Historians and the Carceral State (June 2015)

The history of mass incarceration in the United States.

The United States holds the world’s largest prison population, caging more humans than any other nation on earth. In a situation that is not only internationally unparalleled but also historically unprecedented, every day more than 2 million people are barred somewhere within this nation’s vast archipelago of prisons, jails, and immigrant detention centers. The June 2015 issue of the Journal of American History featured 14 articles by leading scholars engaging with the history of mass incarceration in the United States. This issue is freely available to the public.

Additional digital content relating to these articles and to the history of the American carceral state, including conversations with the issue’s contributing editors and authors, is available at the JAH’s blog Process.

Introduction: Constructing the Carceral State

by Kelly Lytle Hernández, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and Heather Ann Thompson

Objects of Police History

by Micol Seigel