I'm reading Joseph Spillane's beautifully written and haunting book Coxsackie, which is nominally about a reformatory for young male offenders but is more generally about the trajectory of prison reform from the New Deal to the Age of Reagan. Damn it's compelling, though unsurprisingly depressing. It's just out from Johns Hopkins University Press. If you're interested in the historical roots of our prison system, you ought to spend an evening with this book. Very little talk of Foucault in here, but a lot of compelling writing about our nation's hopes for reform, the grim reality of prison life, and the cratering of the ideal of reform.