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Far from being scientifically measurable or objectively intolerable, risk was defined by proponents of furloughs as a necessary feature of a reintegrationist view of corrections—that is, that prisons should prepare their residents with the tools for their inevitable return to society. At the very moment when “crime in the streets” emerged as an elastic mantra that helped to fuel mass incarceration, prisons were temporarily releasing people onto the streets in the name of public safety. After explaining the development of furloughs as a tool of “community corrections,” chapter 8 explores the case of Massachusetts, where prison organizing and a reformist administration made the state’s prisons a laboratory of experimentation and revealed fault lines between correctional administrators, elected officials, and members of the public. The chapter traces how a liberal furlough program became an entrenched feature of the Massachusetts prison system, even for those convicted of first-degree murder.

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