by New Jersey Prison Theater Cooperative
Introduction by Chris Hedges and Boris Franklin
Since 1980, the rate of incarceration in the U.S. has gone up 800%. What this means in terms of today is that 1 in 3 young people under the age of 23 will be going to jail. Couple those stats with the financial juggernaut of privatizing prisons and there is little doubt that human beings have become a commodity. Caged offers a unique perspective about mass incarceration, one that starts from the inside out and amplifies the voices of the imprisoned, the forgotten. They speak of a system that is harvesting human beings for profit but they also press the real need to heal and reform the system. The stage performance of Caged in Trenton, New Jersey garnered critical acclaim and overwhelming positive audience reviews. This printed edition of the play builds upon the success of these performances and brings its timely message to a wide audience of readers.
"From institutionalized racism to addiction to the prison-industrial complex, this is a play about a great many large, pressing social challenges, but at its core it is a play about one family and its struggles to remain united as their world steadily crumbles. Impactful, warm, and unrelenting, this play that began as an experiment turns out to be an excellent examination of the human cost of a harsh and inhospitable world." - Nj.com
About the Author:
The New Jersey Prison Theater Cooperative is a committee that includes not only the 28 formerly incarcerated participants but also six theater professionals, who worked on the script's development
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Truthdig columnist and host of the Emmy Award--winning RT America show On Contact. He is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. His most recent book is America: the Farewell Tour published in 2018. He teaches in college credit courses in prisons in New Jersey.