Alessandro De Giorgi

Five Theses on Mass Incarceration

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The article provides a critical overview of public discourses and political strategies that have consolidated in recent years around the carceral crisis in the United States. Written in the form of "five theses" on mass incarceration, the essay charts some emerging trajectories of current penal reform discourses, outlining their promises and pitfalls. Against dominant technocratic approaches to the penal question, the article emphasizes the importance of the politicoeconomic dimension of mass imprisonment, and outlines the structural connections between the penal state and broader issues of social inequality and racial domination in the United States. In the concluding section, the author proposes some penal reforms that could become part of a broader "radicalreformist" agenda for our times.

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