Challenging the Prison-Industrial Complex

Activism, Arts, and Educational Alternatives
Author: Edited by Stephen John Hartnett
An intrepid and reasoned call for empowerment over incarceration
Cloth – $125
Paper – $27
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/10/2011
Cloth: 01/10/2011
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About the Book

Boldly and eloquently contributing to the argument against the prison system in the United States, these provocative essays offer an ideological and practical framework for empowering prisoners instead of incarcerating them. Experts and activists who have worked within and against the prison system join forces here to call attention to the debilitating effects of a punishment-driven society and offer clear-eyed alternatives, emphasizing working directly with prisoners and their communities.

Edited by Stephen John Hartnett, the volume offers rhetorical and political analyses of police culture, the so-called drug war, media coverage of crime stories, and the public-school-to-prison pipeline. The collection also includes case studies of successful prison arts and education programs in Michigan, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that provide creative and intellectual resources typically denied to citizens living behind bars. Writings and artwork created by prisoners in such programs richly enhance the volume.

Contributors are Buzz Alexander, Rose Braz, Travis L. Dixon, Garrett Albert Duncan, Stephen John Hartnett, Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Daniel Mark Larson, Erica R. Meiners, Janie Paul, Lori Pompa, Jonathan Shailor, Robin Sohnen, and Myesha Williams.

About the Author

Stephen John Hartnett is an associate professor and chair of communication at the University of Colorado Denver. He is the author of Incarceration Nation: Investigative Prison Poems of Hope and Terror and Executing Democracy, Volume One: Capital Punishment and the Making of America, 1683–1807.

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"This is an important, timely, and well-informed consideration of one of the major social issues of our democracy. The essays are relevant, varied, and written from the perspectives of committed activists, offering both a sophisticated understanding of the complexities of the prison-industrial complex and a refreshingly useful set of practical, tested paths toward action."--Judith A. Scheffler, editor of Wall Tappings: An International Anthology of Women's Prison Writings, 200 A.D. to the Present


Received one of the PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Awards from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2011.