264pp., illus., paperback, New York, 2015
An overview of the incarceration apparatus put in place by the USA.
James Kilgore describes the competing theories of criminal justice, the difference between prisons and jails, probation and parole, 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; and addresses issues such as the increasing incarceration of women, Latinos, transgender people and immigrants, and the impact of mass incarceration on communities.
American writer James Kilgore was involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), an American left-wing terrorist organization. After the arrest of the core SLA members in 1975 Kilgore went underground for 27 years, mostly in southern Africa where he built a career as an educator, researcher and social justice activist in Zimbabwe and South Africa. During this time he wrote a number of books and academic articles under the pseudonym John Pape. He was arrested in Cape Town in November 2002 and extradited to the USA where he served six and a half years in prison. During his imprisonment he drafted several novels which were published on his release, including We Are All Zimbabweans Now and Freedom Never Rests: a tale of democracy in South Africa. Currently he teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.