ABA book discusses issues surrounding mass incarceration

Just published by the American Bar Association, “Rehabilitation and Incarceration: In Search of Fairer and More Productive Sentencing” provides one judge’s viewpoint on the societal realities, public policy and very real human aspects of mass incarceration.

The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. U.S. District Judge Harold Baer, Jr. left this manuscript behind after his passing in 2014 as his testament to the collateral consequences of imprisonment and the pressing need to promote rehabilitation for the public good.

“Rehabilitation and Incarceration” provides useful data and perspectives for judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, pre-trial service officers and probation officers.

Baer wrote this treatise in response to what he deemed an over-reliance on imprisonment as a result of criminal activity and a punitive approach to crime, offering instead alternatives and supplements to punishments that would benefit society at large. Filled with his experience and discretion, this book discusses the mass crisis of incarceration and the need for reform; penalties past the sentencing and the frequency of offender recidivism; proper paths to rehabilitation; promoting rehabilitation through re-entry courts; and risk assessment of offenders for public safety.

Baer served as a federal district court judge from 1994 until his passing in 2014. Before that, he served on the New York State Supreme Court for 10 years.

His most recent book, “Judges Under Fire: Human Rights, Independent Judges, and the Rule of Law,” was published in 2011 by the ABA. Baer graduated from Hobart College and the Yale Law School.

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