The Warehouse: A Visual Primer on Mass Incarceration

Regular price $ 24.95

by James Kilgore and Vic Liu

PM Press

6/4/2024, paperback

SKU: 9798887440422


Mass incarceration is a lived, sensory experience.

The most eye-popping statistics alone cannot relate the enormity of its psychological and societal impacts. This concise, illustrated primer is a collaboration between one of mass incarceration's sharpest opponents, James Kilgore, and information artist Vic Liu. It brings to life the histories and means of daily survival of the marginalized people ensnared in this racist, ableist system of class-based oppression. The book elegantly weaves together the most insightful activist scholarship with vivid testimonials by incarcerated people as they fight back against oppression and imagine freedom.

Those targeted for incarceration do not simply submit to a monochromatic existence behind bars. The Warehouse showcases the abolition futures being crafted from the inside as people resist through direct action and artistic expression. This book is designed to inform, enrage, and ultimately inspire the same radical hope propelling incarcerated underminers of the carceral state.


"An essential resource for classroom teaching and movement building from someone on the front lines of the battle to dismantle the prison-industrial complex." -- Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing

"A smartly crafted, beautifully illustrated guide to the violence of human caging. Kilgore and Liu have created a compelling illustration of the many horrors of mass incarceration. What's more, it shows us what change looks like. The Warehouse is a vital primer on the cruelty of American prisons and the promise of a world more just that begins when we imagine otherwise." -- Dan Berger, author of Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power through One Family's Journey

"James Kilgore and Vic Liu have given us an essential resource on the multiple, intertwined structures of violence that congeal in mass incarceration--from prisons, jails, and youth and migrant detention centers to solitary confinement, gender-based and sexual violence, and aging in cages to parole, probation, e-carceration, and the perils of reentry. The Warehouse braids together deeply researched analysis with crisp, powerful visualizations of data, as well as testimonies and illustrations created by formerly and currently incarcerated peoples, both tender and fierce. Crucially, Kilgore and Liu focus not only on the problem of US imprisonment, but on the resistance and innovation of the people most directly affected by it, including the artwork featured in its pages. By reflecting on movements and campaigns, they point us toward the pitfalls of reform and the horizon of abolition." -- A. Naomi Paik, author of Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the 21st Century

"If you've been searching for an accessible introduction to mass criminalization in the US, look no further than The Warehouse. This book is visually captivating and full of valuable information for youth and adults alike. I'll be gifting this book to people for years to come and will recommend it to everyone who asks me the question: 'What is mass incarceration?'" -- Mariame Kaba, author of We Do This 'til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice

About the Contributors:

James Kilgore is a researcher and activist based in Urbana, Illinois. He is the author of six books, including the National Book Foundation Award-winning A People's Guide to Mass Incarceration. He drafted four of those volumes during his six and a half years in California prisons. He is a research fellow at MediaJustice, where he founded the Challenging E-Carceration project and is director of advocacy and outreach for FirstFollowers Reentry Program in Champaign, Illinois.

Vic Liu is an artist and author who uses design to communicate complex information with empathy. Most recently, Vic published the expanded version of her visually designed masturbation sex-ed book, Bang! Masturbation for All Genders and Abilities, with Microcosm Publishing.