Bruce Western’s book, Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, is, as its title suggests, about the challenges confronting people re-entering society after a period behind bars. But it’s also inevitably about the deep harms of incarceration itself. And moving further backward still, it’s about the problems and life-histories that leave people vulnerable to the criminal justice system in the first place. Ethically, Western asks, what are we to make of a system whose default response to those problems is jail or prison? In Homeward, Western outlines a very different, much more hopeful vision.
This is an updated version of an episode originally released in September 2018.