The Champion

January/February 2010 , Page 50 

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Book Reviews

By Various Authors

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The Real Cost of Prisons Comix

By Lois Ahrens
PM Press (2008)
Reviewed by Angelyn Frazer and Susana Inda

According to the Bureau of Justice, the United States currently incarcerates 2.3 million people. Of that number, close to 200,000 are incarcerated for drug offenses. Lois Ahrens, a longtime prison reform activist and author, has advocated against “unprecedented growth” of prison facilities and the number of people incarcerated within the last 30 years, and has stressed the importance of understanding the “real costs” behind the system. In order to facilitate that understanding, Ahrens authored The Real Cost of Prisons Comix, an educational primer that describes our overreliance on incarceration — particularly as it relates to the war on drugs — in a clear and concise manner.

The book offers an explanation of the various mechanisms that ensnarl individuals in the prison industrial complex. In addition, it provides the reader a glimpse into the world of those mired in negative social and e

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