Beyond Mass Incarceration: New Horizons of Liberation and Freedom

Posted by Imagining America on May 14, 2018

PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America
call for submissions

Beyond Mass Incarceration: New Horizons of Liberation and Freedom

Guest editor Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas and Carlos Francisco Jackson are now accepting one-page proposals at Issue Vol V, No 2 will be published January 2019.

Submission Process
We are currently accepting one-page descriptions for the PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America issue titled: Beyond Mass Incarceration: New Horizons of Liberation and Freedom. Please email proposals to Full submissions are due by May 31st for peer review through our online submission portal at The guest editor and design editors will work with contributors of accepted submissions through a process of revision and digital design in preparation for publication.

Introduction to the issue:
The United States has come to be known as the largest jailer on the planet. In a matter of 4 decades the country has increased its prison population 500% through an over investment and reliance on state security systems in the form of policing, court systems, and prisons. With more than two million people in jails, prisons and detention centers and five million on parole or probation, huge numbers are dispossessed from family, work, educational opportunity and community through mass imprisonment. Over 60% of this population are Black and Brown men, women and children revealing an exercise of racism that replicates past practices of control, containment and management such as the creation of Native American reservations and enclosures, the plantation, Japanese internment, and the policing and repatriating of Mexican origin peoples in the 1930s. Presently the population under criminal justice control has been relegated to a status of rightless, stateless being. It is a practice and phenomenon that has changed the (human) geography of the country and negated the future and freedom of millions of people in the US, calling into question the very ideals of democracy that the US champions.

Yet through this political, economic, and social negation of future and freedom, generations of incarcerated people — especially from disproportionately incarcerated social groups – have created spaces to collectively and individually resist the unfreedom of mass incarceration, to rebuild opportunity and hope, and to create new horizon lines to liberation and justice.

This issue of PUBLIC seeks to advance the publicly engaged conversation around these “spaces,” whether they are physical, legal, and/or political; discursive and/or activist, highly public or intimately private. PUBLIC seeks work from prisoners, academics, organizers, the formerly incarcerated and their aligned kin, and the broader community that builds upon and advances movement work, investigative research, and theoretical work on contemporary prison and jail studies, and that, in particular, adds depth and knowledge to statistical information and rhetorical strategies.

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