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Big house on the prairie : rise of the rural ghetto and prison proliferation

Author: John Major Eason
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
For the past fifty years, America has been extraordinarily busy building prisons. Since 1970 we have tripled the total number of facilities, adding more than 1,200 new prisons to the landscape. This building boom has taken place across the country but is largely concentrated in rural southern towns. In 2007, John M. Eason moved his family to Forrest City, Arkansas, in search of answers to key questions about this  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Major Eason
ISBN: 9780226410203 022641020X 9780226410340 022641034X
OCLC Number: 950611497
Description: xii, 236 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction: the causes and consequences of the prison boom --
Prison placement. Have you seen my backyard? Rural ecology, disrepute, and prison placement --
"It's like the city, only quieter": making the rural ghetto --
Finding beauty in the hideous: prison placement as reputation management --
How not in my backyard became please in my backyard: toward a model of prison placement --
Prison impact. The prison in my backyard: reconsidering impact --
The tarnished jewel of the Delta: continuity and change in caste, class, and disrepute --
Bringing down the big house: the political economy of prison proliferation.
Responsibility: John M. Eason.

Abstract:

For the past fifty years, America has been extraordinarily busy building prisons. Since 1970 we have tripled the total number of facilities, adding more than 1,200 new prisons to the landscape. This building boom has taken place across the country but is largely concentrated in rural southern towns. In 2007, John M. Eason moved his family to Forrest City, Arkansas, in search of answers to key questions about this trend: Why is America building so many prisons? Why now? And why in rural areas? Eason quickly learned that rural demand for prisons is complicated. Towns like Forrest City choose to build prisons not simply in hopes of landing jobs or economic wellbeing, but also to protect and improve their reputations. For some rural leaders, fostering a prison in their town is a means of achieving order in a rapidly changing world. Taking us into the decision-making meetings and tracking the impact of prisons on economic development, poverty, and race, Eason demonstrates how groups of elite whites and black leaders share power. Situating prisons within dynamic shifts that rural economies are undergoing and showing how racially diverse communities lobby for prison construction, Big House on the Prairie is a remarkable glimpse into the ways a prison economy takes shape and operates. -- Provided by publisher.

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