The Jail is Everywhere

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

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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. Jails are now the fastest-growing sector of the US carceral state. As jails grow, they transform the region around them. Whole towns and small cities see health care provision and employment opportunities become subordinate to carceral concerns.

If jails are everywhere, resistance is too. Campaigns against new or expanded jails have emerged in large and mid-sized cities and in dozens of small towns and rural counties across the US. While there is some coordination and communication between those involved in these struggles, they tend to be isolated from each other and from broader movements. The Jail Is Everywhere brings together an incredible range of knowledge and experience from jail fights across the country. It maps this new terrain, foregrounding the hard-forged analyses of anti-jail organizers themselves as they take us through campaigns that, while appearing local, are at the new center of the carceral state.

With a foreword by Ruth Wilson Gilmore.


  • The impact of the editors' scholarship, and the relationships they built while carrying it out, are palpable throughout The Jail Is Everywhere, lending the book a groundedness and sense of communal purpose that is all too rare in academic studies of mass incarceration.

    Jarrod ShanahanThe Nation
  • A collection of writing spotlighting the 'monster' that is the American prison system...Social justice activists and those with an interest in criminal justice issues will especially appreciate these well-researched, thoughtful essays that reveal just how much power government policies have given to the American carceral system.

  • [The Jail is Everywhere] paints a vivid picture of a grassroots, nationwide decarceral movement. Activists involved on the ground will find this valuable, while others will receive a substantial education in the politics and economics of incarceration.

    Publishers Weekly