The Politics of Mass Incarceration

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/01/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20855

An interview with activist and author James Kilgore about his book, "The Politics of Mass Incarceration."



James Kilgore is is a longtime activist, writer and researcher. He currently lives in Urbana, Illinois, where has been involved in local movements to pass a Ban the Box initiative (taking questions about criminal background off employment applications) and opposing the building of a new county jail. He spent six and a half years in prison (2002-09) for his participation in political violence in the 1970s. He has published three novels, all of which were drafted while he was incarcerated. His next book is A People's Guide to Mass Incarceration, to be published by The New Press in 2015.

In the course of the past year, James has been involved in a struggle to maintain his job as a contract lecturer and hourly employee at the University of Illinois. In early 2014 the ultra-conservative local newspaper published a sensationalistic major feature article about his past and demanded that his actions and criminal convictions mandated his dismissal from the University. At first the University authorities gave in and refused to renew his contract. But after a petition of over 300 faculty members demanded his reinstatement and a university-appointed faculty committee also recommended he be re-hired, the Administration changed its mind.
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