A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time
Author: James Kilgore
Publisher: New Press, The
We all know that orange is the new black and mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, but how much do we actually know about the structure, goals, and impact of our criminal justice system? Understanding Mass Incarceration offers the first comprehensive overview of the incarceration apparatus put in place by the world’s largest jailer: the United States. Drawing on a growing body of academic and professional work, Understanding Mass Incarceration describes in plain English the many competing theories of criminal justice—from rehabilitation to retribution, from restorative justice to justice reinvestment. In a lively and accessible style, author James Kilgore illuminates the difference between prisons and jails, probation and parole, laying out key concepts and policies such as the War on Drugs, broken windows policing, three-strikes sentencing, the school-to-prison pipeline, recidivism, and prison privatization. Informed by the crucial lenses of race and gender, he addresses issues typically omitted from the discussion: the rapidly increasing incarceration of women, Latinos, and transgender people; the growing imprisonment of immigrants; and the devastating impact of mass incarceration on communities. Both field guide and primer, Understanding Mass Incarceration will be an essential resource for those engaged in criminal justice activism as well as those new to the subject.
Prison Industrial Complex For Beginners is a graphic narrative project that attempts to distill the fundamental components of what scholars, activists, and artists have identified as the Mass Incarceration movement in the United States. Since the early 1990s, activist critics of the US prison system have marked its emergence as a "complex" in a manner comparable to how President Eisenhower described the Military Industrial Complex. Like its institutional "cousin," the Prison Industrial Complex features a critical combination of political ideology, far-reaching federal policy, and the neo-liberal directive to privatize institutions traditionally within the purview of the government. The result is that corporations have capital incentives to capture and contain human bodies. The Prison Industrial Complex relies on the "law and order" ideology fomented by President Nixon and developed at least partially in response to the unrest generated through the Civil Rights Movement. It is (and has been) enhanced and emboldened via the US "war on drugs," a slate of policies that by any account have failed to do anything except normalize the warehousing of nonviolent substance abusers in jails and prisons that serve more as criminal training centers then as redemptive spaces for citizens who might re-enter society successfully. Prison Industrial Complex For Beginners is a primer for how these issues emerged and how our awareness of the systems at work in mass incarceration might be the very first step in reforming an institution responsible for some of our most egregious contemporary civil rights violations.
Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State
Author: Jordan T. Camp
Publisher: Univ of California Press
The United States currently has the largest prison population on the planet. Over the last four decades, structural unemployment, concentrated urban poverty, and mass homelessness have also become permanent features of the political economy. These developments are without historical precedent, but not without historical explanation. In this searing critique, Jordan T. Camp traces the rise of the neoliberal carceral state through a series of turning points in U.S. history including the Watts insurrection in 1965, the Detroit rebellion in 1967, the Attica uprising in 1971, the Los Angeles revolt in 1992, and events in post-Katrina New Orleans in 2005. Incarcerating the Crisis argues that these dramatic events coincided with the emergence of neoliberal capitalism and the state’s attempts to crush radical social movements. Through an examination of the poetic visions of social movements—including those by James Baldwin, Marvin Gaye, June Jordan, José Ramírez, and Sunni Patterson—it also suggests that alternative outcomes have been and continue to be possible.
Sister Mercy's Revenge brings together Calvin Winter and Red Eye, both ex-cons and reforming white supremacists. They re-kindle an unlikely alliance with Black former South African freedom fighter, Mandisa Jack (aka Sister Mercy) to solve a murder inside California's notorious Salt Cedar Prison. Sister Mercy's Revenge is the sequel to the author's debut in this genre, Prudence Couldn't Swim. The stories draw on Kilgore's firsthand experience of incarceration and living underground in Africa to combine humor, irony and themes of social and racial justice. He call this genre "criminal justice"-stores where the "criminals" deliver justice for people the system ignores.
The Occupy Movement Explained is a readable, compact account and analysis of the Occupy protests, by a scholar who participated in several Occupy events. The book is thoroughly researched, painstakingly accurate, and fully documented. It debunks a number of myths and misunderstandings that have become rife. Nicholas Smaligo shows how the movement arose out of radical currents that have been active below the media's radar since the 1970s. Occupiers are not all the same, and the author reviews some of the debates and changes within the movement. The occupations began under a slogan that conjured up a naive sense of unity—"We Are the 99%!" It did not take very long for that sense of unity to give way to an appreciation of just how socially, economically, and ideologically fragmented American society is. For some, this was an excuse to return to their cynicism—for others, it was an invitation to lose their illusions and begin to see the world from the viewpoint of political activists. The Occupy Movement Explained describes this process of education and the lessons learned about "the 99%", the police, direct democracy, political demands, and the intimately related questions of social change, violence and property.