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Doing Time in the DepressionEveryday Life in Texas and California Prisons$
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Ethan Blue

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709405

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709405.001.0001

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Of Bodies and Borders

Of Bodies and Borders

The Demography of Incarceration

(p.20) 1 Of Bodies and Borders
Doing Time in the Depression

Ethan Blue

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the demography of incarceration as well as the meaning and practice of arriving in each of these systems. It follows the paths that inmates traveled to border state prisons, and the way their identities and bodies were reoriented by the new, cruel worlds that would hold them. Topics discussed include prisoners by nativity, incarceration by occupation and education, incarceration by offense, incarceration by race, and spatial organization of punishment. It shows that regardless of where they came from or even who they had been prior to incarceration, prisoners were entering a new world. They were nearly universally poor, and they were disproportionately nonwhite. California's prison world was a harsher version of the multiethnic neighborhoods outside, where whites strove to reassert supremacy. Texas' scattered prison farms created a world that was more racially segregated than anything on the outside.

Keywords:   incarceration, demography, state prisons, prison system, Texas, California, segregation

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