Celling Black Bodies: Black Women in the Global Prison Industrial Complex


“Since the early 1990s, increases in the prison population in England and Wales have sparked a boom in prison construction, leading commentators to comment on ‘the largest prison building program since the middle of the 19th century’ (Morgan, 1999: 110). While women make up a small proportion of those incarcerated, their rates of imprisonment have multiplied faster than men’s, causing feminist activists to call for drastic measures to counter ‘the crisis in women’s prisons’. 4 Between 1985 and 1998, for example, the number of women in prison more than doubled, from 1,532 to 3,260 (Prison Reform Trust, 2000). The prison service has responded by contracting with private corporations to built and operate new prisons, and by rerolling men’s prisons for women. Recent government initiatives designed to slow the increase in the use of incarceration, such as Home Detention Curfews, have had little impact on the number of women sentenced to prison which continued to grow during the year to 2001 by 9%, compared to 2% for men.”

celling black bodies pdf

Survival in Solitary: A manual written by & for people living in control units

Text from back cover:

“The federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, went on permanent lock down in 1983. This created the first “control unit”. Now, in addition to the federal government, some forty states have built these “maxi-maxi” prisons — representations of the angry and cruel repression that grips our country today. Human beings are put alone in a small cell with double steel doors and no window for 23 hours a day. No program, no work, no education, meals alone, and maybe one hour by oneself in a bare dog-run outside. A religious task force calls such conditions psychological pain and agony tantamount to torture. It is torture. Here, now, in the following pages, people who are captives in these cells write about what goes on and how you can survive…”