A "Labor History" of Mass Incarceration

In order to fully understand the costs of mass incarceration, research on the labor market effects of the carceral state must be truly multi-dimensional. This brief article provides an introductory framework for how to analyze the various impacts of the carceral state on the labor market, and vice versa. The author discusses the more traditionally researched exploitation of prison labor, while also bringing to light the impact prisons have had on rural economies and on employment for Black and brown communities.


Lichtenstein, A. (2011). A “Labor History” of Mass Incarceration. Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, 8(3), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-1275217

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/43672006/d0edb7