"It's time to stop talking about reforming prison and to start working for their complete abolition. That means basically three things:

First, admitting that prisons can't be reformed, since the very nature of prisons requires brutality and contempt for the people imprisoned. 

Second, recognizing that prisons are used mainly to punish poor and working class people, and forcing the courts to give equal justice to all citizens.

Third, replacing prisons with a variety of alternative programs. We must protect the public from the few really dangerous people who now go to prison. But more important, we must enable all convicted persons to escape the poverty which is the root cause of the crimes the average person fears most: crimes such as robbery, burglary, mugging or rape." 

--Prison Research Project, The Price of Punishment, p. 57