Author, "Texas Tough: The Rise of a Prison Empire"
Robert Perkinson is the author of "Texas Tough: The Rise of a Prison Empire," a history of American punishment that focuses on the country’s most incarcerated and politically influential state, Texas. His research focuses on how the dynamics of race, politics, crime, and for-profit prisons have intersected to create a uniquely harsh system that seeks to punish rather than rehabilitate prisoners. He is a Soros Justice Fellow and a professor at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
African-Americans are imprisoned at seven times the rate of whites. Intentional discrimination is a factor in this—as are poverty, educational attainment, urban density, and white flight from urban centers.