The Prison of Democracy: Race, Leavenworth, and the Culture of Law
Find in the Library
Built in the 1890s at the center of the nation, Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary was designed as a replica of the US Capitol Building. The Prison of Democracy explains the political significance of a prison built to mimic one of America’s monuments to democracy at the borders of Indian Territory (1825–1854) and Bleeding Kansas (1854–1864), both sites of contestation over slavery and freedom. Leavenworth's peculiar architecture illustrates the real roots of mass incarceration—as an explicitly race- and nation-building system ingrained in the very fabric of US history rather than as part of a recent post-war racial history.
University of California Press