The Jail Is Everywhere: Fighting the New Geography of Mass Incarceration

Regular price $ 19.95

Edited by Jack Norton, Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, Judah Schept


2/13/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781804291313


Nearly every county and major city in the United States has a jail, the short-term detention center controlled by local sheriffs that funnels people into prisons and long-term incarceration. While the growing movement against incarceration and policing has called to reform or abolish prisons, jails have often gone unnoticed, or in some cases seen as a "better" alternative to prisons."

Yet jails, in recent decades, have been the fastest-growing sector of the US carceral state. Jails are widely used for immigrant detention by ICE and the U.S. Marshals and as a place to offload people that prisons can't hold. As jails grow, they transform the region around them, and whole towns and small cities see health care, mental health care, substance abuse, and employment opportunities taken over by carceral concerns.

If jails are everywhere, resistance to jails is too. The recent jail boom has sparked a wealth of local activist struggles to resist and close jails all across the United States, from rural counties to major cities.

The Jail Is Everywhere brings these disparate voices together, with contributions from activists, scholars, and expert journalists describing the effects of this quiet jail boom, mapping the growth of the carceral state, and sharing strategies from recent fights against jail construction to strengthen struggles against jailing everywhere.

With a foreword by Ruth Wilson Gilmore.


"[The Jail is Everywhere] paints a vivid picture of a grassroots, nationwide decarceral movement. Activists involved on the ground will find this valuable, while others will receive a substantial education in the politics and economics of incarceration." -- Publishers Weekly

"With its bevy of perspectives and individual case studies, The Jail Is Everywhere is a revealing overview of the growing problem of jail expansion in the US, with a survey of approaches to addressing it." -- Foreword Reviews

"The Jail Is Everywhere is a vibrant collection that equips the reader, and anyone interested in organizing against the many forms of carceral expansion, with a swathe of helpful strategies and tactics... a crucial anthology, skillfully assembled." -- Carceral Geography Working Group

About the Editors:

Jack Norton is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Governors State University.

Lydia Pelot-Hobbs is an Assistant Professor of Geography and African American & Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky, and author of Carceral Crisis: Punitive State Power, Racial Capitalism, and Struggles for Abolition Democracy in Louisiana.

Judah Schept is a Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He is the author of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia and Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion.