Volume 9, Fall 2012, Issue 1

  • H. Daniel butler, O. Hayden Griffin III, Grayson F. Knight

    The American prison system has grown and expanded considerably over the past three decades. From 1977-2005, the amount of offenders entering prison increased by approximately 400 percent. Alongside the dramatic increase in the number of inmates came an increase in fiscal expenditures, totaling forty- three billion dollars spent in 2005 to maintain the imprisonment rates per year. What many researchers and policymakers often misunderstand, regarding the recent growth in imprisonment rates, is how and why the United States has incarcerated more offenders despite a relatively stable crime rate preceding the 1980s. This misconception has led to many assertions that the recent increase in incarceration rates occurred primarily because of a single variable, one example being an increase in young adult black males in the criminal justice system. However, these assertions may undermine other causal factors not identified within a particular study. Additionally, some criminological studies have methodological problems that hinder the reliability and accuracy of their findings. Increasingly, modern punitive laws and penal philosophies have assisted the widespread construction of super-maximum security prisons (“supermax”), because under these principles the amount of “problematic” inmates has increased. View More


  • Alysa Castro

    In many ways, Mark A. Sargent was a textbook example of an upstanding citizen. He was educated at Wesleyan University, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and went on to complete a Master of Arts in Medieval Studies at Cornell University. After completing a law degree (also from Cornell), Sargent practiced securities and corporate law for a few years in Boston before beginning his teaching career in 1980. He was eventually appointed Dean and Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law. He was successful in this position, publishing numerous articles, including, “Lawyers in the Moral Maze,” which describes the process of “ethical numbing” that many corporate lawyers experience, a process that results in corporate lawyers engaging in conduct that is diametrically opposed to their moral convictions. His research and teaching interests involve the intersection between Catholic social thought and the law. He has a wife, also a successful lawyer, one son, and is an active member of his community. View More


  • Sarah Cranston

    Animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Compassion Over Killing (COK) are diligent in their efforts to improve the lives of egg-laying hens and continue to push legislation at both the federal and state level to improve farm animal lives, but the process can be slow. What’s more, the United States is home to mostly omnivores who, at least in the past century, have had little knowledge or concern for how the animals they eat end up on their plate. View More


  • Jeffrey S. Quinn

    Michael Moore, Mississippi State Attorney General, triumphantly proclaimed the settlement of the tobacco litigation as “the most historic public health agreement in history.” Since that moment, numerous scholars and public health advocates have lined up to debate the effectiveness of litigation in accomplishing public health policy objectives. No scholar denies the fact that litigation can have an impact on social policy. Instead, the debate has tended to center around the appropriateness of intentionally using the judiciary as a tool for creating new social policy regimes in place of legislative action. View More