Huffington Post | A Public Reckoning With Mass Incarceration

April 12, 2016
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in News

This week, on the heels of Black Lives Matter activists calling former President Bill Clinton to account for the ravages of the 1994 Crime Bill, and in the wake of his heated defense that this policy was needed to keep black kids from killing other black kids, we have a new opportunity to reflect on why remembering the roots of today’s carceral crisis is so critical for confronting it today. There is an extraordinary public installation opening this Thursday in New York City called States of Incarceration.

Back in the fall of 2015, hundreds of students, formerly incarcerated people, corrections officers, families, scholars, photographers, and others came together in an unprecedented collaboration to build a collective memory of the incarceration generation. This convening was made possible by the New School’s Humanities Action Lab, which sought to begin a national dialogue on the way in which our nation’s criminal justice system operates and what its human costs really have been. Ultimately this project partnered with universities from across the country, asking each of them to shine needed new light on a specific site of the American carceral state in their area. The product of this collaborative endeavor is a traveling exhibit on the past, present, and future of mass incarceration.

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