1 See, for example, Harvey 1973; Soja 1980; Lefebvre 1974; Massey 1994.
2 By “common sense,” I am specifically invoking Antonio Gramsci’s notion of senso commune, which lays emphasis on those elements of belief that are shared or held in “common” and refers to “the conception of the world which is uncritically absorbed by the various social and cultural environments” (1971, 419). Following Gramsci, I hold common sense to be always partial and contradictory, even while it works to render aspects of the status quo normal and even inevitable. Gramsci thus argues that common sense offers clues about “the source of the problems” that critical analysis “sets out to study and resolve” (330).
3 This book builds on this important body of research and contributes specifically to a growing literature concerned with “contexts that challenge traditional understandings of the penal realm” (Hannah-Moffat and Lynch 2012, 119). This work includes the identification of a “shadow carceral state” comprised of ostensibly nonpunitive “civil” law mechanisms (Beckett and Murakawa 2012) and increased attention to the burgeoning field of prisoner-reentry programming as an expanding arena of responsibilization and social control (Miller 2013; Hallett 2012).
4 On 2016 Republican presidential contenders and criminal-justice reform, see Blakinger 2015, Campbell 2015, and O’Keefe 2014. George Kelling (2015) has written recently of how broken-windows policing was misinterpreted by police departments. On the dismantling of the welfare state by the people now discussing reform, see Bauer 2014. On private prisons and reentry, see Takei 2014. On bipartisanship and the carceral state more broadly, see Gottschalk 2015.
5 Analytically, this book is guided by political-economic theories of mass incarceration that attribute the growth of prisons to the ascendance of neoliberal global capitalism, the reconfiguration of the post-Keynesian state, and the deindustrialization of urban space and labor since the 1970s. This approach views the prison as an expression of shifting state strategy in the management of urban, racialized poverty (Simon 1993; Beckett and Western 2001; Camp 2011). Key to my theoretical approach is the geographic analysis of the prison as a “spatial fix” for the multiple and intersecting crises of surplus labor, surplus state capacity, and racialized social unrest (Gilmore 2007). My own contribution seeks to build on those interpretations of the prison system to ask how contemporary shifts in state strategy involve restaging space and spatial tactics, including (but not limited to) prison infrastructure, toward the production and management of surplus populations. This includes, for example, resituating the social and racial control functions of the prison to the embattled space of the urban neighborhood. I draw insight from critical race scholarship (Davis 2003; Rodriguez 2006) and economic geography (Harvey 1996; Peck 2003; Gilmore 2007) to also ask how new racial and spatial fixes are being formed out of the most recent financial crisis and the emerging crisis of state legitimacy.
1. The Prison in the City
2 See Smith 1996; Coulthard 2014; Dunbar-Ortiz 2014.
2. Neighborhood Watch
1 A new subfield within urban studies scholarship known as the “neighborhood effects” literature emerged as a key trend in the 1990s and gained particular influence in the second half of the decade (see Jencks and Mayer 1990; Ellen and Turner 1997). Robert Sampson and colleagues note that “the mid 1990s to the year 2000 saw more than a doubling of neighborhood studies to the level of about 100 papers per year” (Sampson et al. 2002, 444). The field of neighborhood effects seeks to link the life chances of particular urban residents to their neighborhood conditions, almost exclusively in regard to high-poverty neighborhoods and the ill effects considered consequent to their concentrated poverty. Key variables within this putatively causal relationship are almost always reduced to matters of culture and individual behavior and seen as pathologically incubated by the space of the neighborhood itself.
2 During this small group interview, a project staff member was present and the interviewees were preselected by the project director.
3 Enormously influential theories attempting to account for persistent poverty and low levels of educational attainment were famously promoted by figures like Oscar Lewis (1961; 1966) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was President Nixon’s Secretary of Labor. In a controversial and now widely criticized report he authored in 1965, Moynihan argued that black American families were in a crisis due to their social reproduction of particularly self-sabotaging and pathological behavioral traits, such as laziness and hypersexuality (see Rainwater and Yancey 1967). As the report argued, the recycling of these cultural and behavioral traits via the family unit is what prevented the children of these families specifically, and black people more broadly, from succeeding in mainstream society. Within the popular “culture of poverty” framework, it was the family unit (and black women in particular, whom Moynihan accused of emasculating black men) that was the dominant unit of blame, and therefore the site for state intervention. Deeply racist, sexist, and classist core assumptions were coded behind references to an urban “underclass” and informed analyses of the persistence of “under-privilege” across a variety of indexes.
3. Rural Extractions
1 In national media discourse, Appalachia is often used as a stand in for what is referred to as the “white working-class.” While, of course, the working class in the United States is actually very racially diverse, this is also true in parts of Appalachia. Indeed, poor people of color in the region were often the first to lose their jobs to automation. For more, see Elizabeth Catte’s What You are Getting Wrong about Appalachia (2018).
2 Consider, for example, Haney 2010.