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Winner of the 2013 BSC Criminology Book Award! Nation states around the globe are struggling with increasing concerns over human and global insecurity. Within this climate crime and criminal justice policies in many countries have become key areas of political focus, with the prison poised to play an important role in security strategies. This book problematises the persistent use of prisons and punishment and their role in pursuing higher levels of human security. Drawing on extensive, qualitative research in men's long-term, maximum-security prisons in England, questions are raised about the means by which security is pursued. The book argues against the use of severe sanctions as a means through which to calm public fears, achieve greater political legitimacy, and improve public security. By considering problems of security alongside those of long-term prisons, the book grapples with thorny and perennial problems associated with violence, vengeance and calls for punishment.