On Over-Policed Communities and Civic Activism
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
Hannah L. Walker’s new book, Mobilized by Injustice (Oxford University Press, 2020), explores how individuals are motivated to engage in political participation by their connection to the criminal justice system in the US.
The American criminal justice system is notorious for imposing the “prison beyond the prison” in how formerly incarcerated individuals are constrained after release, including limits on voting rights and access to federal policies. Walker’s research digs into these constraints, the stigmatization that individuals experience because of incarceration, and the ways this system can be particularly corrosive in certain communities.
Walker’s research finds that individuals in contact with the criminal justice system may be led more naturally into politics because of their experience working as advocates for their family member who is incarcerated. Those who have been incarcerated face a variety of higher barriers, both structural and psychological, and they often need more support to engage in politics because of the “dignity deficit” they may suffer due to societal stigmatization.
Hannah L. Walker is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. Her research examines the impact of the criminal justice system on American democracy with special attention to minority and immigrant communities. Previously, she served as a post-doctoral fellow with the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown University, and received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Washington.
Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).