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City of InmatesConquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965$
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Kelly Lytle Hernández

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631189

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631189.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Hobos in Heaven

Hobos in Heaven

(p.45) 2 Hobos in Heaven
City of Inmates

Kelly Lytle Hernández

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 2 moves deeper into the U.S. era, chronicling how, between the 1880s and 1910s, authorities in Los Angeles redirected and expanded the city’s carceral capacity. They did so while targeting a particular population: poor white men, namely those popularly disparaged as “tramps” and “hobos” for migrating constantly, working little, and living and loving beyond the bounds of the nuclear family ideal. By 1910, when white men comprised nearly 100 percent of the local jail population, Los Angeles operated one of the largest jail systems in the country. And, as the city rapidly grew during these years, Los Angeles authorities operated a large convict labor program. In turn, white men sentenced to the chain gang cut roads, beautified parks, built schools, and so on. Chapter 2 details the rise of white male incarceration at the turn of the twentieth century and unveils the little-known history of how incarcerated white men built the infrastructure of the growing city. From Sunset Boulevard to the paths winding around Dodger Stadium, city residents still walk, ride, and run on the imprint of their labors.

Keywords:   white male incarceration, tramp, hobo, convict labor, chain gang

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