The Social Order of the Underworld How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System

Review :

This book is incredibly well thought out and researched. Not only does it provide a lens into understanding prison gangs as a form of governance, it would also serve as a useful introduction into many economic concepts including rational choice theory and the role of institutions. Skarbek also balances the role that gangs play in prisons (the benefits) with the violence which they perpetrate (the costs), while recognizing the potential opportunity costs of not having prison gangs, such as even more violence. A must-read for anyone interested in governance or why prison gags operate so successfully across America.


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