Understanding E-Carceration: Electronic Monitoring, the Surveillance State, and the Future of Mass Incarceration

Regular price $ 17.99

by James Kilgore

The New Press

1/18/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781620976142


A riveting primer on the growing trend of surveillance, monitoring, and control that is extending our prison system beyond physical walls and into a dark future--by the prize-winning author of Understanding Mass Incarceration

In the last decade, as the critique of mass incarceration has grown more powerful, many reformers have embraced changes that release people from prisons and jails. As educator, author, and activist James Kilgore brilliantly shows, these rapidly spreading reforms largely fall under the heading of "e-carceration"--a range of punitive technological interventions, from ankle monitors to facial recognition apps, that deprive people of their liberty, all in the name of ending mass incarceration.

E-carceration can block people's access to employment, housing, healthcare, and even the chance to spend time with loved ones. Many of these technologies gather data that lands in corporate and government databases and may lead to further punishment or the marketing of their data to Big Tech.

This riveting primer on the world of techno-punishment comes from the author of award-winning Understanding Mass Incarceration. Himself a survivor of prison and e-carceration, Kilgore captures the breadth and complexity of these technologies and offers inspiring ideas on how to resist.


"Kilgore's straightforward prose and clear explanations expose the police state's relentless expansion into every corner of vulnerable lives. Who pays? Who benefits? Read this book." -- Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Change Everything and Golden Gulag

"Essential reading. A powerful precautionary tale about how big data and technology can undermine the kind of society we want to build."--Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime and America on Fire

"An incisive, thoroughly researched, and utterly frightening investigation into how technology, posing as reform, is expanding our prison nation into systems of hybrid punishment." -- Victoria Law, author of Prison by Any Other Name and "Prisons Make us Safer" And 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration

"Kilgore presents a devastating critique of policy tools like electronic monitoring that masquerade as meaningful alternatives to incarceration but offer little hope for a more just and humane future. There is a more promising way forward and this necessary and insightful book helps us to see the path more clearly."--Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

About the Author:

James Kilgore is an activist, researcher, and writer based in Urbana, Illinois, where he has lived since paroling from prison in 2009. He is the director of the Challenging E-Carceration project at MediaJustice and the co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program in Champaign, Illinois. He is the author of five books, including Understanding E-Carceration and the award-winning Understanding Mass Incarceration (both from The New Press).