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Behind Bars: A Guide to Understanding the Prison Industrial Complex: Mass Incarceration
This guide is intended as an introduction to the terms and concepts associated with the Prison Industrial Complex in America.
In this short animated video, sociologist Bruce Western explains the concept of mass incarceration and more specifically, the impact of mass incarceration on the African American community. This is a great resource for students unfamiliar with the meaning of the term since in provides detailed visuals to go along with the facts.
"Ta-Nehisi Coates Outlines Path To Mass Incarceration In 'The Atlantic'"
In this interview with NPR, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses the criminalization of blackness in America and how it has led to disproportionate rates of mass incarceration in the black community. Students looking to further familiarize themselves with the concept of mass incarceration and its effects on the black community are also encouraged to read Coates' article "The Black Family In The Age Of Mass Incarceration," which was published by The Atlantic in 2015.
Published in 2010, The New Jim Crow examines how the U.S. criminal justice system promotes the mass incarceration of African Americans and argues that slavery and Jim Crow laws have not disappeared from the U.S., but have merely changed form and are now being manifested as mass incarceration.
In addition to providing a general overview of mass incarceration in America, author James Kilgore also examines the intersection of mass incarceration with gender, race, and immigration status to explore how mass incarceration affects different communities of people in America.
Author Elizabeth Hinton begins her book by asking the essential question, "how did the 'land of the free' become the home of the world’s largest prison system?" Throughout her book, Hinton attempts to answer this question by tracing the rise of mass incarceration to the War on Drugs and the War on Poverty which are categorized by policies and laws that punish rather than assist those in need, thus creating a rise in the prison population.