Golden Gulag Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California

ISBN-10: 0520242017
ISBN-13: 9780520242012
Edition: 2007
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Description: Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%. Despite a crime rate that has been falling steadily for decades, California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called "the biggest prison  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 1/8/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%. Despite a crime rate that has been falling steadily for decades, California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called "the biggest prison building project in the history of the world."Golden Gulagprovides the first detailed explanation for that buildup by looking at how political and economic forces from the global to the local conjoined to produce the prison boom. In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity. Detailing crises that hit California's economy with particular ferocity, she argues that defeats of radical struggles, weakening of labor, and shifting patterns of capital investment have been key conditions for prison growth. The results--a vast and expensive prison system, a huge number off incarcerated young people of color, and the increase in punitive justice such as the "three strikes" law--pose profound and troubling questions for the future of California, the United States, and the world.Golden Gulagprovides a rich context for this complex dilemma, and at the same time challenges many cherished assumptions about who benefits and who suffers from the state's commitment to prison expansion.

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Prologue: The Bus
Introduction
The California Political Economy
The Prison Fix
Crime, Croplands, and Capitalism
Mothers Reclaiming Our Children
What Is to Be Done?
Epilogue: Another Bus
Notes
Bibliography and References
Index

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