Critical Introduction to Mass Incarceration

Description: Seminar, one hour. Imprisonment has always been central feature of American public life, but today more people are behind bars than ever before. New technologies, including ankle monitors, surveillance cameras, predictive policing, and ID databases extend carceral experience well beyond physical boundaries of prison walls. This era of mass incarceration has been brought to national attention by recent scholarship such as Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, hit shows like Orange Is the New Black, and countless popular songs. Use of wide variety of sources, with particular attention to blogs written by people in prison, to critically assess how ideas about prison, safety, rehabilitation, and justice are shaped. Situating modern prison within its broader social, historical, political, and economic contexts to examine who is imprisoned in America, how prison impacts individuals and society, and what alternatives exist. P/NP grading. Facilitated by Saskia Maltz, with Marcus A. Hunter as faculty mentor.

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