The Slammer

THE SLAMMER: A Critique of Prison Overpopulation, a menacing flaw in American culture

Our social behaviors dictate how we interact, how we mature, how we comport ourselves in relation to laws, and most of all, how we learn personal respect for the environment around us. Civility and collegiality and hence the positive elements of relationships while incivility and being contrary are effectively anti-social. Why do people act the way they do? Well, this has been studied for many years in every manner through the hard work of researchers and clinicians. We are delivered lengthy scientific papers, elaborate studies, and even intuitive explanations which ring a bell in us that says: "hey, I knew that why so much money and time into findings that support what I already know?" That is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question! Nevertheless, the clarion call has drawn attention to the fragile faultline running right through the American prison system.Central to the prison system is how families related to prisoners and victims of crime cope. Fear and coping mechanisms of these people are at the heart of how the criminal justice system ultimately determines their fate. The victims and their families retain profound emotional burdens. In the following pages I am going to open up and express a great number of thoughts I developed about the American prison system.

Over the years I felt I had learned about the human condition until I took a job in a mixed population prison. Then within two months, I found myself in a maximum-security prison which had recently been converted from an HIV/AIDS prison to a center for the "worst of the worst." The cost realities often stood out prominently for anyone who might understand cost-benefit ratios, or simply overhead without productivity or, in the case of prisons, redeeming some positive sign from the vast taxpayers' expense. The insight I shall bring will support many of the authoritative literature which attempts to bring reason to such a vast array of human personalities. The American prison system is a reflection of the culture within the United States. It is the center-piece of confinement of empty, forgotten souls in an environment where time has stopped and only imaginary dreams linger... Hopefully, the ensuing story will separate the legitimate facts from mixed messaging about the enduring issue of "mass incarceration."


The Slammer by Robert Goldman is a long and serious book that focuses on the grievous state of the prison system in the USA, which has long been due for reform. Although it’s mostly comprised of commentary/critiques, I loved it because I found the author has set his sights on the noble cause of overhauling America’s “sick” prison system and also because it represents his serious diligence, patient hard work, and devotedness to the goal of reform.


The author’s maturity and knowledge of the USA’s Carceral State become clear when you read this book. I found it so finely analyzed and critiqued that there remained no doubt to me how knowledgeable and thorough he is about the subject.


The right audience for this book is anyone with an interest in the USA’s prison system i.e., the incarcerated, the victims and their families, and the collaborative workforce involved in running the prison system


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Henry Maurice Goldman grew up in a blue collar section of Boston, but he rose through Ivy League institutions to become one of the world’s greatest dental educators. In this biography, Robert Allyn Goldman pays tribute to his contributions in this eye-popping biography that will fascinate dentists, educators, history buffs, and anyone with questions about how their individual dental needs might relate to the profession in general.

As Goldman’s career blossomed, he realized how uninformed people were about their own dental health, and when he left The armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. after World War II, he devoted himself to periodontics, which was at the grassroots of his training and practice in oral pathology. Eventually he discovered that to accomplish his goals, he needed to tackle a bigger problem: the lack of training of dentists and poor dental health care delivery.

That led him to devote all his energy to starting a school dedicated to dental specialization. By delving into Goldman’s life story, you’ll get a firsthand look at the problems he solved and gain a deeper appreciation for dentistry and dental health.


This is a remarkable and important book describing the life and work of Henry M. Goldman. As a dean, educator and mentor I was privileged to witness his unfailing pursuits to uncover the many mysteries underlying the pathogenesis of periodontology and thus creating a rational approach to treat the disease as a clinician. He pioneered the concept that dental medicine is a subspecialty of medicine governed by the same biological principles. His work has provided the model for our current and future directions in research and clinical care for many generations.

~ Frank Oppenheim, D.M.D., Ph.D., Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Professor and First Distinguished Scientist, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston University Medical Center.

Dr. Henry M. Goldman stands alone as the embodiment of a scientist, educator, leader and role model, whose wisdom, knowledge and guidance remain a constant influence for our profession. To me, he was a mentor and friend who provided the example of dedication and professionalism that has guided my career as a periodontist and educator. I am privileged to be a part of his legacy and appreciate the effort that Dr. Robert A. Goldman has put into providing insight into the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Dr. Henry M. Goldman.

~ A. Stephen Polins, Professor, Department of Periodontology, Director, Division of Educational Resources, Student Affairs Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

A most intimate and enlightening dialogue of all the great founders in the science of modern periodontology – bravo!

~ Anthony W. Gargiulo, D.D.S., former Professor and Chairman, Department of Periodontology, Loyola University (Chicago), School of Dentistry

Leaders, like great hockey players, have vision: they skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is. Henry saw where dental and periodontal education ought to be-for instance, the periodontal-systemic relationship-and, he led us in that direction.

~ Robert T. Ferris, D.D.S., Ph.D., Former Professor of Periodontology, University of Florida, College of Dentistry Past Vice President, ADA; Past President, AAP; Past Chair, American Board of Periodontology

Dr. Henry Goldman is considered the father of modern periodontics. He founded the first private dental school after WWII at Boston University. Dr. Robert Goldman has captured the fascinating life of this legend.

~ Louis F. Rose, D.D.S., M.D.: Clinical Professor of Periodontics, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Private Practice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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Robert Allyn Goldman, a native of Newton, Massachusetts (born in Cambridge, Massachusetts), was educated in Cambridge, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Boston. He practiced periodontics in the Boston area and in Florida. He also taught Oral Pathology, Oral Medicine, and Periodontics at Boston University and Tufts University. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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