PROSE Award Finalist for Psychology
Prisoners on death row spend 22 or more hours a day alone in cramped, barren cells. They have little to do except wait to die — without knowing if it will happen in days or decades. This extreme isolation combined with the omnipresent fear of death takes a severe psychological toll that is unnecessary, inhumane, and — in the eyes of many — unconstitutional.
In this book Hans Toch, James Acker and Vincent Bonventre present wide-ranging scholarly perspectives from psychologists, legal professionals, and criminologists, along with compelling personal accounts from prison administrators and actual death row inmates. Together, they reveal the systemic, physical, and moral conditions that define and underlie death row, as well as the humanity of death row inmates who struggle to find meaning amid a lack of human contact, physical activity, and mental stimulation. This book represents an urgent call to action for researchers, policymakers, and all those who seek criminal justice reform.