American Prisons: A Critical Primer on Culture and Conversion to Islam, is an anthology that represents over a decade of investigating, researching and writing on prison culture. This critical exploration of prisons in contemporary America pieces together how problems in prison are not isolated from society; unlike the Las Vegas slogan, what happens in prison doesn’t stay in prison. Prisons are not neatly cornered off from society, but rather, are partners in toxic relationships with the communities to which ex-prisoners return. Against these sinister cultural developments, the book juxtaposes the quest for God and religious conversion. More specifically, widespread conversion to Islam over many generations has made prisons an important factor for the growth of Islam in America.
The book draws on a range of data and sources, including interviews and written correspondence with current and ex-prisoners, documentary research, and congressional hearings on topics that include criminal justice and religion, culture, conversion, radicalization, and reform.
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