SHGAPE

Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South

Policing, incarceration, capital punishment: these forms of crime control were crucial elements of Jim Crow regimes. White southerners relied on them to assert and maintain racial power, which led to the growth of modern state bureaucracies that eclipsed traditions of local sovereignty. Friction between the demands of white supremacy and white southern suspicions of state power created a distinctive criminal justice system in the South, elements of which are still apparent today across the United States. In this collection, Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring present nine groundbreaking essays about the carceral system and its development over time. Topics range from activism against police brutality to the peculiar path of southern prison reform to the fraught introduction of the electric chair. The essays tell nuanced stories of rapidly changing state institutions, political leaders who sought to manage them, and African Americans who appealed to the regulatory state to protect their rights.

Edited by SHGAPE Member Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring
Amy Louise Wood is Professor of History at Illinois State University

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