There are over 2 million people incarcerated in the United States of America according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics per their reporting in 2014. While the USA has one of the larger prison populations in the world, incarceration does not affect all families equally. One in three Black men are likely to be incarcerated, whereas only one in seventeen White men are likely to be incarcerated. For women the contrast is even starker, one in eighteen Black women are likely to be incarcerated compared to only one in 111 White women will likely experience incarceration.
Contained in this page are resources to help familiarize yourself with incarceration, what it means to be incarcerated, who is incarcerated and how it affects other people as well. This does not happen to just one person, it equally affects their families and communities. If you do not know someone who is incarcerated, been incarcerated or worked in criminal justice you might not know about the living conditions or the labor conditions.
Prisons can be a world unto themselves. These resources can help you better understand what the strike protestors organized against and experience.
The Marshall Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on journalism on criminal justice. They publish a series titled "Life Inside" that presents original nonfiction essays written by people who deal with the criminal justice system, from people who are incarcertated, to lawyers, to judges, to corrections offices/guards.
Prison Town, USA shows how four families are affected by the local prison through the eyes of Correction Officers and their families, a family who has to remain in the town because a loved one is incarcerated there, and a local dairy that relies on the prison to survive. It premiered in 2007.
This is a small selection of books about incarceration. They provide a sampling of policy, someone who has been incarcerated and someone who has had a love one who was incarcerated. This list is in no way shape or form meant to be considered inclusive. There are many different voices and approaches to writing about incarceration.
The Sesame Workshop created a new initiative Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, with videos and multimedia resources in order to help children whose parents are incarcerated. In 2007 the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report about Parents in Prisons and Their Minor Children detailing information about the 2.3% of minors in the US that have a parent who is incarcerated. This toolkit was created to help children ages 3-8 develop the skills for resilience and to provide their caregivers resources for talking and helping these children.