The American Geography Of Incarceration

We may peruse neighborhoods on Google Maps, read about suburban sprawl and new city developments, but millions of Americans exist in a different, ignored geography. Via the The Funambulist:

Prison Map is a project developed by Josh Begley, a graduate student at NYU. Let’s recall that 2.5 millions people are living in prison in this country. Such a project illustrates therefore a sort of hidden urbanism in which 0.8% of the American population live for a given time.

They illustrate a geography of exclusion [and] often ironically appear similar to European palaces with well-ordered classical plans.


5 Comments on "The American Geography Of Incarceration"

  1. smooth_operator | May 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm |

    The Star of David in photos A, B and C! A highly suspicious square in photo D!

  2. Because of the massive profits made by these prisons they can pay off judges and politicians and send innocent people, some just children to these prisons. Amazing what some people will do for money. Then they beg us to vote for them. i in 6 prisoners are there on a pot charge. It needs to be made legal. Clean it up and tax it.

  3. Liam_McGonagle | May 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    “. . . ironically appear similar to European palaces with well-ordered classical plans.”

    Not so ironically.  Historically, the palace evolved out of public administrative buildings of military warlords or oligarchies.  In fact, the Italian word “palazzo” still caries a primary connotation of a building of public resort.  The private pleasure domes that the word “palace” conjures in the anglophone imagination were actually a subsequent and relatively short-lived phenom of the 18th and 19th centuries.

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