Nearly 2.3 million adults are currently incarcerated in the United States, which represents the highest incarceration rate in the world. How did this come to be? What led to the construction of the carceral state? On today’s episode, we learn about the history of mass incarceration in Los Angeles and beyond with UCLA history professor Kelly Lytle Hernández. Over the course of the hour, she shares research from her award-winning book City of Inmates about settler colonialism, the historical treatment of Native populations, the relationship between gender and incarceration, the criminalization of homelessness, and how this all connects to our present-day situation.
Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of history and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010) and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965 (UNC Press, 2017) which won the 2018 American Book Award. She currently directs the Million Dollar Hoods project, which uses LAPD data to determine the cost of policing and incarceration.
Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández is giving a public talk this afternoon (Friday, February 22) from 3:30 to 4:30 PM in 108 Science Hall (550 N. Park St., Madison). The talk is titled “Million Dollar Hoods: Mapping the Fiscal and Human Cost of Mass Incarceration in Los Angeles.” More details available here.