And what is incarceration meant to do? With 2.2 million people currently incarcerated (according to the Sentencing Project, http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm) shouldn't we be clear on why?
The Incarceration in the Archives project aims to explore these questions by looking to the past, to see how confinement and exclusion were undertaken to both define and treat criminals, dependents, and political aliens or enemies. We ask, who is subject to confinement? How does incarceration work on both physical and discursive levels? Is the purpose discipline and reform, or segregation and exclusion? And how have people responded to their carceral conditions?
These questions are explored by delving into the archives, seeking the first-hand perspectives that are often forgotten, despite being preserved.