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Faculty Seminar Series: "The Jail Industrial Complex"

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ICC 563

Georgetown University

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Featuring Mary Katzenstein and Nolan Bennett (Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies Emerita, Cornell University and Assistant Teaching Professor of Government, Georgetown University).

The "Prison Industrial Complex" (PIC), the term used to describe the alliance of interests among corrections, the market, and the state, has long been a powerful rallying cry for political organizing. But the PIC has mostly dropped from view as an analytical concept within academic work on mass incarceration despite ongoing interest in the influence of profits and privatization on punishment in the United States. In our study of jails, we revisit this concept --more specifically, the "jail industrial complex"-- as an investigative tool to examine the growing collaboration between carceral institutions and private corporations at the local level. In recent years, a new regime of poverty taxation has emerged that targets the poor as a revenue source to help fund courts of law, policing, prisons, and jails. We scrutinize one particular piece of this picture--the parasitic reliance on the poor to fund the partnership between county jails and businesses that service the needs of jail operations, specifically, and of poverty governance, more generally.

Food and refreshments provided.


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Georgetown University

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