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The Economy of Incarceration: Ruth Wilson Gilmore

What do the conservative Koch Industries, the liberal Ford Foundation, and the ACLU agree on? Not much. But earlier this year, they announced they’d formed a broad coalition to invest millions of dollars in Criminal Justice Reform. Our next guest has some real concerns about that. A professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s spent decades analyzing the political geography of prisons. Overcrowding and discrimination are bad, she says, but our broken system’s the result of decisions that go way deeper — to the nature of our economy itself. Among her many publications is the prize-winning book Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. She was also a founding member of the anti-prison group Critical Resistance. Also in this episode: a discussion with activist Monica Jones, who was arrested for what she calls “Walking while Transgender”, and Laura discusses the millions missing from the conversation about incarceration.

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