Robert Perkinson is a professor of American studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His writing has appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, and Boston Review, among other venues. Texas Tough is his first book. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.
There’s tough. And then there’s Texas tough.
—LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DAVID DEWHURST
If we are to fully understand the causes and consequences of America’s prison buildup, a good place to start is Huntsville, Texas. Although dozens of prison-dominated communities now dot the American landscape from Florence, Arizona, to Wallens Ridge, Virginia, Huntsville stands above the rest: It is the most locked-down town in the most prison-friendly state in the most incarcerated country in the world.