Synopsis: In 1972, Will Campbell published an issue of the Committee of Southern Churchmen's journal, Katallagete, to shed light on the US prison system. None could anticipate how the system would expand exponentially in the next four decades. Today, the US operates the world's largest prison system, incarcerating nearly 1 in every 100 American adults. How did this expansion happen? What is the human toll of this retributive system? How might "ambassadors of reconciliation" respond to such a punitive institution? Replicating the firsthand nature of Will Campbell's original Katallagete collection, twenty new essays pull back the veil on today's prison-industrial complex. The plea throughout this collection is not for some better, more progressive institution to exact justice. Rather, the invitation is to hear from voices of experience how the system functions, listen to what the institution does to those locked in its cells, consider what an execution involves, and, most importantly, contemplate the scandalous call to be in reconciled community with those whom society discards and the system silences. Our story is that there are neither good nor bad people, neither felon nor free world. We are all one. Endorsements: "Back in 1973, Will Campbell saw that our retributive justice system was an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Four decades later, ten times as many people are behind bars, and millions of others have been labeled 'convicted felons' for life. The only power great enough to overcome our prison-industrial complex is the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Thank God, that power is alive and well--both in these essays and in our world." --Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Awakening of Hope "The work of Campbell and Goode has more intellectual rigor, moral integrity, creative originality, and spiritual passion than anything I have encountered in my thirteen years of doing prison work . . . Read these testimonials and you will never again wonder why anyone should care about the lives of those incarcerated." --Jody Lewen, Executive Director of the Prison University Project and Director of Patten University at San Quentin "This collection of essays presents a range of voices and critical perspectives on America's system of mass incarceration. Its notable strengths include the thoughtful pieces by incarcerated men and women and the historical perspective gained by including older essays with recent scholarship. This book makes a clear, honest, and smart case for radical reappraisal of the practice of imprisonment. It deserves a wide audience among those who care about violence and justice." --Rebecca Ginsburg, Director of the Education Justice Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Editor Biography: Will D. Campbell was a Baptist preacher in Taylor, Louisiana, for two years before taking the position of Director of Religious Life at the University of Mississippi from 1954 to 1956. Forced to leave the university because of his ardent Civil Rights participation, Campbell served on the National Council of Churches as a race relations consultant. Campbell worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and Andrew Young toward bettering race relations. Campbell's Brother to a Dragonfly earned him the Lillian Smith Prize, the Christopher Award, and a National Book Award nomination. The Glad River won a first-prize award from the Friends of American Writers in 1982. His works have also won a Lyndhurst Prize and an Alex Haley Award. Richard Goode is Professor of History at Lipscomb University. He edited Will Campbell's Writings on Reconciliation and Resistance (Cascade, 2010) and authored with Will Campbell Crashing the Idols (Cascade, 2010).