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How Gender Structures the Prison System

Lecture for Angela Davis Chapter in Are Prisons Obsolete?

Erin Durban-Albrecht

on 10 November 2015

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Transcript of How Gender Structures the Prison System

Progressive Social Movements
& Incarceration
1. The definitions of what is a crime and who is a

2. The space of incarceration (e.g., prison types,
layout, and architecture)?

3. What kinds of punishments people are subjected
How does
structure the prison system in terms of:
Distinguished professor emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz, Feminist Studies
Former political prisoner

"Because it is too agonizing to cope with the possibility that anyone, including ourselves, could become a prisoner, we tend to think of the prison as disconnected from our lives” (15).

Erin L. Durban-Albrecht
Women's and Gender Studies

How Gender Structures the Prison System

Davis argues that we need to turn a critical eye to the way that
prisons have been made to seem natural and helpful

She discusses the creation of the
prison industrial complex
: the rapid expansion of the U.S. prison system in the 1980s and 1990s to 2,000,000 in the early 2000s

The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world: 5% of the world population and 25% of prisoners

Chapter 4:
Women are the fastest growing prison population
(757% between 1977 and 2004)

Angela Y. Davis
A national organization dedicated to opposing the expansion of the prison industrial complex.
A nonprofit organization that provides long term supportive services to women from McLean County who have been incarcerated or are on probation
A nonprofit program to shed light on the impact of mass incarceration and seek creative alternatives to caging.
Full transcript