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Comprehensive List of Correctional Education Literature

CSCE Library Inventory - This is a comprehensive list of all books in the Center's library. The page is searchable by pressing Ctrl + F and entering exact search terms.

Core Library- An article appearing in the March, 2008 CEA newsletter explaining what the Core Libraries are all about

Core Library Bibliography- An annotated bibliography of essential texts in the field of correctional education. Many of the books are out of print and can be extremely hard to find. The Center has obtained the necessary prmissions to make available photocopies of these books. Satellite libraries are placed in institutions to facilitate teacher development and are gaining in popularity. The library can affect positive change by connecting educators with the largely unknown historic and contemporary literature of our field. If your institution would like to obtain a core library the Center would be happy to help, contact us for more info.

The following out of print books are part of the Core Library and are in the public domain. Do not let their age fool you. Many educators find the wisdom in these volumes to be suprisingly relevant to their daily work. These pdf files are both downloadable and searchable, to facilitate ease of use and further research.

The Education of Adult Prisoners - (1931) by Austin MacCormick
This is the seminal book on correctional education. MacCormick visited nearly every confinement institution in the U.S. before he wrote what remains a valid blueprint for effective institutional educational programs. The information it contains is informative even today.

Osborne of Sing Sing - (1933) by Frank Tannenbaum
Tannenbaum was a remarkably profound, insightful historian. This is the best biography of Osborne, focusing on the political dimensions of his work. Osborne was a risk taker who put his life on the line for the twin causes of prison reform and correctional education. FDR wrote the first few pages. The first real chapter presents a rather long context, describing the most negative aspects of prisons at the time when Osborne exploded on the scene. The rest of the book is 'down and dirty,' replete with wonderful stories about the personalities and events that surrounded Osborne at Auburn and Sing Sing.

Society and Prisons- (1916) by Thomas Mott Osborne
These are Osborne's Yale lectures, probably the most comprehensive repertoire of his work. It is one of his best presentations on the history of prisons and the principles of his New Penology. Osborne was an excellent writer, and his remarks were insightful, poignant, and compelling. The proceeds from these lectures were directed toward his legal defense, and helped turn back the onslaught that the obstructionist good old boys cast in Osborne's way. Society and Prisons begins by addressing the misconception of what a criminal is and the need for prison reform. Osborne includes his six days in Auburn as a volunteer inmate. He describes in his journal his experience in the cell each day and then in the hole and concludes with great detail the formation of the Welfare League at Auburn.

Fifty Years of Prison Service- (1912) by Zebulon Brockway
This book represents an intimate professional autobiography of one of the greatest correctional educators of all time. The style varies between long, laborious sentences replete with flowery language, and convoluted material that requires unusual concentration. Nevertheless, Brockway made his points with clarity and intensity, and this is a gold mine of compelling information. Brockway is credited with the invention of special education as one of his many achievements.

Correctional Education Today
Wallack provided most of the information necessary for a synthetic view of the important reforms begun by Franklin Roosevelt in New York State. Some of the historical information is very useful, as well. Overall, the 1930s were one of the most richly developing periods of correctional education—indeed, they are often called 'the Golden Age' of our field—and this book will help readers understand some of the motivations and goals of the biggest contributors to the field during that period.

Admin. and Ed. Work of American Juvenile Reform Schools- (1907) by David Snedden
This is a little known book, but it is important. David Snedden was one of the early members f the Columbia University, Teachers College correctional education school of thought, and he was an influential urban education reformer, as well. Many of the innovations that Snedden helped usher into local public schools in the early decades of the 20th century accrued directly from his research into reform school programming. Readers who want full details will find this volume especially useful.

The Junior Republic: Its History and Ideals- (1911) by William George
George's classic book contains all the seeds that eventually impacted the field regarding the potential of confined delinquents to live responsibly in community, given the right organizational structure. In addition, it begins with Thomas Mott Osborne's definitive biographical preface on William George. Unfortunately, many of today's employees at institutions that George influenced so profoundly back then do not know of his great work. If you choose to read this book, make sure to share it with a colleague so his beautiful, gently nurturing message can reach others.

Transactions of the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Discipline- (1871)
This is the official record of the 'starting shot of the Reformatory Movement,' the 1870 conference that rallied the hopes of so many would-be prison reformers. The process could be compared to the Philadelphia convention that produced the U.S. Constitution. Thanks to Wines' volume, many of the important contributions to the field by participants at the conference were actually made accessible to us today. A thorough reading will help one understand the dynamics of that crucial period.

More Literature

The following books are not part of the Core Llibrary, but remain an essential part of the correctional education literature. These pdf files are both downloadable and searchable, to facilitate ease of use and further research.

My Life out of Prison - (1915) Donald Lowrie
Lowrie was a dedicated prison reformer in the early 1900s who crusaded for the elimination of torture in prisons. He lectured throughout California along with another ex-con demonstrating and discussing the horrors of prison life. When Lowrie was released from San Quentin Prison in 1912, he was bound to the terms of his parole that made it difficult to speak out against the very system that controlled him for so long. He came out of prison filled with the hope that he could do something to help his fellow prisoners. Lowrie discovered that regeneration of prisons is of superficial importance compared to the social regeneration that surely must happen. My Life Out of Prison is a narrative that reflects the early works of Alexander Maconochie, William George and Thomas Mott Osborne and their contributions to correctional education. It solidifies the tragedies that are created in prisons and the lifelong impact that prison has on human beings. The book touches the very soul of the human suffering that existed in the prisons at that time. My Life Out of Prison is an excellent reminder to correctional educators regarding the direction that the profession must follow and of the roadblocks that still remain.

My Life in Prison - (1912) Donald Lowrie
The next four titles were all written by Alexander Maconochie, the founder of modern penal practice. His tenure at Norfolk Island in the South Pacific saw the introduction of systematic classification, progressive housing, indeterminate sentences and parole. Some may find Maconochie's writings to be difficult and very dry. Coupled with an 1830s style of writing, Maconochie's work is more of a collection of ideas, impressions, and reflections than an example of great literature. Many of the issues he raised are still with us today such as recidivism, prisoner treatment, and parole. A thorough reading of all his writings will see several topics revisited more than once.

This book is compilation of notes and papers written by Captain Maconochie about his experience as warden at Norfolk Island Penal Colony. The first part of the book addresses convict management, and various issues involved in the treatment of prisoners such as the inability of the criminal to reform in the current system of management. The second part is a collection of notes on a variety of related topics. Maconochie's overriding theme is the superiority of moral influence over physical coercion. He knew that his ideas, revolutionary and visionary for the time, would not be welcomed by many members of Parliament or the public at large. Maconochie's system involved: giving back the prisoners self esteem through effort and probation, separation of lesser and harden prisoners, a tracking system for monitoring progress of positive and negative behavior of inmates, limiting police authority over inmates, establishing a Mark System, and the use of peer pressure in group management, establishing a type of work training program. Maconochie believed that humane and fair treatment of convicts was the best method for reform. Major themes introduced in Australiana are revisited in his subsequent works.

Crime and Punishment
After years of accumulated experience and many writings, Maconochie discusses the advantages of using the Mark System in an address he gave to counter criticism of his work. 'Our prisons and penal settlements are held to deteriorate, not improve: they receive men bad, and discharge them worse.' The text presented insight to the problems Maconochie addressed after he has had time to reflect, analyze, and offer suggestions to improve the penal system. He list eight problems with the current system. As remedies, Maconochie presented his cost effective system that will enhance production, decrease crime, and reform prisoners. He names this concept the Marks System. This book should be required reading for any corrections related course. It is in depth enough to give the reader insight to the problems of the time period and concise enough to understand his applied theory and concepts.

Penal Discipline
This 24 page pamphlet from 1853 contains three letters to the editor written by Maconochie to publicly explain and defend his system of convict management developed on Norfolk Island.

General Views Regarding the Social System
This book condenses the information contained in Australiana, in which Maconochie summarizes his views on convict management. This book is a much easier read. Still the reader is cautioned not to get involved with the ancillary issues he brings up as he discusses his main themes. His premise is that man is a social being and that prisoners are men who can only be reformed in a social setting. Maconochie outlines three principles for the social reform of convicts: sustained submission, self control, and working as part of a group. Inmate groups are both self correcting and self improving, with individual inmates tempered by and learning from their peers.

Within Prison Walls - (1915) by Thomas Mott Osborne
This is Osborne's own account of his week-long stay in Auburn Prison. Illuminating and thoughtful, this book represents the inherent goodness of human nature a simple change in perspective can bring about.

Society's Misfits - (1916) by Madeline Z. Doty
Madeline Doty underwent voluntary incarceration in Auburn Prison as forger Lizzie Watson, similar to Osborne's time inside as forger Tom Brown. This rare book represents the only known account of this experiment in a women's prison.

Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism - (1859) Hernry Barnard, ed.
John Henry Pestalozzi was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1746. He died in 1827. Pestalozzi defined education as 'the natural, progressive, harmonious development of all the powers and faculties of the human being.' While many fields of education claim Pestalozzi as their own, he also contributed to the development of correcitonal education.

Letters on Early Education - (1898) by John Henry Pestalozzi

Leonard and Gertrude - (1801) by John Henry Pestalozzi
This is a story about poor families that are oppressed by a Steward, who owns a tavern, who entices the various economically challenged husbands to get drunk. Once they are incapacitated, the Steward entraps them into various methods of indebtedness, which results in each family becoming indigent.

Gertrude finds out about her husband's plight and goes to the Squire to seek relief from the debt. The Squire comes to the aid of all who are destitute by providing them jobs rebuilding the church. This opportunity for the indigent families infuriates the Steward, who plots to sabotage the reconstruction by paying a few of the indigent men to use faulty materials and ruin Leonard's reputation with the Squire. Gertrude is spiritual and teaches her children to live to the highest of virtues. The men that were bribed see Leonard and Gertrude feeding their starving children and renounce their agreement to the steward. Eventually, Leonard and Gertrude even win over the Steward.