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Building the Prison State – Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Building the Prison State: Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration

Heather Schoenfeld


Building the Prison State is a new look at why the United States locks millions of people behind bars, in harsh conditions, with little opportunity to better themselves, for long periods of time. Drawing on the story of one high incarceration state between 1950 and 2016, the book argues that racial conflicts led to the bureaucratization and modernization of policing, courts, and corrections. The book demonstrates that policymakers’ investments in carceral capacity in the 1960s and 1970s built the foundation for the punitive carceral state by empowering law enforcement and victims and incentivi ... More

Keywords: mass incarceration, race, politics, state capacity, prisons, carceral state, Florida, American political development, crime, crime control policy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226520964
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226521152.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather Schoenfeld, author
Northwestern University