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The Jail Is Everywhere: Fighting the New Geography of Mass Incarceration

Verso Books9781804291313

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Nearly every county and major city in the United States has a jail, the short-term detention center controlled by local sheriffs that funnels people into prisons and long-term incarceration. While the growing movement against incarceration and policing has called to reform or abolish prisons, jails have often gone unnoticed, or in some cases seen as a "better" alternative to prisons."

Yet jails, in recent decades, have been the fastest-growing sector of the US carceral state. Jails are widely used for immigrant detention by ICE and the U.S. Marshals and as a place to offload people that prisons can't hold. As jails grow, they transform the region around them, and whole towns and small cities see health care, mental health care, substance abuse, and employment opportunities taken over by carceral concerns.

If jails are everywhere, resistance to jails is too. The recent jail boom has sparked a wealth of local activist struggles to resist and close jails all across the United States, from rural counties to major cities.

The Jail Is Everywhere brings these disparate voices together, with contributions from activists, scholars, and expert journalists describing the effects of this quiet jail boom, mapping the growth of the carceral state, and sharing strategies from recent fights against jail construction to strengthen struggles against jailing everywhere.