Criminal Justice & Incarceration

Attica Prison Uprising

Resource list. Overview with links to articles, books, primers, films, and websites about the Attica Prison Uprising for the classroom.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Criminal Justice & Incarceration
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Teaching Social Activism in Prison | Zinn Education Project

Teaching Social Activism in Prison: The Leap Manifesto and Incarcerated Youth

Article. By Rachel Boccio. Rethinking Schools, Winter 2018. A Connecticut educator who taught English to incarcerated young men for 20 years describes what happened when she introduced her students to the Canadian “Leap Manifesto.”
Time Periods: 21st Century
Themes: Climate Justice, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Civil Rights Movements, Organizing
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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Book - Non-fiction. By Michelle Alexander. Introduction by Cornel West. 2010, updated in 2012. A critical analysis of the role the justice system plays in the oppression of African Americans in the United States.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity
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One Long Night A Global History of Concentration Camps by Andrea Pitzer

One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

Books - Non-fiction. By Andrea Pitzer. 2017. 480 pp. Starting with 1890s Cuba, this book is a chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps that is filled with prisoner perspectives.
Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, All US History
Themes: Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Immigration, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies
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Queer History of the United States for Young People

A Queer History of the United States for Young People

Book - Non-fiction. By Michael Bronski, adapted for by Richie Chevat. 336 pages. 2019. A young adult readers edition of the original text explores the history of LGBTQ+ experiences in the U.S. since 1500.
Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, All US History
Themes: Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Imperialism, LGBTQ, Native American, Women's History
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Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling

Book - Non-fiction. By Marc Mauer and Sabrina Jones. 2012. Based on the popular book Race to Incarcerate, this graphic adaptation is a key resource to introduce a study of U.S. prison system to middle school readers and above.
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Democracy & Citizenship, Economics, Social Class
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The Real Cost of Prisons Comix

Book - Non-fiction. By Ellen Miller-Mack, Craig Gilmore, Lois Ahrens, Susan Willmarth, and Kevin Pyle. 2008. This comic book presents the human stories behind the statistics.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Economics, Laws & Citizen Rights
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Slavery by Another Name (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Slavery by Another Name

Film. By Sam Pollard, Catherine Allan, Douglas Blackmon and Sheila Curran Bernard. 2012. 90 min. Reveals the interlocking forces in the South and the North that enabled “neoslavery” post-Emancipation Proclamation.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Reconstruction, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Banner Mine Explosion (photo) | Zinn Education Project

Apr. 8, 1911: Banner Mine Explosion

An explosion at the Banner Mine in Alabama killed 128 men, almost all of them African American prisoners of the state who were forced to work in the mine under the convict leasing system.
Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Labor
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April 19, 1989: Central Park Five Arrested

The New York Police falsely accused four African American teenagers and one Latino teenager who became known as the Central Park Five.
Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration
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Aug. 15: 1975: Joan Little Acquitted

Joan Little was acquitted, using the defense that she used deadly force to resist sexual assault.
Time Periods: Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration
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The Court Scene 005 | Zinn Education Project

July 2, 1839: The Amistad Mutiny

Africans on the Cuban schooner Amistad rose up against their captors, seizing control of the ship, which had been transporting them to chattel slavery.
Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Slavery and Resistance
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Rodriguez Brothers | Zinn Education Project

July 24, 1973: Twelve-Year-Old Santos Rodriguez Killed By Police

Twelve-year-old Santos Rodriguez and his 13-year-old brother David were pulled from their home in Dallas, Texas, handcuffed, and put inside a police car. Santos was killed when one of the officers played Russian roulette to try to force the boys to confess to a crime.
Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Latinx, Racism & Racial Identity
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Philando Castile by Pollen | Zinn Education Project

July 6, 2016: Philando Castile is Killed by Police

Philando Castile, an African American, was shot to death by a police officer at a traffic stop. Castile had worked as a nutritional supervisor at an elementary school.
Time Periods: 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: African American, Criminal Justice & Incarceration, Racism & Racial Identity
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