Individual Author Record
Name: Anne Marie CusacPen Name: None Genre: Non-Fiction Other Born: Sites:
Illinois ConnectionAnne Marie Cusac is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationCusac is a George Polk Award-winning journalist. For ten years, she was an editor and investigative reporter for The Progressive magazine. Cusac won the George Polk Award for her article “Stunning Technology,” an investigation of the use of the stun belt in U.S. prisons. She has won the Project Censored Award three times. She has also been recognized with a second-place John Bartlow Martin Award, and a 2002 Milwaukee Press Club Award for magazine reporting.
Titles At Your Library
Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America
ISBN: 0300168012 Yale University Press. 2010
The statistics are startling. Since 1973, America’s imprisonment rate has multiplied over five times to become the highest in the world. More than two million inmates reside in state and federal prisons. What does this say about our attitudes toward criminals and punishment? What does it say about us?
This book explores the cultural evolution of punishment practices in the United States. Anne-Marie Cusac first looks at punishment in the nation’s early days, when Americans repudiated Old World cruelty toward criminals and emphasized rehabilitation over retribution. This attitude persisted for some 200 years, but in recent decades we have abandoned it, Cusac shows. She discusses the dramatic rise in the use of torture and restraint, corporal and capital punishment, and punitive physical pain. And she links this new climate of punishment to shifts in other aspects of American culture, including changes in dominant religious beliefs, child-rearing practices, politics, television shows, movies, and more.
America now punishes harder and longer and with methods we would have rejected as cruel and unusual not long ago. These changes are profound, their impact affects all our lives, and we have yet to understand the full consequences.