It's late into the 21st century, and USA is now the USSA: United Safer States of America. Multiple laws have been passed to increase life span and safety. Personal protective equipment is required for most activities, and french fries are illegal. The USSA mostly churns out citizens who are overly cautious and fearful. However, a quarter of the citizens are serving time for violating the rules of this safe society, creating a large free workforce for corporate USSA. Prospects don't look all that great for Bo Marsten, with 5 members of his family doing time for various offenses.
Initially, Bo blames his temper on his father, who is serving time for a road-rage incident shelling shrimp in Louisiana. Bo's attitude about his anger is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Although it seems that you can get sent up for other offenses against yourself or others, like overeating. Once that happens, the safety rules of society no longer apply in the penal colonies.
Although the penal system does not really prepare Bo to re-enter the society that he left, he does learn some self control there. The problem is figuring out just where he belongs. It was an easy and entertaining read, that makes one question the consequences of the so-called Nanny State.