GUEST: Liat Ben-Moshe, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is co-editor of Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada. Her latest book is Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition
BACKGROUND: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimously to close the notorious LA Men’s Central Jail – part of the largest jail system in the country that prison abolition activists have often dubbed the nation’s largest psychiatric ward. A whopping 20% of inmates have struggled with mental illness in what may be the strongest indication of the intersection of disability and incarceration. Now a new book tackles how the discourse on mass incarceration needs to be centered on disability.