a fascinating book on the larger problem coming out from Oxford. Watch for it.

[Originally posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.