Teaching the Carceral organizes material by resource type (scholarship, news source, etc.) and by broad topical themes. Here, users can browse by themes and subthemes related to their scholarly or pedagogical focus. We chose these themes based on conversations with educators and students, and during the site’s beta period, we welcome feedback on theme names and categorization.
This theme includes movements seeking to change current practices of policing and imprisonment. Users looking for materials on policy proposals, constitutional challenges, abolitionism, transformative justice, community-based safety, and grassroots movements will find it here. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Black Lives Matter
Prison and Policing Reform
Is America Engaged In A ‘Vicious Circle’ Of Jailing The Poor?
NPR Fresh Air May 11, 2016 Interview with Nancy Fishman, a project manager at the Vera Institute for Justice director, about the high number of people being imprisoned in America because of their inability to pay fines for low-level offenses. More Information
Into the Abyss
A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life Werner Herzog In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill-and why a state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die… Read More »Into the Abyss
Imprisonment and Justice
Dean Spade Seattle University School of Law Syllabus Last Updated: January, 2013 This syllabus for a four-day intensive January Term class introduces students to contemporary discussions of imprisonment through feminist, queer, trans and abolitionist texts and invites critical thinking about prison reform and social movement resistance to prison expansion. The class was taught in Seattle… Read More »Imprisonment and Justice
Policing and Law
This theme refers to prison’s multiple roles in contemporary society, including the ways imprisonment structures, and is structured by, other institutions. Users looking for material on the economic and social functions of prison will find it here. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Jail and Bail
New Jim Crow
War on Drugs
War on Terror
Black Death in Dixie
Racism and the Death Penalty in the United States Films Media Group Network Ireland Television July 4, 2007 Challenging viewers to look beyond mainstream media treatment of the death penalty, this program portrays capital punishment as a blunt instrument that disproportionately targets racial minorities and the poor. The film highlights several difficult issues, concepts, and… Read More »Black Death in Dixie
Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror
the Equal Justice Initiative October 11, 2016 “Our history of racial terror casts a shadow across the U.S. landscape. We must engage it more honestly.” Video produced by the Equal Justice Initiative. More Information
We Need to Talk About an Injustice
TED Talks Bryan Stevenson March 1, 2012 In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been… Read More »We Need to Talk About an Injustice
This theme comprises materials about prisoners’ and outsiders’ experiences of prison. Users looking for materials that convey prisoners’ voices will find them here, as well as materials that focus on solitary confinement, the incarceration of youth and older adults, in-prison programs, and prisoner resistance. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Aging in Prison
Death & Politics at Attica Alexander Street Press, Blue Sky Project Christine Christopher July 6, 2013 Forty years after the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War, the dead remain buried along with the truth. Until now. Based on interviews with eyewitnesses who just now are telling their stories, as well as access… Read More »Criminal Justice
Southwest Prison Writing
Joe Lockard Arizona State University Discipline(s): English Last Updated: January, 2014 Course Level: undergraduate Assignment Summary: Comparison paper on Jimmy Santiago Baca and Ken Lamberton. Learning Outcomes: Comparison of prison writings english345paper4assignment
Criminal Podcast Episode 49: The Editor
Criminal Podcast Daniel A Gross August 26, 2016 In November of 1988, Robin Woods was sentenced to sixteen years in the notoriously harsh Maryland Correctional Institution. In prison, Robin found himself using a dictionary to work his way through a book for the first time in his life. It was a Mario Puzo novel. While… Read More »Criminal Podcast Episode 49: The Editor
Prison and Identity
This theme contains resources pertaining to the disciplining and imprisonment of diverse identities. Users looking for material on the over-representation of people of color in prison, women’s prisons, queer and trans* incarceration, and crimmigration will find it here. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Race and Incarceration
Women and Incarceration
Death and Other Penalties
Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration Geoffrey Adelsberg Lisa Guenther Scott Zeman April 1, 2015 Mass incarceration is one of the most pressing ethical and political issues of our time. In this volume, philosophers join activists and those incarcerated on death row to grapple with contemporary U.S. punishment practices and draw out critiques around… Read More »Death and Other Penalties
Lost in Detention
FRONTLINE Rick Young October 18, 2011 More than one million immigrants have been deported since President Obama took office. Under his administration, deportations and detentions have reached record levels. The get-tough policy has brought complaints of abuse and harsh treatment, including charges that families have been unfairly separated after being caught in the nationwide dragnet.… Read More »Lost in Detention
Joe Lockard Arizona State University Discipline(s): English Syllabus Last Updated: January, 2014 This course employs a selection of US and world literature to trace prison literature as an integral feature of literary and rhetorical history; as a vehicle for civil disobedience; as exposition of socially concealed worlds; as a site of gender and sexual consciousness; as… Read More »Prison Literature
Prison and Society
This theme covers prison’s multiple roles in contemporary society, including the ways imprisonment structures, and is structured by, other institutions. Users looking for material on the economic and social functions of prison will find it here. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Prison and Public Health
Private Prison Industry
School to Prison Pipeline
23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement
Yale University Press Keramet Reiter Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of… Read More »23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement
Understanding Carceral Fort Snelling in Public Education
University of Minnesota Genevieve Romain, Dustin Sjong, Matthew D. Frater, Sarah Forschler, Aaron J. Person Fort Snelling has many histories. One history most often forgotten is its role as a site of mass incarceration – a history in which the United States imprisoned over 1,700 innocent Dakota lives within the same piece of land that… Read More »Understanding Carceral Fort Snelling in Public Education
Boarding Schools and the School to Prison Pipeline
University of Minnesota, Humanities Action Lab Class Fall 2015 An interactive timeline that looks at this history of Indian boarding schools in the United States. Includes information about the legislation of assimilation, the Dakota war, incarceration at Fort Snelling, and associated issues on the incarceration of indigenous peoples, primarily in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.… Read More »Boarding Schools and the School to Prison Pipeline
This theme covers major theorists of the carceral state, both historical and contemporary, as well materials for ideas about teaching these subjects in the classroom. Users looking for material that explains a theoretical framework, overviews a theorists’ major contributions, or describes teaching philosophies about incorporating sensitive subjects in the classroom will find it here. We welcome feedback on this organization during our beta period.
Solitary Confinement: A Philosophical Exploration
Lisa Guenther Vanderbilt University Discipline(s): Philosophy Syllabus Last Updated: July, 2016 Undergraduate course in Philosophy exploring the history, ethics, and politics of solitary confinement in the US. Readings include work by Benjamin Rush, Michel Foucault, Jack Henry Abbott, Colin Dayan, Lorna Rhodes, and others. 12 PHIL 213 – Solitary Confinement FINAL SYLLABUS
Police Violence and Mass Incarceration
Lisa Guenther Vanderbilt University Discipline(s): Philosophy Syllabus Last Updated: July, 2015 Undergraduate course in Philosophy exploring the ethical and political issues raised by police violence and mass incarceration, beginning with a selection of blog posts about the killing of unarmed people of color by police and the Black Lives Matter movement, and situating the critical analysis… Read More »Police Violence and Mass Incarceration
Other People’s Problems
Student Distancing, Epistemic Responsibility, and Injustice Studies in Philosophy and Education Matt S. Whitt June, 2015 In classes that examine entrenched injustices like sexism or racism, students sometimes use “distancing strategies” to dissociate themselves from the injustice being studied. Education researchers argue that distancing is a mechanism through which students, especially students of apparent privilege,… Read More »Other People’s Problems