Smith Working for justice in an age of mass incarceration Serving time by coming home: Working on the Media: Representations of Prisons and Prison Activism. Challenging the media-incarceration complex through media education Bill Yousman "Prisoners rise, rise, rise! McCann "People like us": Working on the Inside: Kings, warriors, magicians, and lovers: Label Working for justice: Wood Instantiates Working for justice: Library Locations Map Details. Indiana State Library Borrow it. Carousel Grid List Card. Copy to clipboard Close.
Cite Data - Experimental. Data Citation of the Item Working for justice: Structured data from the Bibframe namespace is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4. Additional terms may apply to data associated with third party namespaces. Wood Local Identifier http: Resource Description Namespaces http: Introduction by Robert Johnson. Photographs by Lou Jones. New England College Press, A book of excellent writing by mostly lifers, with pictures, where allowed, of the writers and introductory interview essays of each writer by Susan Nagelsen.
The introduction places the work of the writers in a political context. Frisbee provides first-hand knowledge from the experiences and problems she has encountered in her journeys to visit her family member. Along with the problems, she has also included many solutions that she found helpful in making the trips easier with fewer complications. A resource for families who have a loved one incarcerated in any of the 33 State Prisons in California.
This is a the definitive guide for men in and about to enter the Federal prison system. John; Ronnie Halperin and Jennifer L. Warner; Barbara Saunders; and Jasbir K. Read the complete Table of Contents and Background at: Introduction by Theodore M.
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The New Press July David Rothenberg has been involved with more than Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as publicist or producer. His production of John Herbert's prison drama Fortune and Men's Eyes led to the creation of the Fortune Society, one of the nation's leading advocacy and service organizations in criminal justice. He conceived, directed and coauthored the play, The Castle, based on the work of the Fortune Society, which played off-Broadway for 13 months. By Doran Larson Editor , Essays from the Prison in America presents more than seventy essays from twenty-seven states, written by incarcerated Americans chronicling their experience inside.
Directly confronting the images of prisons and prisoners manufactured by popular media, so-called reality TV, and for-profit local and national news sources, Fourth City recognizes American prisoners as our primary, frontline witnesses to the dysfunction of the largest prison system on earth. Filled with deeply personal stories of coping, survival, resistance, and transformation, Fourth City should be read by every American who believes that law should achieve order in the cause of justice rather than at its cost.
Women, Drugs, and Incarceration" by Jody Raphael. This book was birthed from the minds of men who have been sentenced to spend the rest of their natural lives behind cold steel, concrete and prison bars. Read each sentence within this book carefully. We have been able to find beauty and meaning to our lives within an environment that breeds despair.
- The Second Part of King Henry IV (The New Cambridge Shakespeare).
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Many of us have lost our loved ones over the years to death, and our children—who were babies when we came to prison—are now adults. We hope this book inspires, provokes though and may even save a life! This will insure the success of my reintegration back into society, parole conditions and obedience of the laws of the land.
The Real Cost of Prisons Project
Every tool and skill that I have learned has become a part of my thinking and behavior today. These are skills that I practice in my day-to-day life, and will continue to practice once I am released. This books was created with the hope that my journey can guide others who find themselves in the same situation. In the United States today, one in every thirty-one adults is under some form of penal control, including one in eleven African American men.
Edited by Julia Sudbury. By Ruth Wilson Gilmore Since , the number of people in U. California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called "the biggest prison building project in the history of the world. In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity.
The results--a vast and expensive prison system, a huge number off incarcerated young people of color, and the increase in punitive justice such as the "three strikes" law--pose profound and troubling questions for the future of California, the United States, and the world. By James Samuel Logan. Drawing on Stanley Hauerwas's work in Christian ethics, Logan calls on the church to imagine and model a better response to crime and to help the rest of society construct one.
By Herman Wallace and Jackie Sumell. California Prison Moratorium Project, June Book can be ordered and downloaded free at http: Russell Sage Foundation, Imprisoning America illustrates that the experience of incarceration itself, and not just the criminal involvement of inmates, negatively affects diverse aspects of society. By contributing to the social exclusion, incarceration may actually increase crime rates, and threaten public safety.
This book highlights the need for new policies to support ex-prisoners and the families and communities to which they return. By Todd R Clear. In the first detailed, empirical exploration of the effects of mass incarceration on poor places, Imprisoning Communities demonstrates that in high doses incarceration contributes to the very social problems it is intended to solve: Especially at risk are children who, research shows, are more likely to commit a crime if a father or brother has been to prison.
Clear makes the counterintuitive point that when incarceration concentrates at high levels, crime rates will go up. Removal, in other words, has exactly the opposite of its intended effect: By Kristin Bumiller Duke. In an Abusive State puts forth a powerful argument: Kristin Bumiller chronicles the evolution of this alliance by examining the history of the anti-violence campaign, the production of cultural images about sexual violence, professional discourses on intimate violence, and the everyday lives of battered women. In the process, Bumiller reveals how the feminist fight against sexual violence has been shaped over recent decades by dramatic shifts in welfare policies, incarceration rates, and the surveillance role of social-service bureaucracies.
Drawing on archival research, individual case studies, testimonies of rape victims, and interviews with battered women, Bumiller raises fundamental concerns about the construction of sexual violence as a social problem. She describes how placing the issue of sexual violence on the public agenda has polarized gender- and race-based interests. She contends that as the social welfare state has intensified regulation and control, the availability of services for battered women and rape victims has become increasingly linked to their status as victims and their ability to recognize their problems in medical and psychological terms.
Bumiller suggests that to counteract these tendencies, sexual violence should primarily be addressed in the context of communities and in terms of its links to social disadvantage. In an Abusive State is an impassioned call for feminists to reflect on how the co-optation of their movement by the neoliberal state creates the potential to inadvertently harm impoverished women and support punitive and racially based crime control efforts.
Wrongly arrested for the brutal murders of his parents. Interrogated for 18 hours. Convicted and sentenced to die. Some people say Gary Gauger got out because the system worked. He says it happened "In Spite of the System. In their own words, the thirteen narrators in this book recount their lives leading up to incarceration and their experiences inside-ranging from forced sterilization and shackling during childbirth, to physical and sexual abuse by prison staff.
Together, their testimonies illustrate the harrowing struggles for survival that women in prison must endure. Prison Research Education Action Project, From discussions on the range of voices that comprise the movement for prison abolition to demystification of the myths surrounding the justification of imprisonment and practical steps toward breaking free from relying on imprisonment, Instead Of Prisons offers organizrs and activists a primer for strategy and actin in the fight to build a world without prisons.
A reprint of this classic, with a new introduction from Critical Resistance. When it was first published almost three decades ago, Instead of Prisons proposed a conceptual toolkit for those of us who believed then that ever larger numbers of prisons would result in a dangerous entrenchment of the racism we were trying to eliminate. We now face what was our worst nightmare: The republication of this handbook by Critical Resistance is a response to this contemporary emergency.
Prisons must be abolished or there will be no hope for a democratic future. Edited by Chester Hartman and Gregory D. The book explores both long-standing and emerging controversies over the nation's ongoing struggles with discrimination and segregation. More urgently, it offers guidance on how these barriers can be overcome to achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns.
Foreword by Robin D. Flores Forbes, urban planner, and a former leader in the Black Panther Party, has been free from prison for more than twenty-five years; still he is part of a group of black men without a constituency who are all but invisible in society. Invisible Men is a book that will crack the code on the stigma of incarceration. Forbes was one of the few who devised a strategy for success and achievement after his release from prison.
In Invisible Men Forbes offers critical insights drawn from his own extraordinary experience with incarceration as well as from other informed sources on how society can reintegrate those who have been incarcerated. Policy makers, educators, the formerly incarcerated and their families, and those who might someday work or deal with these men can benefit from his wisdom. Forbes gives invisible men a face and a voice.
For African American men without a high school diploma, being in prison or jail is more common than being employed—a sobering reality that calls into question post-Civil Rights era social gains. Nearly 70 percent of young black men will be imprisoned at some point in their lives, and poor black men with low levels of education make up a disproportionate share of incarcerated Americans.
In Invisible Men , sociologist Becky Pettit demonstrates another vexing fact of mass incarceration: Invisible Men provides an eye-opening examination of how mass incarceration has concealed decades of racial inequality. A legal resource produced to assist prisoners and others in negotiating the U. With thirty-six chapters on legal rights and procedures including Federal Habeas Corpus relief, AIDS in prison, religious freedom in prison, special issues of female prisoners, immigration law and legal research, the JLM is a major legal reference for prisoners and libraries across the country.
The HRLR publishes this critical legal resource and delivers it to some of those whose rights are most threatened in our system yet who often have no access to legal assistance. A Spanish version of the JLM is also published. Also available free online. Foreword by Angela Y. Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. Jailhouse lawyers have challenged inhumane prison conditions, and even when they themselves have been unaware of this connection, they have implicitly followed the standards of such human rights instruments as the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners , the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Mumia argues that the passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act PLRA is a violation of the Convention Against Torture, for in ruling out psychological or mental injury as a basis through which to recover damages, such sexual coercion as that represented in the Abu Ghraib photographs, if perpetrated inside a U.
If jailhouse lawyers are concerned with broader human rights issues, they also defend their fellow prisoners who face the wrath of the federal and state governments and the administrative apparatus of the prison. Mumia Abu-Jamal's reach in this remarkable book is broadly historical and analytical on the one hand and intimate and specific on the other.
A very good book for young and not so young readers. The number of people incarcerated in the U. Judging Addicts examines this increased criminalization of drugs and the medicalization of addiction in the U. Paperback, pages, by New York University Press. A collection of readings for students and prospective jurors on the realities of the police, court and penal system.
An essential guide for understanding and action on the realities of our political system. This book can be ordered by email at cpr yahoo. Box , Santa Fe, NM Ohio State University Press, Filled with insights on how bureaucracies maintain themselves, the damage incarceration causes to both the caged and the keepers, and much more - this book is even more relevant now than when it was first published.
Last One Over the Wall is out of print but paperbacks can be purchased through abebooks. By Ellen Condliffe Lagemann. A forceful and thought-provoking argument for free college education for everyone in prison, from the former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. By Robert Riley In this nonfiction account, Robert Reilly provides a look inside America's prison system unlike any other, and the way it affects not only the prisoners themselves, but also the corrections officers and their families. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, This book tells the story of Elaine Bartlett, who spent sixteen years in prison for a single sale of cocaine - a consequence of the Rockefeller drug laws.
It book opens on the morning Elaine is set free from Bedford Hills after winning clemency. Donna Hylton is a groundbreaking advocate for criminal justice reform. She works to ensure prison safety and to end mass incarceration in the US. But in , Hylton experienced prison from the inside when she was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for kidnapping and second-degree murder. But behind the bars of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, alongside this generation's most infamous female criminals, Donna learned to fight -- and then, to thrive. For the first time in her life, she realized that she was not alone in the abuse and misogyny that she experienced; as she bonded with her new sisters, she discovered that her pain was not an anomaly, but a commonality among women from all walks of life.
Since her release in , Donna has emerged as a leading advocate for criminal justice reform and women's rights who speaks with politicians, violent abusers, prison officials, victims, and students to tell her story. By Walter Dean Myers. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either. It seems as if the only progress that's going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he's picked for the work program at a senior citizens' home.
He doesn't mean to keep messing up, but it's not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he's a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he'll be able to convince himself. Dortell Williams is a forty-three-year-old life prisoner in California, where he has been confined for the last twenty years. A lover of learning, Williams calls prison his "university," and proudly asserts that despite the inherent repression of prison, he has still accomplished "a list of personal achievements.
He has taught himself to type, operate computers, communicate in Spanish, and earned a paralegal certificate. But most importantly to him, he has taught himself to write, and by that means he passionately represents the underclass, speaking tirelessly to the mass injustice his peers and social class suffer in chucks of decades on a daily basis. Williams is a proud father of a beautiful daughter, a mentor to many, and a follower of faith through action against scarce odds. Explores how women who were incarcerated make the transition from prison back into society. This is the first study to address the important but neglected topic of how women return to the "free world" after single or multiple experiences of incarceration.
It uses first-person narratives and a comprehensive review of contemporary theory to provide useful suggestions for practitioners and policymakers concerned with responding to the increasing number of women in the criminal justice system. The book challenges practitioners to be more proactive in recognizing the needs of this population and more responsive to these needs.
O'Brien suggests policy changes, especially related to alternatives to incarceration. The first-person narratives of non-recidivist women provide concrete and powerful examples of the crucial mix of ingredients any woman needs to remain free and empowered in a context of powerlessness and increasing social control. One of the first books to objectively examine the privatization of prisons has been published by Byron Eugene Price, an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark. The book, Merchandizing Prisoners: This work looks at all 50 states and sets the record straight about the decision to privatize state prisons, revealing the political bias that often drives these policy choices.
This work is one of the first to look at this topic and how it impacts African American communities and it is the only sole-authored work available that discusses the political economy of private prisons. Never Say Never is a book about the unpredictability of love and staying in love.
Three women all marry incarcerated men and share how they celebrate these committed relationships against tremendous odds. By Michelle Alexander, New Press, Alexander shows that by targeting black men through The War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries imprisoned black women faced wrenching forms of gendered racial terror and heinous structures of economic exploitation.
Subjugated as convict laborers and forced to serve additional time as domestic workers before they were allowed their freedom, black women faced a pitiless system of violence, terror, and debasement. Attorney and journalist Amy Bach spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America. In the process, she discovered how the professionals who work in the system, however well intentioned, cannot see the harm they are doing to the people they serve. Here is the public defender who pleads most of his clients guilty with scant knowledge about their circumstances; the judge who sets outrageous bail for negligible crimes; the prosecutor who habitually declines to pursue significant cases; the court that works together to achieve a wrongful conviction.
She exposes an assembly-line approach to justice that rewards mediocre advocacy, bypasses due process, and shortchanges both defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving. It is time, Bach argues, to institute a new method of checks and balances that will make injustice visible-the first and necessary step to reform. Paperback by Q. Futrell Author , Clarissa Ferguson Illustrator. Meet Michael, Paul, Jennifer and Anne. All children are different in many ways, but all have one thing in common, their moms are in prison. Parental Incarceration affects children in many ways.
This book will serve as a conversation starter for such a sensitive issue that impacts nearly 3 million children in the US. This web version has links to many of the documents cited, the text is shorter, and some of the graphics are different. The website includes many very interesting photos, flyers, posters, documents during the period discussed in the book. Martin Lockett grows up in a tough neighborhood in Portland Oregon and by the time he's fifteen, his parents don't know what to do with him.
He and his homies steal cars, drink, and smoke dope and even though Martin's bright, the only time he does well at school is when he gets kicked out and has to attend alternative classes. After Martin serves three years in prison for his part in a robbery, he finally seems to turn himself around. He gets a good job, moves up in the company, meets a nice girl, and he's proud to buy his first car.
But his decision to get behind the wheel one drunken New Year's Eve, leaves two innocent people dead, several families destroyed. In what he realizes is a Palpable Irony, it is in prison that Martin finally finds meaning and direction in life. Devastated by the tragedy he has caused, he takes advantage of the educational opportunities offered to him. With his study of psychology, he begins to unravel the tangled threads of his life, gaining wisdom and insight that he puts to use in understanding his own youthful motivations and in counseling other young men, like him, who are headed straight for disaster.
Penned within prison walls where the author still resides, Palpable Irony upliftingly chronicles a lost man's discovery of himself and his potential as an instrument for good. With an introduction by Marc Mauer. Jon Marc Taylor can be contacted directly at: The New Press, Publication date September Drucker, an internationally recognized public health scholar and researcher, spent twenty years treating drug addiction and studying AIDS in some of the poorest neighborhoods of the South Bronx.
He compares mass incarceration to other, well-recognized epidemics using basic public health concepts-"prevalence and incidence," "outbreaks," "contagion," "transmission," "potential years of life lost. This book demonstrates that our unprecedented rates of incarceration have the contagious and self-perpetuating features of the plagues of previous centuries. Edited by Jael Silliman and Anannya Bhattacharjee. South End Press, The attention devoted to the unprecedented levels of imprisonment in the United States obscure an obvious but understudied aspect of criminaljustice: It is up to individual states to administer their criminal justice systems, and the differences among them are vast.
For example, while some states enforce mandatory minimum sentencing, some even implementing harsh and degradingpractices, others rely on community sanctions. What accounts for these differences? The Politics of Imprisonment seeks to document and explain variation in American penal sanctioning, drawing out the larger lessons for America' overreliance on imprisonment. Grounding her study in a comparison of how California, Washington, and New York each developed distinctive penal regimes in the late s and early s--a critical period in the history of crime control policy and a time of unsettling social change--Vanessa Barker concretely demonstrates that subtle but crucial differences in political institutions, democratic traditions, and social trust shape the way American states punish offenders.
Barker argues that the apparent link between public participation, punitiveness, and harsh justice is not universal but dependent upon the varying institutional contexts and patterns of civic engagement within the U.
Peter Lang Publishing Group, In the current era of rampant incarceration and an ever-expanding prison-industrial complex, this book breaks down the distorted and sensationalistic version of imprisonment found on U. Examining local and national television news, broadcast network crime dramas, and the cable television prison drama Oz, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of the stories and images of incarceration most widely seen by viewers in the U.
The textual analysis is augmented by interviews with individuals who have spent time in U. Over the last three decades the United States has built a carceral state that is unprecedented among Western countries and in US history. Nearly one in 50 people, excluding children and the elderly, is incarcerated today, a rate unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. What are some of the main political forces that explain this unprecedented reliance on mass imprisonment?
Working for Justice: A Handbook of Prison Education and Activism
Throughout American history, crime and punishment have been central features of American political development. This book examines the development of four key movements that mediated the construction of the carceral state in important ways: This book argues that punitive penal policies were forged by particular social movements and interest groups within the constraints of larger institutional structures and historical developments that distinguish the United States from other Western countries.
By Deborah Jiang Stein. A deeply personal memoir recounting one woman's struggles - beginning with her birth in prison - to find self-acceptance. Captive Audiences Publishing, This entertaining and educational graphic novel teaches inmates how to think through a jail or prison problem and then write a grievance about it. Written with 5th-grade vocabulary and syntax, it engages readers with plot and character development. Grievances must conform to the stringent rules of the federal Prison Litigation Reform Act and the rules of particular jails or prison systems.
This novel teaches those rules. By James Braxton Peterson. Peterson boils down the PIC to its insidious core — a collection of social structures, systems, and policies — especially institutional racism, the war on drugs and mass incarceration. Together with illustrator John Jennings, Peterson distills these multi-layered components that make up what activists deem the Mass Incarceration Movement that has, and continues to imprison and dehumanize convicted individuals in the United States. Prison Profiteers looks at the private prison companies, investment banks, churches, guard unions, medical corporations, and other industries and individuals that benefit from this country's experiment with mass imprisonment.
It lets us follow the money from public to private hands and exposes how monies formerly designated for the public good are diverted to prisons and their maintenance. Hylton on the largest prison health care provider; Ian Urbina on how prison labor supports the military; Kirsten Levingston on the privatization of public defense; Jennifer Gonnerman on the costs to neighborhoods from which prisoners are removed; Kevin Pranis on the banks and brokerage houses that finance prison building; and Silja Talvi on the American Correctional Association as a tax-funded lobbyist for professional prison bureaucracies; Tara Herivel on juvenile prisons; Gary Hunter and Peter Wagner on the census and counting prisoners; David Reutter on Florida's prison industries; Alex Friedmann on the private prisoner transportation industry; Paul Von Zielbauer on the sordid history of Prison Health Services in New York; Steven Jackson on the prison telephone industry; Samantha Shapiro on religious groups being paid to run prisons and Clayton Mosher, Gregory Hooks and Peter Wood on the myth and reality of building rural prisons.
This is an exclusive paperback printing made just for Prison Legal News. The plaintiffs in the case argued that a residential program that advertises itself as "Bible-based" and "Christ-centered," and requires prisoners to memorize Bible passages and learn to apply them to their lives, violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The judge agreed, describing the program, InnerChange Freedom Initiative, as a state-sponsored program of forced conversion.
The book presents the testimony of the witnesses in the case and sets that testimony in the context of American penal and religious history. It addresses the convergence of two distinctive features of the United States: This book was initially published in the late s. The second edition was published by Biddle Publishing in The publisher retired in and Prison Legal News took over the publishing of the book as the first title in its new book line.
Many colleges no longer offer correspondence courses, having gone totally to online distance learning courses. This book offers a complete description of more than programs that are ideal for prisoners seeking to earn high school diplomas, associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees and vocational and paralegal certificates. In addition to giving contact information for each school, Taylor includes tuition rates, text book costs, courses offered, transfer credits, time limits for completing course, whether the school is accredited, and if so by whom, and much, much more.
What makes the book unique is Taylor's first hand personal experience as an imprisoned distance learning student who has a basis for comparison and knows how to judge a college correspondence course from the perspective of an imprisoned student who doesn't have e mail access and who cannot readily call his instructor. Taylor also explains factors to be considered in selecting an educational program and how to make meaningful comparisons between the courses offered for the tuition charged.
No money to pay for school? Taylor covers that too.
The book addresses how to recognize and avoid them. Any prisoner seeking to begin or continue their education behind bars will find this to be an invaluable road map. By Ace Boggess Ace Boggess was locked up for five years in the West Virginia prison system. During that time, he wrote the poems collected here and published most of them. Prior to his incarceration, he earned his B. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.
Edited by Mechthild Nagel and Seth N. Focusing on cross-national perspectives about penal theories and empirical studies, this book brings together African, European and North American social philosophers and sociologists, political scientists, legal practitioners, prisoners and abolitionist activists, to reflect not only on the carceral society, notably in the Untied States, but also on the reconceptualization of punishment. In Progressive Punishment , Judah Schept offers an ethnographic examination into the politics of incarceration in Bloomington, Indiana in order to consider the ways that liberal discourses about therapeutic justice and rehabilitation can uphold the logics, practices and institutions that comprise the carceral state.
At the root of this proposal, Schept argues, is a confluence of neoliberal-style changes in the community that naturalized prison expansion as political common sense among leaders negotiating crises of deindustrialization, urban decline, and the devolution of social welfare. Through the voices of young girls themselves, she conveys their experiences with teachers and staff at school and in the juvenile correction facilities. A memoir by R. A story of literature, insanity and finding manhood in prison. Drawing on extensive individual interviews and group discussions with ninety-four women imprisoned in North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Reading Is My Window explores how women prisoners use the limited reading materials available to them to come to terms with their pasts, negotiate their present experiences, and reach toward different futures.
The book offers the first analysis of incarcerated women's reading practices, and it foregrounds the voices and experiences of African American women, one of the fastest growing yet least acknowledged populations in U. Reading Is My Window situates contemporary prisoners' reading practices in relation to the history of reading and education in U. The book also discusses the many kinds of encounters fostered by book discussions and offers detailed portraits of two imprisoned readers, each of which weaves together the woman's life narrative and her own description of her reading practices.
One out of every hundred adults in the U. This book provides a crash course in what drives mass incarceration, the human and community costs, and how to stop the numbers from going even higher. This volume collects the three comic books published by the Real Cost of Prisons Project. The stories and statistical information in each comic book is thoroughly researched and documented. Paying the Price tells the story of how the financing and site locations of prisons affects the people of rural communities in which prison are built.
It also tells the story of how mass incarceration affects people of urban communities where the majority of incarcerated people come from. Prisoners of the War on Drugs includes the history of the war on drugs, mandatory minimums, how racism creates harsher sentences for people of color, stories on how the war on drugs works against women, three strikes laws, obstacles to coming home after incarceration, and how mass incarceration destabilizes neighborhoods. Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children includes stories about women trapped by mandatory sentencing and the "costs" of incarceration for women and their families.
Also included are alternatives to the present system, a glossary, and footnotes. Over , copies of the comic books have been printed and more than , have been sent to families of people who are incarcerated, people who are incarcerated, and to organizers and activists throughout the country. The book includes a chapter with descriptions about how the comix have been put to use in the work of organizers and activists in prison and in the "free world" by ESL teachers, high school teachers, college professors, students, and health care providers throughout the country.
This book examines the history of black male incarceration starting in the nineteenth century. This examination highlights how the label felon and the use of the prison was intentionally deployed to recast black men as dangerous and to justify the use of penal structures to systematically erase black radical projects. In , women imprisoned at New York's maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion.
Protesting the brutal beating of a fellow prisoner, the women fought off guards, holding seven of them hostage, and took over sections of the prison. Why do activists know about Attica but not the August Rebellion?