Mass incarceration

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Suggestion from the LCSH Suggest-a-Thon in March 2018. It seems like many books about mass incarceration are given terms like “Prisons” or “Prisons–Overcrowding” because this heading isn’t yet available.


150 __ |a Mass incarceration

550 __ |w g |a Imprisonment |z United States   [broader term]

550 __ |w g |a Criminal justice, Administration of |z United States   [broader term]

550 __ |a Discrimination in criminal justice administration



Questions from Violet:

  • There is already a heading for “Prison-industrial complex” (below). Is “Mass incarceration” the same concept? (To me they seem very related; not sure if they’re distinguishable enough to be two separate terms in LCSH.)
    Prison-industrial complex   (May Subd Geog)   
    Here are entered works on the political and economic interests that advocate increased spending on imprisonment, and the belief that these interests are motivated more by profit than by the rehabilitation of criminals or the reduction of crime.
    UF Industrial-prison complex
    PIC (Prison-industrial complex)
    RT Imprisonment
  • Are these the most appropriate broader terms? Are there others?
  • Are there other related terms that should be added?

One Reply to “Mass incarceration”

  1. I do not believe “Mass incarceration” and “Prison-industrial complex” are the same concept.

    The prison-industrial complex is one cause of mass incarceration, but not the only one.

    The prison-industrial complex is an actor, while mass incarceration is an activity or practice.

    That seems a pretty clear distinction, but it’s not entirely clear to me what level of granularity LCSH is aiming for.

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