The Carceral State: Race, Citizenship and American Life in the 21st Century


The Carceral State: Race, Citizenship and American Life in the 21st Century
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 7 pm   Emerson Suite B, Phillips Hall

"The United States is the world's warden, incarcerating a larger proportion of its people than any other country." --Marie Gottschalk, 2011

Marie Gottschalk, profesor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, engaged this question with Adolph Reed, Jr., also a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, in a conversation moderated by Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor of politics at Ithaca College.   Gottschalk and Reed will discuss some of the moral, social, and political issues stemming from local, state, and federal policies related to mass incarceration; the origins, development, and consolidation of U.S carceral state and what it means following the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  A question-and-answer session will follow.

Prof. Gottschalk

Prof. Gottschalk specializes in American Politics, with a focus on criminal justice, health policy, race, the development of the welfare state, and business-labor relations  (Penn Arts & Sciences website)

Articles  by Marie Gottschalk

Gottschalk, Marie. Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics. 2015. Print. On Order: August 2015
---. The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America. New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.  On Order: August 2015
---. The Shadow Welfare State: Labor, Business, and the Politics of Health-Care in the United States. Ithaca, N.Y: ILR Press, 2000. Print.
National Research Council (U.S.) et al. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. 2014.

Prof. Adolph Reed, Jr.

Prof. Reed is the preeminent scholar on race, class, and working class/labor politics. His research interests include American and Afro-american politics and political thought, urban politics and American political development. (Penn Arts & Sciences website)

Articles by Adolph L. Reed, Jr.

Reed, Adolph L. Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene. New York: New Press, 2000. Print.
---. Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Print.
---. The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986. Print.
---. W.E.B. Du Bois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and the Color Line. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.
---, ed. Without Justice for All: The New Liberalism and Our Retreat from Racial Equality. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1999. Print.
Reed, Adolph L, and Kenneth W Warren. Renewing Black Intellectual History: The Ideological and Material Foundations of African American Thought. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2010. Print. On Order August 2015.

Government Documents

FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System)
Search for:  "mass incarceration"
Search for:  "sentencing reform"

Best Bet: Databases

  • Academic Search Premier
    Multi-disciplinary database which includes a large collection of peer-reviewed journals in many areas of academic study including: archaeology, area studies, astronomy, biology, chemistry, ethnic & multicultural studies, law, mathematics, music, physics, psychology, religion & theology, women's studies, and other fields.  Coverage varies, but begins in the 1990s for most journals.
  • Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)
    Nexis Uni features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
  • SocINDEX with Full Text
    Comprehensive coverage of sociology and related areas of study: criminology & criminal justice, demography,ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, political sociology, religion, rural & urban sociology, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, sociological history, sociological research, sociological theory, substance abuse & other addictions and violence. Sociology research. Keyword search: prison*
  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
    Federally funded index that provides links to full-text articles and materials from Federal justice websites related to criminology, including Corrections.
  • Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
    Social Science Research Network (SSRN) indexes and abstracts research papers in the social sciences and contains working and forthcoming papers. Some are full text documents are available.
  • Alternative Press Index
    Index to articles in alternative news sources. Use to research topics that may not be well covered in the mainstream press; 1991 to current. Keyword search: prison*
  • ERIC (Ebsco interface)
    Bibliographic citations, abstracts, and some full-text for journal articles, research and technical reports, conference papers and proceedings, program descriptions, teaching guides, and lesson plans covering  all areas and levels of education. Education research. Keyword search: prison*
  • ProQuest Social Science Database
    The ProQuest Social Science Database includes full-text periodicals covering the social sciences, including addiction studies, urban studies, family studies, international relations and much more.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
    Ethnic Newswatch is a full-text collection of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Contents include African American, Arab and Middle Eastern, Asian American, European, Jewish, and Native American publications, including the Spanish-language press.


National and International New York State Academic


  • Statistics and Facts about Prisoners in the United States (compiled in the library database:
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics
    Data on capital punishment, correctional populations, criminal victimization, domestic violence, drug use, and workplace crime.  They publish the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS): Abstracts Database
    US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs site that is a portal to justice and substance abuse information useful for research and policy development. Topics include: corrections, courts, crime, crime prevention, drugs, the justice system, juvenile justice, law enforcement and victims. The collection of several thousand full-text publications, primarily government documents, can be searched.   There is a page for Juvenile Justice.
  • Uniform Crime Reports (FBI)
    Annual statistical publications, including the comprehensive Crime in the United States, produced from data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States. Also data from annual publications, such as Hate Crime Statistics and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.
  • National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)
    Facilitates criminal justice research by making available data, reports, and publications. Includes data on capital punishment, violence against women, terrorism, and crime. Users can create an account. Some data is restricted to ICPSR members.
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Data Resource Center  Lost funding in 2014 and is no longer updated. Site still active as a portal.
  • Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
    The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics brings together data from more than 100 published and unpublished sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States. Since 1973, the project has been located at the University at Albany, School of Criminal Justice, and compiled and managed by staff at the Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center in Albany, New York. (from the website)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
    UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime including: prison reform, money-laundering, organized crime, terrorism prevention, etc. Resources include data and analysis.
  • INTERPOL: Connecting police for a safer world
    Worldwide police organization consisting of 190 member countries.  
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Statistical Briefing Book
    ​The offers through its Statistical Briefing Book, data analysis tools on juvenile crime and provides easy access to detailed statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics.
  • From the NYS Division of Criminal Justice

Selected library videos

Click here to see a list of library videos on crime issues.

About Constitution Day

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17th of each year. That is the day the Constitution was signed during the Constitutional Convention. More information and events can be found on the Constitution Day website of the National Constitution Center.   The ACLU has activities on their website that assist with learning about the Constitution. 

You can access high resolution images and transcripts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights through the National Archive's "Charters of Freedom" website.

Research Guide: Constitutional Studies

This library research guide to Constitutional Studies offers a broad view to the subject and lists out guides to prior Constitution Day events. 

Prof. Carlos Figueroa

Prof. Figueroa researches and teaches in the areas of American political development; U.S. Quakerism and citizenship; interpretive policy analysis; African American politics and political thought; Latino politics; and public leadership. He has published in the Journal of Public Affairs Education and the Journal of Race and Policy, among others. His curent book project is Quakers, Race, and Empire: Political Ecumenism and U.S. Insular Policy Rhetoic, 1898-1917. He joined the Ithaca College Politics Department in 2013. website:

Ta-Nehisi Coates

His articles in The Atlantic:
Prof. Gottschalk referred to the October issue during the discussion. She posted a reply on September 18th.

Coates, T.-N. (2015, October). The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

(November 13, 2015). A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Retrieved from

Coates, J. L. Bruce Western,Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg,Ta-Nehisi. (2015). The Racism of Mass Incarceration, Visualized. Retrieved from

Gottschalk, M. (2015, September 18). America Needs a Third Reconstruction. The Atlantic. Retrieved from


Additional Resources

Beta Search (books and articles)

Sample searches in our new beta search (finds books, articles, DVDs, etc.). Sort to: Date-Newest to see the latest items.


CQ Researcher  Great reports for background:

Special Issue: Mass Incarceration

Criminology & Public Policy; Aug 2011; V. 10(3) IC Campus:  Access with Netpass. Abstract only; use Interlibrary Loan to borrow fulltext.

Guide Created by

This guide was created by Cathy Michael, Communication & Legal Studies Librarian, John Henderson, Social Sciences Librarian, with input from Prof. Figueroa.  We welcome your suggestions and feedback.