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Caging Borders and Carceral StatesIncarcerations, Immigration Detentions, and Resistance$
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Robert T. Chase

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651231

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651231.001.0001

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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: 20 September 2021

Blood In, Blood Out

Blood In, Blood Out

The Emergence of California Prison Gangs in the 1960s

(p.245) Blood In, Blood Out
Caging Borders and Carceral States

Heather Mccarty

University of North Carolina Press

The chapter offers a study of changing social relations within the prison system during the transition from 60s-era activism to gang formation in the beginning decades of mass incarceration. Between the decades of the 1960s and 1990s, California experienced a societal shift within prisons from interracial and Black Power campaigns for prisoners’ rights to the racialized balkanization and violence stemming from the rise of prison gangs and the worsening of prison conditions due to overcrowding. Within prisons, mass incarceration’s effect reshaped prison societies because the rapid growth of prison populations accelerated the violence that accompanies human caging. Internal dynamics of societal change reflected California’s changing racial demography, as Cold War defense industries and giant agribusinesses attracted African American laborers from the U.S. South and Mexican migrant laborers from across the border. As mass incarceration swept up more people of color in California’s overcrowded prison system, the prior social networks centered on politicization and protest were disrupted and replaced by rival prison gangs who met the needs of a sub rosa internal prison economy with racial violence and competition.

Keywords:   Activism, Gang formation, Mass incarceration, Prison system, California, Black Power, Prisoners’ rights, Violence, Overcrowding, Migrant labor

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