Planning and Mass Incarceration Special Issue JPER are free to download this week

And if you get this to this post too late, I may, or may not, send you what you are looking for if you ask me. (Plausible deniability is everything.)

In my social policy and planning class, I teach a section on how mass incarceration affects community health and development, and there are wonderful articles to read there. I’m going to just index them with links to the authors. I’m so grateful to the authors and the editors.

Before I go on: it’s obvious. Black Lives Matter, and US institutions from the the feds to the locals behave as though Black Lives do not matter, in everything from policing to education to parks. Planners* should be on the side of people in need, and Black Americans have told us again and again that they are in need and at risk no matter how many street improvements of TIF districts. (*When I say “Planners” I actually mean “decent human beings” but it’s a professional blog, and whatever one does for a job, I take the morally complicated stance and one should come to it first and foremost as a decent human being.)

I add a shortie to this: since becoming disabled, the hateful conduct of the police and security, including USC security, is no longer theoretical.

If I missed any of y’all or y’all’s friends’ Twitter or faculty pages in my Googling, let me know so I can fix it.

This JPER Special Issue is edited by:

Here a link to their introduction to the issue.

From Revanchism to Inclusion: Institutional Forms of Planning and Police in Hyde Park, Chicago by Steven Averill Sherman (@stephenasherman)

Planning and policing are two critical racial projects in the racial state. Planning scholars’ understanding of the police usually focuses on the police violently removing people from urban space, yet critical criminology literature shows their function to be more diverse. I employ an exploratory case study, centered in the South Side of Chicago, to develop propositions to guide emergent research that centralizes the police within planning. The propositions (1) impel further investigation into how police not only exclude people but also define who belongs and (2) draw attention to how planning institutions can create new forms of police.

Latinxs in the Kansas City Metro Area: Policing and Criminalization in Ethnic Enclaves by Dr. Janet Garcia-Hallett @JGarciaHallett ; Dr. Toya Like ; Dr. Theresa Torres ; Dr. Clara Irazabal

This study explores the socio-spatial, economic, and policing inequities experienced by Latinxs in the Kansas City metropolitan using geographic, census, and police data as well as qualitative analysis of interviews and workshops. Data show there has been an expansion of Latinx enclaves over time in the metropolitan area and suggest that enclaves function as both a protective factor for Latinxs against socio-structural hardship and also render them highly visible as targets for disproportionate criminalization. To redress the latter, we offer planning recommendations for community development and policing that promote socio-spatial equity in law enforcement practices while adapting to demographic shifts.

Local Planning in the Age of Mass Decarceration by Dr. Courtney Knapp (@courtneyknapp81)

This exploratory study discusses the results of a nationwide survey of planning directors, designed to understand whether local agencies understand and actively engage with reentry and social integration efforts targeting formerly incarcerated people. The results suggest agencies play administrative-bureaucratic roles facilitating environments that affect housing and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated populations, yet many appear unaware of how regulatory and policy frameworks translate into local infrastructures of inclusion and exclusion. These knowledge gaps are exacerbated by engagement practices that tend to privilege security and incarceration stakeholders over those connected to reentry, including formerly incarcerated people themselves.

When Prison Is the Classroom: Collaborative Learning about Urban Inequality by Dr. Justin Steil and Dr. Aditi Mehta @AditiMehta12

This article analyzes the pedagogy of an urban sociology course taught in prison, with both outside and imprisoned students. The course examined the production of knowledge used in the field of planning and sought to facilitate the coproduction of new insights about urban inequality. Participant observation, focus groups, and students’ written reflections reveal that, in comparison to traditional classroom settings, students explored with greater complexity their embodiment of multiple social identities, wrestled more deeply with the structural embeddedness of individual agency, and situated their personal experiences in a broader theoretical narrative about urban inequality. Building trust in the face of significant power disparities within the classroom was essential to learning. The findings highlight the importance of new locations of learning that enable classrooms to become contact zones, pushing students to collaboratively reimagine justice in the city with those outside the traditional classroom.

From Jails to Sanctuary Planning: Spatial Justice in Santa Ana, California by Dr. Carolina S. Sarimiento

Today’s immigrant rights movements bring attention to jails—some cities’ largest public safety expenditures—as primary sites for deportation operations. This article examines how these movements push for sanctuary while challenging jails’ political and economic place in cities. With qualitative and archival data from a case study in Santa Ana, California, this research finds that by ending U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracts, exposing the economic and political interests invested in jails, and pushing for jail reuse alternatives, sanctuary planning threatens public investment in police and security infrastructure. Challenges to these movements include jurisdictional fragmentation with diverse approaches to detention.

Beyond Safety: Refusing Colonial Violence Through Indigenous Feminist Planning by Dr. Heather Dorries and Dr. Laura Harjo (@lauraharjo)

Settler colonial violence targets Indigenous women in specific ways. While urban planning has attended to issues of women’s safety, the physical dimensions of safety tend to be emphasized over the social and political causes of women’s vulnerability to violence. In this paper, we trace the relationship between settler colonialism and violence against Indigenous women. Drawing on examples from community activism and organizing, we consider how Indigenous feminism might be applied to planning and point toward approaches to planning that do not replicate settler colonial violence.

In addition to this nice issue, some of the best writing in the past 2 decades has come from Black writers telling you about anti-Black racism. If you have to pester people for things to read in order to learn, you aren’t paying attention. Here’s a bunch.

Dr. Ibram Kendi’s @DrIbram writing is crystal clear and he’s written us an instruction book.

Here are some cool things that have crossed my desks about Black and NBPOC urbanists on Twitter who have insightful feeds to follow, put together by Lynn Ross @mslynnross.

Keith Benjamin (@rkbtwo) compiled a long list of Twitter resources on the intersection of anti-racism and place-making

T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette
) compiled a huge list of all the video evidence of American police across a bunch of US cities acting like the SS for anybody who needs more help understanding the problem. (h/t to my friend Shane Phillips @ShaneDPhillips for passing that one along.