Prison City looks beneath the placid surface of Huntsville, Texas, execution capital of the world, and sheds light on controversial issues usually hidden behind penitentiary walls. The authors draw on a multitude of voices from the community surrounding the prison – from inmates and guards to neighboring residents and local politicians – to reflect on questions of crime and punishment, vengeance, and forgiveness. We see how the sophisticated communication techniques employed by inmates, information officers, and community leaders shape opinions in the small towns where prisons are a principal industry. The poignant, evocative stories that run throughout the book highlight the incarcerated population’s increasing influence in the political, cultural, and economic landscape in the United States. Most of all,
Prison City offers opportunities to understand why the Texas justice system has become a global metaphor for incarceration and capital punishment.