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Social and Economic Impacts of Incarceration

How have recent trends in incarceration affected the economies and cultures of rural and urban Illinois communities?

The Country and the City: Common Ground in the Prairie State? logoUrban and rural communities throughout Illinois, including communities where prisons are located and communities where many residents have been sentenced to prison, experience the social and economic effects of incarceration in a variety of ways. Five panelists representing various perspectives will discuss the impacts of incarceration in rural and urban settings. They will consider questions such as these:

  • How has the presence or growth of prisons affected different communities? Who benefits? Who doesn’t? Who gains or loses?
  • How has Administrative United States Penitentiary, Thomson (formerly Thomson Correctional Center) evolved, and what effects has its evolution had at the local and regional level?
  • How might living in a rural or urban setting influence one’s perspective on issues related to incarceration? How might race and class shape one’s understanding of incarceration-related issues?
  • What are some of the most significant challenges or tensions surrounding incarceration in urban and rural communities?
  • What should happen to prisons in the future? What, if anything, should change?

In doing so, they will draw upon their own experiences as well as brief excerpts from brief quotations from articles or essays published in National Review, The Guardian, and The Washington Post, and an interview with activist Mariame Kaba. Members of the audience will have opportunities to participate in the conversation, as well. The urban counterpart to this event will take place in Rockford in February 2019.

Doors open and refreshments available: 5:30 PM

For more information, please contact Matt Meacham at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (618) 468-5580.