Reading the Bible with the Damned. By Bob Eckblad. Westminster John Knox, 2005.
A stunning book about how studying scripture with the poor, with illegal immigrants, and especially with the imprisoned can produce extraordinarily beautiful readings—and hopefully, more redemptive politics.
Discipline and Punish. By Michel Foucault. Vintage, 1995.
The classic postmodern text about the rise of the prison. Foucault locates the origins of prisons in capitalist economies which prize time for labor and so punish people by taking away their time. He suggests that modernity is premised on citizens’ “self-policing”: those behind bars are not the only ones being harshly disciplined.